The Pure Heroine and her melodrama: Lorde’s star image and fan identification

Chun Sing CHEUNG

Research output: ThesisHonours Projects (HP)


The New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde debuts in the music scene with the album Pure Heroine as a gothic, detached and critical adolescent in 2013. After a four-year hiatus, she returns to the limelight with her sophomore album Melodrama, disclosing vulnerability and singing about the overwhelming and profound emotions emerging from early adulthood. In the reading of Lorde’s lyrics and music videos in this article, I yoke together the scholarship in star studies and fan studies to analyze her stardom. I contend that her star image is an intimate zone established for her fans, where they identify with the singer’s (constructed) authenticity and the faithful representation of adolescents and young adults. Her star image, or persona, is fluidly constructed by the replication of the changing features of her fans. Taking into consideration participatory cyberculture, I further argue that despite the fans’ increased agency to construct meaning in the process of stardom construction, their responses to the singer’s media products only serve to strengthen her authenticity, thereby amplifying their identification with her.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Education (Honours)
  • WONG, Yu Bon, Nicholas 黃裕邦, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Star studies
  • Star image
  • Fan studies
  • Identification
  • Adolescents
  • Young adults
  • Participatory cyberculture
  • Lorde
  • Honours Project (HP)
  • Bachelor of Education (Honours) (English Language) (Five-year Full-time)
  • Programme code: A5B059
  • Course code: ENG4907


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