Too sick to continue tour to Australia ... Singer Lorde last performed at the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.

Too sick to continue tour to Australia ... Singer Lorde last performed at the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Photo: Getty Images

Lorde survived a mind-bending rapid ascent to fame but not the physical demands of backing it up.

Teenage New Zealand singer Ella Yelich-O'Connor, who as Lorde became the first Kiwi to reach number one in the USA last year with her world-wide smash, Royals, has been forced by illness to postpone her Australian tour only days before arriving here.

According to a statement from Frontier Touring, "under doctor's advice", Yelich-O'Connor will return to her home in Auckland for "immediate rest and recuperation", with a view to returning to touring later in the year once she has regained her health.

The 17-year-old is quoted in the statement saying that "it breaks my heart to have to postpone the shows" and that it was not a decision made lightly.

The suddenness of the announcement, with the first show scheduled for Melbourne's Festival Hall on Thursday, April 24, and many shows already sold out, would emphasise that a call to postpone the eight-date tour has major implications for everyone involved.

"I know I need to focus on getting better in order to perform at my best," Yelich-O'Connor says. She has since tweeted that it is due to a nasty chest infection.

In recent weeks, Yelich-O'Connor has performed in South America, Central America, the desert of southern California and concert halls through the United States.

The physical and mental effort clearly would be demanding, particularly for someone who said recently, "I literally started performing music on the stage a year ago and I had no idea how to be a frontwoman".

As she told Fairfax Media: "I had to learn that pretty fast. Every show has taught me something - it's a cliche but it's true - about what works and what doesn't. It's like when you're running: first you run 2ks and it's hard and then you can run 10ks and it's easy. That's what it's like physically and mentally for me."

Ticket-holders for the eight shows have been advised to keep ahold of their tickets for rescheduled dates. Refunds – of the ticket price, fees and charges - will be available from the ticket agency from which they were purchased.

The tour dates to be postponed are:

Apr 24 & 26 - Melbourne, Festival Hall

Apr 27 - Adelaide, AEC Theatre

Apr 29 - Perth, Challenge Stadium

May 2 & 3 - Sydney, Hordern Pavilion

May 4 - Newcastle, Entertainment Centre

May 6 - Brisbane, Riverstage