THE Auckland 17-year-old, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, is described by the magazine as the “unlikeliest superstar in pop”.
Lorde spent nine weeks at the top of the US Hot 100 Billboard chart last year and will perform at this month’s Grammys, where she is up for four awards.
But she told Rolling Stone contributing editor Rob Tannenbaum, who interviewed her in Auckland, how she suffers from nerves.
“I get paralysingly nervous a lot of times, so I tried bravado,” going on to say that her demeanour can be daunting for some.
“The way I dress and carry myself, a lot of people find it intimidating. I think my whole career can be boiled down to the one word I always say in meetings: strength.”
Lorde is pictured on the cover wearing a t-shirt of rockabilly punk band The Cramps, and the magazine looks at her childhood, how her single Royals became such a hit and how she has become an icon for teenage girls.
She tweeted on Thursday: “I have to keep reminding myself that this is my life. this month’s rolling stone cover girl” adding a picture of her on the cover.
Lorde has also appeared on top-rating US shows Ellen, Letterman and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon but appears largely ambivalent to her fame.
The magazine hits newsstands in the United States on Friday.