Rita Oras controversies from being banned to sing to breaking rules

Dancing on Ice: Rita Ora performs ‘Bang Bang’

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Rita Ora has since gone on to become a global success with her music, but it’s not just her songs that have garnered attention. Over the years, the 32-year-old has had her fair share of controversial moments, including her headline-grabbing break-up from ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris, 38, to breaking lockdown rules for her 30th birthday.

Calvin Harris break-up

Rita Ora and Calvin Harris dated for a year in 2013.

In 2014, she released her song I Will Never Let You Down, which was written and produced by the Scottish musician.

Following their split, Rita said Calvin had banned her from singing the song at the Teen Choice Awards and therefore had to pull the plug on her performance with short notice.

Calvin later tweeted: “You’ll only know 1 side of the story RE Teen choice awards because I choose not to talk to the papers about every aspect of my personal life.

“But just know I had a damn good reason.”

The pair eventually put their differences aside in 2016.

This week, he addressed a rumour that he was behind Rita’s second Roc Nation album not being released.

He tweeted: “Entire thing is a myth, there is one unreleased song I worked on and it isn’t good.”

‘I’m not Becky’

Rita Ora’s name was one of many thrown into the mix accused of being “Becky with the good hair”.

For context, Beyonce took aim at a mystery woman named Becky in her hit song Hold Up.

She sang the line: “He only want me when I’m not there, he better call Becky with the good hair.”

The lyrics certainly caused a lot of speculation with many believing a mistress may have been involved in her marriage.

At the Met Gala 2016, Rita wore a clip which read, “I’m not Becky” as she poked fun at the speculation.

That evening, she also posed with Beyonce, which put an end to rumours they had also fallen out.

The song’s main writer Diana Gordon later confirmed “Becky” was in fact fictional. 

Breaking lockdown rules

In 2020, Rita hit the headlines for going against strict quarantine rules for her 30th birthday party.

At Notting Hill’s Casa Cruz, the singer was joined by more than 30 people to celebrate the special occasion.

After being caught out, she voluntarily paid a £10,000 fine and issued an apology. 

In a statement at the time, she said: “It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK… I’m deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk.

“This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgement. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.”

She went on to say: “I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first-hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe.

“Even though this won’t make it right, I want to sincerely apologise.”

Another rule break

The singer attended her birthday bash a one week after she jetted off to Cairo to perform at the five-star W Hotel by private jet.

She returned the next day and, under Government quarantine rules at the time, should have isolated for 14 days.

Rita released another statement apologising for her errors.

She said: I recently flew to Egypt to perform at a corporate even for a private company, where my travel party followed protocol and presented negative Covid tests upon entry, as required by Egyptian authorities.

“Upon my return to Britain, I should have followed government advice and isolated myself for the required period. As you know, I didn’t follow government advice and for that I apologised earlier this week. I apologise again, unreservedly.

“While I realise the apologetic words of a pop star might not carry much weight, especially one who has broken the rules like I have, I do realise that some might seek to follow my example. My message to them is simple: Please don’t.”

She continued: “The guilt and shame I’ve carried this week for my mistake aren’t worth it. Instead, continue to listen to the government advice and the voices of the heroes of the NHS and take the required precautions. I will take the criticisms coming my way because I deserve them.”

Feud with Rihanna

In tonight’s interview with Louis Theroux, Rita shut down claims she has an issue with Rihanna.

Both singers were signed to Jay Z’s record label Roc Nation, but Rita took them to court in 2015 asking to be released from her contract early claiming they neglected her.

Roc Nation filed a counter claim for $2.3m (£1.9m), saying that she hadn’t released enough music, before they eventually settled the case.

Speaking to Louis, she said: “I was recording for two or three years straight. There was a whole moment that was about to happen, I recorded a music video and they scrapped it. I felt really disappointed like I’d let them down.”

He went on to say: “It’s been reported that all the music was going to Rihanna – she was obviously the most established artist – she was getting first refusal on all the music and she’d sit on songs that had been written.

“Either way, the result was you couldn’t get a look at it and she had a problem with you.”

Rita replied: “I can’t speak for other people but I think publicly they always put women against each other. I’ve been nothing but a fan and respectful of her and I always will be.”

Watch the interview with Louis Theroux tonight on BBC Two at 9.30pm.

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