PLATINUM BLONDE POWERHOUSE Rita Ora  has been added to the bill of RedFestDXB, which comes to the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre this month.
The inaugural festival kicks off on Thursday, February 13 with four top British chart acts in pop diva Jessie J (replacing Ke$ha, who recently entered rehab for an eating disorder), rapper Tinie Tempah, tween sensation Conor Maynard and Marvin Humes from defunct boy band JLS, who will play a DJ set.
The following day will see Rita joining Colorado folk band The Lumineers, soul chart-topper John Newman, La La La hitmaker Naughty Boy and DJ supergroup Ayo (comprising Mark Ronson and Zane Lowe) onstage.
Rita, 23, was born in former Yugoslavia (now Kosovo) and came to London with her parents as a baby. Her big break came in 2009, when the aspiring star was signed to Jay Z’s label Roc Nation, and she has since released three UK number one singles: Hot Right Now with DJ Fresh, R.I.P. with Tinie Tempah and How We Do (Party).
The edgy pop singer, whose debut album Ora also topped the charts in 2012, has also transitioned into acting with roles in 90210, Fast & Furious 6 and the upcoming big screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, playing Christian’s sister Mia.
She last performed in Dubai on New Year’s Eve 2012 at Sandance , and spoke with City Times about subjects including working with Jay Z (“I play him things and he tells me his thoughts”), the dark side of fame (“It’s definitely a lot harder than you can prepare for”) and her early stage experiences (“I was Cinderella in my school play when I was seven”).
Tickets for Redfest DXB cost Dhs299 for single-day tickets and Dhs449 for two-day weekend tickets, and can be purchased from www.timeouttickets.com and at Virgin Megastores.
By Adam Zacharias.