Pop star Lorde said Covid safety protocols led to her pulling out of a planned performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The New Zealander, who released her latest album Solar Power last month, was supposed to appear at the ceremony in New York this weekend.

However, MTV announced she would no longer be taking to the stage.

Lorde, 24, has now explained the "very necessary" pandemic safety protocols in place at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn meant her performance could not be how she intended.

In a message to fans, the singer wrote: "I saw some people were very concerned about me pulling out of the VMAs, you're so sweet, I’m totally fine!

"It’s just that we were planning this insanely amazing many-bodied intimate dance performance, not fully understanding the (very necessary!) safety protocols that are in place, and the masking and distancing just meant it wasn’t gonna be what I dreamed, and you know I can’t make something less than outstanding for you guys. I hope you understand."

She added: "There will be many more TV performances, don’t you worry."

The VMAs are going ahead in the early hours of Monday Irish time amid a spike in Covid cases across the US caused by the more contagious Delta variant of the virus.

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Elsewhere in the emailed message to fans, Lorde announced the release of a five-song companion piece to Solar Power sung entirely in Maori.

She said she performed the tracks in the indigenous language of New Zealand for the EP, which is titled Te Ao Marama.

Lorde, known for the 2013 global hit single Royals, said: "Many things revealed themselves slowly to me while I was making this album, but the main realisation by far was that much of my value system around caring for and listening to the natural world comes from traditional Maori principles.

"There's a word for it in te reo (the Maori language): kaitiakitanga, meaning 'guardianship or caregiving for the sky, sea and land’. I’m not Maori, but all New Zealanders grow up with elements of this worldview.

She added that te ao Maori, or the Maori world view, and tikanga Maori, the term for the customary practices of New Zealand’s first inhabitants, were "a big part of why people who aren’t from here intuit our country to be kind of 'magical’, I think."

Lorde, a massively popular global star who admits she finds the attention lavished on her difficult to deal with, said being a representative of New Zealand around the world meant "it was important to me to be able to say: this makes us who we are down here".

She wrote: "It’s also just a crazy beautiful language — I loved singing in it. Even if you don’t understand te reo, I think you’ll get a kick out of how elegant my words sound in it."

Lorde said all proceeds from Te Ao Marama will go to the New Zealand-based charities Forest And Bird and Te Hua Kawariki Charitable Trust.

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