Timeline: How pop star Rita Ora went from 'who?' to Oscar nominee

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Rita Ora: She’s like clouds on an overcast day when it doesn't rain. Not really bad, per se. Omnipresent and vaguely annoying, but also harmless.

Poor Ora can’t seem to catch a break. We're reminded that she’s there, floating around in the pop-culture ether, but no one we know really loves her or even understands what she does. (Spin put it a little more harshly in a recent story, asking in a headline, “Why does everybody hate Rita Ora?”)

We absolutely don’t hate Rita Ora – we love someone who appreciates a good, harsh bleached bob and who refuses to try to fake natural beauty. (Slay, Rita, slay with that unapologetically done-up look!) But, still, what does she even do? How did she become a thing? We know she’s a pop star, kinda, and into fashion, kinda – but she hasn’t really had any of her own pop hits in this country, and she doesn’t really design high fashion stuff herself.


And yet, she remains, cute but mysterious. What is her personality? What is her personal brand? In some ways, she feels like a cousin of Jessie J, another U.K.-created pop star who just kinda got pushed on us until we acquiesced and allowed her to sit at the table.

But Rita’s got one up on Jessie, now, because not only will she be performing at the 2015 Oscars, she’ll be performing the song for which she received an Oscar nomination. How exactly did we go from talking about her manicures to inviting her up on one of the biggest pop-culture stages?

Here, then, for everyone who wondered, is a detailed timeline of how Rita Ora became a Thing.


Arielle Castillo is Fusion's culture editor, reporting on arts, music, culture, and subcultures from the streets on up. She's also a connoisseur of weird Florida, weightlifting, and cats.

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