ARTIST PROFILE

Rita Ora

Name: Rita Sahatçiu Ora

Birthday: 26 November 1990

Fav Dish: Hamburgers

Rita Sahatçiu Ora (born Rita Sahatçiu; 26 November 1990) is a British singer and actress.

Ora was born in Pristina, SFR Yugoslavia (present-day Kosovo), to Albanian parents. Her mother, Vera (née Bajraktari), is a psychiatrist, and her father, Besnik Sahatçiu, is an economist and a pub owner. Ora has an older sister, Elena (who is a part of her management team), and a younger brother, Don. She was born as Rita Sahatçiu surname derived from the Turkish word, saatçi, which means “watchmaker”), but her parents later added Ora (which means “time” in Albanian) to the family surname so it could be easily pronounced.

Her family left Kosovo for political reasons, because of the persecution of Albanians initiated with the disintegration of Yugoslavia. They relocated to London, England in 1991, when she was a year old. She grew up in Notting Hill, in West London, and attended St Cuthbert with St Matthias Primary School in Earls Court, following which she graduated from a performing arts school, Sylvia Young Theatre School. She began singing at an early age.

She rose to prominence in February 2012 when she featured on DJ Fresh’s single “Hot Right Now”, which reached number one in the UK. Her debut studio album, Ora, released in August 2012, debuted at number one in the United Kingdom. The album contained the UK number-one singles “R.I.P.” and “How We Do (Party)”. Ora was the artist with the most number-one singles on the UK Singles Chart in 2012, with three consecutive singles reaching the top position.

In January 2014, Adidas announced a designer collaboration with Ora for their brand, Adidas Originals. The two singles from her upcoming second studio album, “Your Song” and “Anywhere”, both reached the UK top-ten in 2017.

Ora speaks Albanian. Her mother is Catholic and her father is a nominal Muslim. When asked about her religion, Ora said that she does not consider herself religious, but “more of a spiritual person.” Ora considers herself a feminist.

Her maternal grandfather, Osman Bajraktari, was the Albanian consul to Russia (then part of the Soviet Union). Her paternal grandfather, Besim Sahatçiu, was a film and theatre director.

On 10 July 2015, Ora was named an Honorary Ambassador of Kosovo by the country’s president, Atifete Jahjaga, at the Embassy of Kosovo in London. Ora, who was joined at the ceremony by her parents, and former British Prime Minister and his wife, Tony and Cherie Blair, stated she was “overwhelmed” by the honour and pledged to help the youth of Kosovo.

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