By Ashley Spencer
J-14 had the chance to catch Rita Ora's private showcase concert at New York's Gramercy Theater on Tuesday night. And while the "How We Do (Party)" and "R.I.P." singer won us over long ago when we first chatted with her, we fell even more in love watching her perform live. Rita ran through the crowd giving hugs and high fives, took time to personally get to know her fans and show her love for NYC, and even brought a couple of lucky supporters onstage to help close out the show with a confetti-filled rendition of "How We Do (Party)."
You can download Rita's single "How We Do (Party)" now on iTunes, and keep an eye out for her debut album due out later this year.
Need more proof that 21-year-old Rita Ora is one of the hottest stars on the rise? Here are four (of many!) reasons why Rita totally rocks:
1. She has killer style.
Rita owns her unique fashion sense -- think Gwen Stefani meets Rihanna meets 100 percent original Rita (At our concert, she rocked an embellished blazer, sequined miniskirt, cutoff graphic tee, and a beanie handmade by a fan in the audience!). "I think that clothes are another form of showing your personality, and there should never be any rules for fashion because you live for yourself," Rita tells J-14.
2. She got her start singing at school.
"I joined the choir in my school but I never thought about the fame part," Rita tells J-14. "My mom and dad never knocked down my dreams." Rita was eventually discovered in 2009 by rapper Jay-Z who signed her to his Roc Nation label -- the same group that manages Rihanna, Shakira, and Willow Smith! Now Rita's toured with Coldplay and calls Beyonce her pal. She's also rumored to have dated Rob Kardashian and Drake.
3. She can nail any song.
Rita's pop and urban vibes on her singles are just one side of the multi-talented star. She wowed us with a chill live cover of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" and calls classic artists some of her biggest influences. "I love everything from No Doubt to Eric Clapton to B.B. King," Rita tells J-14. "My music is like a pinch of soil from like all these different lands of what I've listened to."
4. She's down-to-earth.
One of the things we love most about Rita is her genuine humility. No matter how famous Rita gets, she always stays sweet, honest, and true to herself. Her Kosovo-Albanian family fled the then conflict-torn southeastern European country when she was just a toddler in the early 1990s, but Rita's never forgotten her roots. She speaks fluent Albanian and even gave a special shout out to her homeland at her showcase, saying, "I want to thank all my Albanian fans because I wouldn't be where I am today without them."
Check out J-14's exclusive clip of Rita Ora's "Somebody That I Used To Know" cover:
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Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records