These days, Rita Ora needs no introduction. The songstress and style icon, often touted as “The New Rihanna”, has enjoyed meteoric success since the release of her debut album, Ora, in 2012.
Her fans love her not only for her music but also for her down-to-earth attitude – you’re as likely to find her mingling with the locals around Portobello Road as you are to see her hanging out with the rich and famous in an exclusive New York nightclub.
Here’s a little more insight into the girl behind the music:
1. She was born in Kosovo in 1990 but moved to the UK with her family at the age of one as her parents were becoming increasingly worried about the threat of war. She filmed the video for her single “Shine Ya Light” in her original hometown of Pristina.
2. You can play Rita as a character in The Sims 3 – her virtual version sports the same trademark platinum hair and red lips and wears a Christmas-themed onesie. Players can also listen to “Shine Ya Light”, sung by Rita in the in-game language of Simlish.
3. Rita is obsessed with Tabasco sauce and puts it on everything, including cereal and fruit. She even contacted the company offering to promote the product but they turned down her offer and sent her personalized bottle instead that she now carries everywhere with her.
4. She auditioned to perform for the UK at the Eurovision song contest in front of Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2009 but she changed her mind and left before finding out the results of her audition. She now says she’s glad she changed her mind as she believes doing Eurovision would have destroyed her career.
5. Rita Ora is known for some daring outfits but the evening dress she wore to the 2014 VMAs is one of the most memorable. The red Donna Karan dress was split to the top of her thigh and had to be sewn onto her body. She admitted later that she wasn’t even wearing underwear under the dress.
6. She owns over 150 pairs of trainers, 50 of which were gifted to her from rapper, Jay-Z when the two first met. Her trainer obsession started when she was 15 and worked in a shoe shop. She also has her own collection of trainers and sports clothing in collaboration with Adidas.
7. Rita’s middle name is Sahatçiu, which means “watchmaker” in Albanian. This was originally her family surname but her father added Ora (meaning “hour”) when Rita was 11 and attending the Sylvia Young Theatre School, as he wanted people to be able to pronounce her name.
8. Rita’s style idol is Gwen Stefani, and it’s quite clear that her trademark platinum blonde hairstyle and red lips are inspired by the star. More surprisingly, she’s also stated Marilyn Manson as one of her fashion influences.
9. She shares clothes with buddy Cara Delevingne – the two have been spotted wearing outfits from each other’s wardrobes on several occasions
10. Rita is one of the newest coaches on BBC’s The Voice, having replaced Kylie Minogue. Previously she turned down a £1 million offer from Simon Cowell to join the X Factor team.