Fifty Shades actress to host, sing at music awards

British singer and actress Rita Ora has also been nominated for the Best Look award at the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards

Multi-hyphenate Rita Ora acts, sings, models, hosts and has even tried her hand as a fashion designer.
Multi-hyphenate Rita Ora acts, sings, models, hosts and has even tried her hand as a fashion designer.PHOTO: REUTERS

British singer and actress Rita Ora will be back at the 2017 MTV EMAs (Europe Music Awards) and not just as the host either.

She is also in the running for Best Look, her ninth nomination at the awards which will take place in London's SSE Arena on Monday and will be telecast live on MTV Asia.

She is up against some of the biggest names in the pop music world today, including Taylor Swift and Harry Styles, but the Kosovo-born 26-year-old takes it all in her stride.

This is, after all, the artist who has modelled for brands such as Calvin Klein and Donna Karan, is regularly photographed on the red carpet and has paparazzi chasing her on the streets.

She also tried her hand at fashion design and has collaborated with sportswear giant Adidas and Italian fashion brand Tezenis.

"I love dressing up, I love going around, I love being experimental in my style. I think it's all about confidence and self-belief," the singer, known for British No. 1 hits such as How We Do (Party) (2012), R.I.P. (2012) and I Will Never Let You Down (2014), says of her fashion sense.

"It's also about your knowledge of fashion and just really, adapting to the same team. I've had my styling team for so long, we're dedicated to what we do. It's about dedication, belief and passion."

Ora, who stars in Hollywood erotic drama Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015) as well as its sequel Fifty Shades Darker (2017), will also be performing at the EMAs.

She released two new songs this year - Anywhere, which came out last month and Your Song, released in May.

The latter was co-written by British singer Ed Sheeran, who is in the running for four EMAs, including for Best Artist.

"It was fun working with Ed, it was like working with your best friend. He's a cool guy, so natural and so exciting. It didn't feel like work."

Both singles will be included in her upcoming and yet-to-be-titled sophomore album, which is expected to be released next year.

It will be her first full-length effort since Ora, her debut in 2012 which topped the British charts.

"It's a very positive album, it's all about my feelings and I've never been prouder of anything in my life. I'm proud of the lyrics and the growth I've had as a musician."

Ora, named honorary ambassador for the Republic of Kosovo in 2015, will be reprising her role as Mia Grey in Fifty Shades Freed, the final film in the Fifty Shades trilogy based on the popular book series. Set to be released in February, she is keeping mum about details of the film.

"Nothing, it's all under total privacy," she replies when asked what she can reveal about the movie.

Ora is also known for her television work. She was a judge on The X Factor UK in 2015 and took over as the host and judge from American model and presenter Tyra Banks on the most recent season of America's Next Top Model, which concluded in March.

Music is all that is on her mind for now though and she plans to do a global tour after her new album comes out. "I'm just really focused on my album at the moment."

• The 2017 MTV EMAs airs live on MTV Asia ( Singtel TV Channel 350 and StarHub Channel 533) on Monday, with the red carpet at 3am and main show at 4am. The repeat telecast airs on the same day, with the red carpet at 7pm and main show at 8pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline 'Fifty Shades actress to host, sing at music awards'. Subscribe