Pop Culture

Lorde meets 'Royals' inspiration: Former Kansas City ballplayer George Brett

Fans may have thought Lorde was inspired by actual kings or queens for her breakthrough hit "Royals." But on Tuesday, she met the real original inspiration for her song, and it wasn't anyone who lives in a palace. It was former Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett. 

Lorde had already received an autographed jersey from Baseball Hall of Famer Brett in March when her tour passed through Kansas City. (He wasn't able to gift it to her in person.) 



But when Lorde's tour brought her to Las Vegas on Tuesday night, he flew in to catch the performance, and they met briefly after the show. Major League Baseball tweeted a photo of the meeting with the message, "And now you're Royal. @lordemusic meets @Royals icon George Brett."

As it turns out, Lorde wasn't exactly a big Brett fan when she came up with the song. She told VH1 in November that she'd just seen a picture of the ballplayer from 1976 in National Geographic, surrounded by adoring fans holding up baseballs for an autograph, his jersey emblazoned with the word "Royals." 

"It was just that word. It's really cool," she told VH1.

Mixing that image with her lifelong interest in actual aristocracy — "The kings and queens of 500 years ago, they're like rock stars," she said in the VH1 interview — got her creativity going, and out came "Royals." The song ultimately crowned the top of the Billboard charts for nine consecutive weeks, went platinum six times and earned her a Grammy for best pop solo performance.

Seeing the photo of the two together "made me smile," said TODAY's Tamron Hall Thursday, and the other anchors agreed. 

"This makes (the song) even more cool," she added of the tune's initial inspiration.