Who is Rita Ora? Rita Ora is a British pop and R&B singer signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. Ora was born in Yugoslavia in 1990 to Kosovar Albanian parents who fled to London to escape their country’s civil war. Ora is not yet an international superstar on par with, say, Beyonce, but the 21-year-old beauty has made waves with her U.K. hits “How We Do (Party)” and “R.I.P.” She’s also served as a guest judge on the U.K. version of “The X Factor.” Ora is tight with Drake (a rumored fling), Kanye West, and The-Dream—all of whom worked on her 2012 debut, Ora—and she’s been linked to Rob Kardashian, though she says they’re just friends. She’s also buddy-buddy with Rihanna, and in May 2012, photos surfaced of the two kissing.
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Rita Ora took to singing at a young age and attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School, followed by St. Charles Catholic Sixth Form College. In 2004, she appeared in the film Spivs, and in 2009, she was a contestant on the BBC talent show “Eurovision: Your Country Needs You.” She left the series after a few episodes, as she “wasn’t ready for the music industry,” according to the Sun, but that hardly hurt her career. She began performing in London bars and eventually caught the ear of Jay-Z, who flew her to New York City and signed her to his label. That led to appearances in Hova’s “Young Forever” clip, as well as Drake’s “Over.”
Ora spent some two years working on her debut album, and in early 2012, she and Jay-Z premiered the single “How We Do (Party)” on Z100 in New York City. Although she’s associated with hip-hop and R&B, Ora has broad taste in music, and describing Ora, which dropped in August 2012 on Roc Nation, she’s said that “you can hear influences of jazz in there, you can hear influences of Monica and Aaliyah, and then you can hear Gwen Stefani.” That last name is important—Ora is a huge fan of the No Doubt frontwoman, which likely explains her trademark blond hair and red lipstick.
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Ora has toured with Coldplay, and she credits that band’s singer Chris Martin with helping her pick the track list for her album. In addition to Drake and Kardashian, Ora has been linked to Harry Styles of the British boy band One Direction, though sources insist they’re not dating.
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