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Showdown! Miley vs. Lorde

Peruse our primer on two of the most discussed (and diametrically opposed) women in music right now, both with SoCal gigs on the horizon
Miley Cyrus vs. Lorde
Illustration: Kyle Fewell
By Marley Lynch |

Miley Cyrus Lorde

The erstwhile Hannah Montana, now just barely of drinking age, is eager to prove her Disney Channel days are behind her. In a nutshell Born Ella Yelich-O’Connor, the alterna-teen hails from New Zealand—and yes, Lorde truthers, she really is only 17 years old.

“Wrecking Ball,” a power ballad that acts as a counterpoint to the popstrel’s bawdier singles—but garnered the most attention for its nude, sledgehammer-licking video Key track “Royals,” an anti-luxury anthem denouncing “gold teeth, Grey Goose” and all that glitters, as seen from the perspective of her day-to-day teenage existence

Oxblood Doc Martens, a crop top and a wagging tongue (or, y’know, buck naked) Signature look Pale skin, black lipstick, black floor-length gowns and a mane of curly hair

A month before the release of her new record, Bangerz, Cyrus joined Robin Thicke onstage at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards for a raunchy rendition of “Blurred Lines” that left pretty much everyone scandalized. Watershed moment Thanks to “Royals,” the chanteuse was the first female solo artist since 1996 to hit No. 1 on the alternative charts. The hit later topped the Hot 100 for nine weeks, only to be dethroned by—surprise!—Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.”

Twerking. ’Nuff said. Dance move Entire GIF listicles have been devoted to her jerky gyrations.

The singer didn’t take kindly to an open letter penned by Sinéad O’Connor advising her not to let herself “be pimped” by the music biz. Cyrus responded with a volley of tweets mocking the Irish singer’s mental health. Icky Twitter scandal After an Instagram photo revealed Lorde’s boyfriend, James Lowe, to be of Asian descent, teen Twitter had a racist meltdown—particularly, vindictive One Direction fans who heard an uncorroborated rumor that she had called the boys ugly.

The pop star reportedly banned twerking on this tour, promoting it as “educational for kids” and claiming that she wants to be taken seriously as an artist. We’re not sure what lies beneath the booty shaking, but we’re curious as hell.
The verdict WINNER!
In an age of oversharing and attention-baiting selfies, this precocious and self-aware singer opts for privacy and lets her music do the talking. Catch her as a Coachella sub-headliner before she starts playing stadiums.

Miley Cyrus plays Staples Center Feb 22. Lorde plays Coachella Apr 12 and 19.

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