When the 24-year-old British Albanian pop star sings at the 87th Academy Awards in Los Angeles tomorrow night, she will be watched by more than a billion people.
Rita was born into an Albanian family as Rita Sahatciu in Pristina, Kosovo, in 1990 at a time when Albanians were being oppressed by dictator Slobodan Milosevic
Rita Ora is set to add another sensational chapter to her life story – a tale that is worthy of an Oscar-winning film.
Following her role in hit film Fifty Shades of Grey, Hollywood giant Harvey Weinstein has hailed her as the “biggest discovery of the year”.
And according to a report out on Friday, The Voice star was the world’s highest-earning singer last year as she banked £30million – and could be worth as much as £100million, reports the Sunday People.
Her family could not have imagined how her life would unfold as they fled to the UK from Kosovo with her when she was a year old.
Landing the chance to sing her hit Grateful at the Dolby Theater ceremony tonight is something she has told pals “makes her life complete”.
One friend said: “She is so touched that she is getting to perform at the Oscars, it is the best thing that happened to her.
“Money is obviously important but singing is what she loves doing and being able to do that in front of so many people at the biggest showbusiness event in the world is such an honour to her.”
And as the accolades roll in, the star insists the secret to her success is simple – she never takes no for an answer.
Rita said: “I’ve been told ‘no’ so many times in my career. It doesn’t mean its over.
“I can remember every single ‘no’ I’ve been told in my life. They do not leave my brain but they build you up.”
Rita demonstrated her determination when she heard there was a role going as Christian Grey’s sister Mia in Fifty Shades, approaching the director and working to hone her American accent.
She said: “I heard about the audition and I approached Sam Taylor-Johnson with ideas for the soundtrack and said I’d love to be involved as I was such a fan of the book.
“And then Sam said ‘Well, why don’t you audition?’ and I said, ‘Sure, I’ve got a few song ideas, I could send them over. I’ve done a bit of acting but I didn’t expect to be put into that role, I thought ‘what have I got to lose?’
“There were a lot of people in the frame and I didn’t get any special treatment.
“I perfected my American accent, one thing led to another and I got it.”
Rita is now the toast of Hollywood and producer Weinstein has just cast her in upcoming film Southpaw.
She has been mingling with icons such as Meryl Streep and has a string of showbiz pals.
On Friday she wowed at designer Tom Ford’s fashion show, where she sat with celebs including John Legend, Jason Statham and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
And last night she was expected to be one of the A-list guests at Weinstein’s pre-Oscars party.
This evening marks the pinnacle of an incredible journey.
Rita was born into an Albanian family as Rita Sahatciu in Pristina, Kosovo, in 1990 at a time when Albanians were being oppressed by dictator Slobodan Milosevic.
She was named after film legend Rita Hayworth, while the family surname means “watchmaker”.
er pub owner dad Besnik added the name Ora, meaning “hour”, as he thought it was easier to pronounce.
Her grandad, Besim Sahatciu, was one of Yugoslavia’s top directors. Mum Vera is a psychiatrist.
The family fled to Britain when Rita was one and settled in West London, near Portobello Road.
She went to St Cuthbert with St Matthias CE Primary School in Earl’s Court before enrolling in the Sylvia Young Theatre School, where past pupils include Amy Winehouse and Spice Girl Emma Bunton.
Rita, who has an older sister called Elena and a younger brother called Don, started performing at open mic sessions in London and at her dad’s pub.
She came to the attention of Craig David and was on one of his records before auditioning for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Eurovision show, Your Country Needs You in 2009.
However, she pulled out because she didn’t feel ready.
Rita then caught the eye of DJ Fresh, who wanted a singer for Hot Right Now. It became a huge hit and at 18 she was snapped up by Jay Z’s Roc Nation label.
Sources close to the singer, who is dating fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger’s son Ricky, say she has amassed her fortune by investing in shares, property holdings, her London burger restaurant Fat Ora Burger, football team Pristina Angels and her vodka brand Pure Wonderora.
She raked in millions from high-profile advertising campaigns with Donna Karan, Roberto Cavalli, Marks & Spencer and Calvin Klein, and designed her own range with Adidas.
Rita has also designed a make-up range for Rimmel and the BBC paid her £500,000 to judge on The Voice.
Bosses credit her with turning around a few years of decline on the show as ratings are now up to around nine million viewers – and they have asked her back next year.
Newly revealed figures covering the 12 months before the R.I.P. singer joined The Voice reveal that her company Ora Multi Services Ltd now boasts assets in excess of £2.5million, which look set to double in 2015.
The outfit also has a healthy cash reserve of £1,853,055 – more than three times the £612,000 of 2013.
A second company covering her music career, during which she has notched four UK number one singles and a chart-topping album, has yet to file accounts.
Topping her UK chart success, Rita has now cracked the US.
Black Widow hit number two in the Billboard charts and she has had other top five hits.
A source said: “The past year has been sensational. This has gone beyond anybody’s expectations, she has literally not stopped working.
“The Voice already want her back because the ratings have been so high and Hollywood is excited about her.
“Rita has rocketed into the limelight and has been a breath of fresh air on The Voice. It’s no wonder she’s earning a fortune at the moment.”
Originally published here: