Rita Ora
Rita Ora Depositphotos

Rita Ora

Rita Ora, born on November 26, 1990, is a British singer and songwriter who has made a significant impact on the music industry. From her breakthrough in 2012 with DJ Fresh’s hit single “Hot Right Now” to her chart-topping albums and record-breaking singles, Ora has become a force to be reckoned with in the music world. In this article, we will explore Ora’s early life, her rise to fame, her music career, and her other ventures.

Rita Ora
Rita Ora Depositphotos

Early Life and Background

Rita Ora was born in Pristina, modern-day Kosovo, to Albanian parents. Her mother, Vera Bajraktari, is a psychiatrist, while her father, Besnik Sahatçiu, is a pub owner and a former economics student. Ora has an older sister, Elena, and a younger brother, Don. Her family left Kosovo for political reasons and relocated to London, England, when Ora was just a baby. She grew up in Notting Hill, West London, and attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School, where she honed her performing arts skills.

Career Beginnings

Ora’s journey in the music industry began with open mic sessions around London and performances at her father’s pub. In 2008, she auditioned for “Eurovision: Your Country Needs You” and qualified to be the British contestant for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. However, she later withdrew from the competition as she felt it wasn’t the right opportunity for her. Her manager, Sarah Stennett, reassured Ora that Eurovision would hinder her chances as a solo artist.

Shortly after, Ora’s talent caught the attention of Roc Nation, an American label founded by Jay Z. She signed a recording deal and a publishing deal with Roc Nation in December 2008, becoming one of their first signees. Ora made a cameo appearance in Jay Z’s music video for “Young Forever” in 2009. She recorded an album but her label advised against its release, prompting her to work on other material for her debut album.

Breakthrough and Debut Album

In 2011, Ora gained attention through her YouTube covers and videos documenting her work on her debut album. Her big break came when she collaborated with DJ Fresh on the single “Hot Right Now,” which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in February 2012. Ora also served as the opening act for Drake’s Club Paradise Tour in the same year.

The success of “Hot Right Now” paved the way for Ora’s debut album, titled “Ora,” which was released in August 2012. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and featured hit singles like “R.I.P.” and “How We Do (Party).” Ora became the artist with the most number-one singles on the UK Singles Chart in 2012, with three singles reaching the top position.

Rita Ora
Rita Ora Depositphotos

Second Studio Album and Continued Success

Ora’s second studio album, “Phoenix,” was released in November 2018. The lead single, “Your Song,” reached the UK top ten, followed by the successful singles “Anywhere” and “Let You Love Me.” “Let You Love Me” made Ora the first British female solo artist to have thirteen top ten songs in the United Kingdom, breaking a 30-year-old record.

In 2019, Ora confirmed that she had begun working on her third studio album, promising a new direction and unique sound. She released the EP “Bang” in February 2021 in collaboration with producer Imanbek. In 2023, Ora released her third studio album, “You & I,” which debuted at number six in the UK and featured the singles “You Only Love Me,” “Praising You” (with Fatboy Slim), and “Don’t Think Twice.”

Acting and Other Ventures

In addition to her successful music career, Ora has also made a name for herself in the acting world. She made her television debut in the British drama series “The Brief” at the age of 13 and appeared in the film “Spivs” in 2004. Ora gained international recognition for her role as Mia Grey in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” film series.

Ora has also ventured into the world of design, collaborating with brands like Adidas, Tezenis, Giuseppe Zanotti, and Escada. She has appeared in numerous advertising campaigns for brands such as Calvin Klein, Rimmel, and Coca-Cola. Ora has served as a coach on “The Voice UK” and as a judge on “The X Factor” and “The Masked Singer” in the UK.

Philanthropy and Personal Life

Outside of her career, Ora is actively involved in philanthropic endeavors. She has performed at charity events such as the Bal de la Rose du Rocher and the “Chime for Change” concert, raising funds and awareness for various causes. Ora joined Band Aid 30 to record a charity single for the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa and became a UNICEF UK ambassador in 2019.

In terms of her personal life, Ora has been in relationships with notable figures such as Calvin Harris and Andrew Watt. Since 2021, she has been in a relationship with filmmaker Taika Waititi, and the couple got married in August 2022. Ora has faced controversy, including a breach of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 for hosting a birthday party during a national lockdown.

Rita Ora’s journey in the music industry has been nothing short of remarkable. From her early days performing at open mic sessions to her chart-topping albums and successful singles, she has solidified her position as a rising star. With her unique sound, versatile talent, and involvement in various ventures, Ora continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

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