Rita Ora is one of the biggest pop stars to have come out of the UK in recent years, and you are likely to catch her on a reality TV show or you are to hear one of her latest tracks on the radio. She is known for star-studded collaborations, as well as a huge amount of success on her home charts.
Rita is also known as a gorgeous celebrity with a blonde bombshell look and a penchant for risqué outfits. That’s why it’s no surprise that she has so many fans – and that everyone wants to know more about her. If you want to find out more about this star, read on, as we have collected 15 facts that you probably don’t know about her. Even the most diehard fan is not likely to know every scrap of information that we have put together here!
It turns out that she has quite the fascinating family history, and that she has some eclectic tastes too. Whether you are a fan of her music or just of her looks, this is a great chance to get a bit of insight into her private life! Read on for the 15 things you don’t know about Rita Ora.
15. She’s Not British
Rita might be storming the charts as a British act, but she wasn’t actually born in the UK originally. She was actually born in Kosovo, the war-torn nation that her parents had to flee from when Rita was just one year old. They then took up residence in the UK, which became her home for the rest of her life as she grew into an adult. It is also where she got the opportunity to study at the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School, launching her on the path towards stardom. Her parents were apparently lucky to get out of Kosovo in time, as very few people escaped after them.
14. She Started On YouTube
Pretty soon it seems like we’ll get to the point where all of our stars were discovered on YouTube, but Rita can claim to be an early success story. She was a YouTube sensation after uploading lots of covers and original songs to her account. It was there that she was discovered by DJ Fresh when he was looking for someone to sing on his track ‘Hot Right Now.’ After choosing Rita, they managed to make it a number one hit in the UK singles chart – a definitive moment in her then-fledgling career. The rest of her success snowballed from that point.
13. She Loves Tabasco
She loves Tabasco hot sauce to the extent that she has actually taken to carrying around a bottle in her handbag, to use whenever she needs it. The company were extremely pleased with her support and ended up gifting her a personalised bottle as a brand ambassador! She says that she can’t eat a meal without it, and will add it to just about everything that she eats. Don’t invite her round for dinner if you are a fussy cook. And if you do invite her, you should probably invest in a few bottles for the table, as she’ll need more than one.
12. Her Name Is Celebrity-Inspired
Ever wonder what a girl from Kosovo is doing with a name like Rita? It turns out that her grandfather, Besim Sahatciu, was actually a film director himself. He was a huge fan of Hollywood star Rita Hayworth, so when his son gave him his second granddaughter, he knew what he had to push for. He managed to convince Rita’s parents to give her the name as a tribute to the glamorous film icon. It seems that Rita was destined for stardom right from the start, especially with such a great family heritage. It had to be either music or movies.
11. She Loves The Spice Girls
Just like any other young girl who was old enough to remember the Spice Girls, Rita ended up being a huge fan. She cites them as one of her big, early musical influences, due to the huge fame that they had and the impact of their songs. She has described the excitement at hearing their music in interviews, and this is doubtless a big reason for her decision to go into pop music. She also cites Beyoncé as one of her big influences, and the superstar also functioned as a kind of mentor for Rita when she was first finding her way in the music industry.
10. Ora Isn’t Her Family Name
Rita almost wasn’t called Ora at all – it’s another consequence of her move to the UK that this became her last name. Her family name, as mentioned above, is actually Sahatciu, which means ‘watchmaker’ in Albanian. When they came to the UK, her father decided to make it easier for people to pronounce and spell their name by changing it to Ora. It was a poetic choice, because it means ‘hour,’ thus providing a clear link to the origins of their real name. That’s how Rita Ora got a fantastic showbiz name, without even having to change any part of it herself.
9. She Could Have Sung At Eurovision
Aged just 16, Rita auditioned to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest, going up in front of Andrew Lloyd Webber to perform. She then pulled out of the contest, saying that she did not feel prepared to take part yet. As it happens, Webber would probably have chosen her to represent her country, as everyone apparently loved her performance. She now says that she is glad she pulled out, as her career might have gone in a very different direction to the one it eventually took. At the time, it must have been a very big decision to make.
