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AUTHOR: DEEPA LAKSHMIN, MTV.COM
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Lorde powered through not one but TWO jaw-dropping performances this week as she recovered from the flu. First, she gave her voice some much-needed rest and transformed the VMA stage into her personal dance floor. Now that she’s feeling better, she treated fans to an intimate iHeartRadio performance at The Houdini Estate in Los Angeles.

“Oh my goodness. What a group of sweet faces you are,” Lorde told the audience Tuesday night (August 29). “I don’t know if you know this, but I’ve been a little unwell. So I [am] just reclaiming my voice now, so it’s a joy to do it with you guys. It was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life, it was crazy.”

A mini-orchestra joined her for songs from Melodrama, but she also revisited gems from Pure Heroine. Below, watch clips of “Ribs” and her debut hit “Royals.”

“It’s nice to be recovering from the flu in a beautiful garden,” she joked. “There could be worse scenarios.”

The set list also included fan favorites “Green Light” (below), “Homemade Dynamite,” “Sober II”, and “Writer in the Dark.” But by far, the night’s most powerful moment came ahead of “Liability,” when Lorde recounted the events that inspired “one of the saddest songs on Melodrama.”

“I started crying in the back of this Uber,” she explained. “It was the kind of crying where I was like, trying to do it really quietly so the driver didn’t hear me. He definitely knew I was crying, let’s be real.” She was listening to Rihanna‘s “Higher” at the time, so she even briefly covered RiRi during the full iHeartRadio performance.

“I was crying because I was feeling this very specific feeling of being too much for somebody. It’s a very strange feeling when you feel like you’re too much, or you’re taking up too much space, and I felt like nobody could ever love me for all that I am. … I feel everything so deeply, and that’s really what melodrama is about, is the depth of emotion.”

The 2017 VMAs touched down at the Forum in Inglewood, California on Sunday, August 27. See the full list of winners and keep up with all of the night’s biggest VMA moments!

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