10 things you might not know about Rita Ora

This year’s MTV EMAs host is singer, actress and dancer Rita Ora. Here are 10 things you might not know about her.

Songstress Rita Ora is set to host this year's MTV EMAs which take place on November 12 at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

Glamorous, seductive and of course talented – Rita is also remarkably interesting. Don’t believe us? Here are 10 true facts about the pop singer and TV star.

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1. She was born in Kosovo

rita ora

She’s known as a British singer but Rita was actually born to Albanian parents in Pristina, SFR Yogoslavia in 1990, which is present day Kosovo. She and her family moved to London in 1991 when she was just one year old to escape the political disputes and unrest that still haunts the region today.

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Rita grew up near the famous Portobello Road in West London and went to school in Earl's Court before attending the renowned Sylvia Young Theatre School in Marylebone where she quickly developed a passion and talent for singing.

2. She’s named after Rita Hayworth

Rita is named after red-haired Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth. Hayworth is an iconic 40s and 50s actress who, like Rita, was a triple threat – she could sing, act and dance.

Rita Ora’s last name is actually Sahatçiu but her father added Ora to make their names easier to pronounce and spell in the UK.

3. She auditioned for Eurovision

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Rita may be an international pop superstar and a judge on two of the UK’s most popular shows in The Voice UK and the X Factor, but back in 2008 she planned to make it big on Eurovision.

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That year a teenage Rita auditioned for Eurovision: Your Country Needs You on BBC One. While she made it through the auditions, she quit just a few weeks into the show because she felt she wasn’t ready. Luckily this hasn’t hindered her career in the slightest.

4. She got her big break on YouTube

Much like Justin Bieber, Rita Ora started out as a YouTube sensation. She uploaded videos of her singing in the hopes she’d get noticed and luckily got spotted by DJ Fresh who was looking for an up and coming vocalist for his hit song Hot Right Now.

He found the one with Rita and Hot Right Now reached number one on the UK singles charts in February 2012, turning Rita into a star virtually overnight.

5. She loves the Spice Girls

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Don’t we all? But Rita really loves the Spice Girls and even says they are one of her biggest influences. She says the first album she ever bought was by The Spice Girls and her favourite member is Baby Spice. She even transformed and performed as Emma Bunton in full Baby Spice get up for ABC’s singing competition Boy Band this year.

6. She’s crazy about Tabasco sauce

Rita likes to add an extra kit to her food with flaming hot Tabasco sauce. She said during an interview with radio station Power 106 that she carries a bottle of the spicy sauce everywhere and that her favourite sandwich is one with bananas layered with a splash of Tabasco.

7. She has an incredible vocal range

Rita isn’t just a pop singer, she’s professionally trained and boasts a mezzo-soprano vocal range. In opera, mezzo-soprano level singers typically support main opera singers. Rita was vocally trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

8. She’s dated some famous dudes

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Rita has been linked with some very famous men. She infamously dated Rob Kardashian for almost a year between 2011 and 2012. Rob did not take their break-up well, and even claimed in a Tweet that she had cheated on him.

Rita has dated Bruno Mars, who she met when he was hired to be her songwriter, and has also been linked to Lewis Hamilton, Travis Barker, Wiz Khalifa, Chris Brown, Calvin Harris, Justin Bieber and Drake.

9. She has a feud with Rihanna

Rita is said to be frenemies with fellow pop star Rihanna. We’re not sure exactly why the two don’t like each other, but it is rumoured that Rihanna used her influence at Jay Z’s music label Roc Nation to put Rita Ora’s contract on the back-burner – which lead Rita to sue the label with the goal of being released from her record deal.

Things became even more complicated when both Rihanna and Rita became close friends with model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne – and Rihanna ultimately sided with Rihanna: the two co-starred in the 2017 science fiction movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

10. She’s an actress

rita ora actress fifty shades of grey

Rita has acted in several films and television series, most famously perhaps in the mega-successful Fifty Shades of Grey movies. She plays Christian’s sister Mia Grey but was mocked by critics and fans who were disappointed that she only seems to have a few lines in each of the movies.

The 2017 MTV EMAs at The SSE Arena, Wembley are on November 12 and will air on MTV as well as across the channel’s social media.

MTV is available to BT TV customers on channel 309/371 HD.

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