8. She Wrote Her First Album Twice
Rita’s first album was a huge success, with two singles – ‘RIP’ and ‘How We Do (Party)’ – going to number one in the UK. But it almost never happened, as she actually wrote an entirely different album first time round. She went into the studio and wrote everything so quickly that it wasn’t up to the standard she wanted, and she ended up doing a second version that took three years in total to put together. It seems that putting in the extra effort and scrapping her first attempts really paid off well for the star, as it laid the foundations for her whole career.
7. She Doesn’t Get On With Rihanna
Even though it might be a little less visible than other celebrity feuds, Rita actually does have an ongoing beef with Rihanna. It all started when Rihanna allegedly felt that Rita was copying her style, both musically and in terms of fashion. Then Rita apparently managed to get hold of a song that was written for Rihanna and record it instead, and she also got cast in Fast and Furious 6 over Rihanna. As a result, RiRi isn’t happy, and even reportedly went so far as ordering mutual friend Cara Delevingne to choose between them.
6. She’s Been In Care
When they first came to the UK, it wasn’t easy for the Ora family to settle in right away. They actually had to be subjected to checks to be sure that the parents could provide the right kind of environment for their children. As a result, while the checks were being carried out, Rita and her siblings (one older brother and sister) were put into foster care for a short while. As she was so young at the time, it likely had very little impact on her. She remains close to her family to this day, with her older sister forming part of her entourage.
5. She’s An Honorary Ambassador
Rita was actually made an honorary ambassador to the country of Kosovo, largely because of the fact that she is one of the most famous people ever to come from within its borders. She was granted the honour by the president of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, and loves to talk about it in interviews. She has also been a big part of national celebrations in the country, and even waived her fee when she performed for their celebration of Kosovo’s 100th anniversary of independence. Even in the rain, huge crowds turned out to see her sing that day in praise of the land of her birth.
4. She Signed With Roc Nation
When she first got a record deal in 2009, it was with Jay Z’s label, Roc Nation. She was actually flown out to see him in the US as a result of a good match-up by her manager. It took less than 48 hours after she had landed for the meeting for the contract to be signed. It was a little bit under the radar, as it wasn’t until a few years later that she actually made it into the charts with a hit single. However, Jay-Z’s probably proud to claim that he was the one who spotted her first.
3. She Acts
You might have spotted her in 50 Shades of Grey if you were one of the five or so people who actually went to see it when it hit the cinemas. She has a small role there as a relative of one of the main characters, but it is certainly not her first brush with acting. After attending the theatre school she apparently considered it as a career choice, and appeared in British drama Spivs when she was just 15 years old. You can see her there with her natural brunette hair, playing a young hooligan called Rosanna who is best known for her knife-wielding skills.
2. She Suffers From Anxiety Attacks
After Zayn Malik came clean about his anxiety attacks, Rita was all too happy to spill the beans on her own secret. She, two, suffers with anxiety, and has been trying to keep it under control for her entire career. She sees a therapist once a week, and also keeps her entourage close to help her out when it all gets too much. She admits to sometimes being unable to go into the studio and record a track because of the anxiety it causes her. However, she stays strong in order to please her fans and stay on the path to success.
1. She Loves To Eat Hamburgers
One more thing you will need to know if you invite Rita over for dinner: she really loves hamburgers. Like, really, really loves them. So we think we’ve twigged the way to win her over: it’s got to be a massive hamburger or two, served up dripping in Tabasco sauce. That’s definitely the way to her heart! She does also admit to following a diet and exercise regime, however, so you should probably check first that it’s her cheat day – otherwise she won’t be fitting into any red carpet ball gowns next time there’s an awards ceremony for her to attend.