Lipa was born on 22 August 1995 in London, to Albanian parents from Kosovo who had left Pristina in the 1990s. She attended Sylvia Young Theatre School part-time before moving to Kosovo with her family in 2008; there she attended the private school Mileniumi i Tretë in Pristina. Lipa grew up listening to her father, singer Dukagjin Lipa. Her first name means “love” in Albanian; its atypical nature was cause for distaste in her youth, but she grew to “enjoy” it, as it eventually eliminated the need for a stage name. Lipa lived with a family friend and studied at Parliament Hill School, returning to the Sylvia Young Theatre School on Saturdays. When she was 11 years old, her choir teacher even told her that she couldn’t sing. At the age of 16, she began working as a model. In 2013, at the age of 18, she starred in a television advertisement for The X Factor.
2015–2017: Breakthrough and Dua Lipa
In 2015, Lipa began working on her debut album for Warner Music Group. In August 2015, she released her first single “New Love”, produced by Emile Haynie and Andrew Wyatt. She released her second single “Be the One”, in October 2015. “Be the One” achieved success across Europe, reaching number one in Belgium, Poland, and Slovakia, as well as charting within the top 10 in over 11 European territories. In Australia and New Zealand, the song became an airplay success, reaching numbers 6 and 20 respectively. Lipa describes her musical style as “dark pop”. On 30 November 2015, she was revealed as one of the acts on the BBC Sound of…2016 long list. Her first tour in the UK and Europe began in January 2016. In November 2016, Lipa concluded her tour through Europe.
On 18 February 2016, Lipa released her third single “Last Dance”, followed by “Hotter than Hell” on 6 May. “Hotter Than Hell” became a hit worldwide, especially in the UK, where it peaked at number 15. On 26 August, her fifth overall single “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” was released, peaking at number 30 in the UK.It became the singer’s first entry on the US Billboard Hot 100, debuting at number 72. “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” also topped the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and reached number 23 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart.
In November 2016, Sean Paul released the single “No Lie” featuring Lipa. The song reached number 10 in the UK. In December 2016, a documentary about Lipa was commissioned by The Fader magazine, called See in Blue. In January 2017, Lipa released the single “Scared to Be Lonely” with Martin Garrix, reaching number 14 in the UK.
Her self-titled debut studio album was released on 2 June 2017. Its sixth single “New Rules”, released in the following month, became Lipa’s first number one in the UK, and the first by a female solo artist to reach the top in the UK since “Hello” by Adele in 2015. Her best-selling single to date, the song also charted in the top ten in other territories, including number 2 in Australia, number 6 in the US, and number 7 in Canada. Lipa performed at the Glastonbury Festival in June, attracting one of the biggest audiences at that year’s event. She performed on the BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland in October. In December, Lipa was named the most streamed woman of 2017 in the UK by Spotify. She had four singles reach the UK top 10 in 2017, with “Be the One”, “Bridge over Troubled Water” (a charity single arranged by Simon Cowell for the families of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in London), “New Rules” and “No Lie”.
In January 2018, Lipa received nominations in five categories at the Brit Awards – more nominations than any other artist that year. She was nominated for British Female Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act, MasterCard British Album of the Year (Dua Lipa), British Single of The Year (“New Rules”), and British Video of The Year (“New Rules”). This was the first time that a female artist had received five nominations. She performed at the awards ceremony held on 21 February at the O2 Arena in London and won the awards for British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. Lipa announced via social media that she had begun working on new material for her second album. In October Lipa deleted all of her posts on her social media accounts and days later announced that Don’t Start Now, the lead single from her sophomore album, would be out the following month. Upon its release is gained favorable reviews from music critics, with Lipa revealing that the song’s heavy disco influence will be found throughout her upcoming album. On November 13th she announced that the album cover had been shot that day and that a surprise was coming in December. On December 1st Lipa announced the album title as ‘Future Nostalgia’ and revealed that the album would be out early 2020. The following day she announced the EU leg of the Future Nostalgia Tour with more dates to follow. On December 12th Lipa dropped the title track as a thank you for her fans. The song was followed by a lyric video that was released four days later. Dua confirmed that she had picked out the album cover while on the Tonight Show on December 19th. The following month Lipa revealed on Instagram that the album cover was coming out by the end of January.
Lipa’s second single leading up to the release of the album was “Physical”. It was released on 30 January 2020 and the song’s music video was released a day later. Future Nostalgia was released on 27 March to widespread critical acclaim, following the release of the record’s third single “Break My Heart” on 25 March. The album peaked at number one on the Official UK Albums Chart the following week in April 2020. At the time of the album’s release, Lipa became the first British female artist since Vera Lynn to have three top-ten singles in a single calendar year, with Lynn having three in 1952. Lipa eventually overrode this record with the single “Levitating”, which also peaked within the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming her third top-ten in the US overall.
Lipa released a remix of “Levitating” featuring American artists Madonna and Missy Elliott. It served as the lead single from Club Future Nostalgia, a remix collection of Future Nostalgia tracks by The Blessed Madonna and Mark Ronson, which was released on 28 August. On 2 October 2020, Lipa released the second remix of “Levitating” featuring American rapper DaBaby; on the same day, Lipa released the music video for the second remix. Lipa and Belgian singer Angèle announced the release of their collaboration, “Fever”; it was released on 30 October 2020. It is included on the French re-release of Future Nostalgia. Lipa was featured on “Prisoner”, a song from Miley Cyrus’ seventh studio album Plastic Hearts. Future Nostalgia was the most streamed album by a woman (and fifth most streamed album overall) on Spotify in 2020.
On 11 February 2021, Lipa released a single titled “We’re Good”, along with Future Nostalgia: The Moonlight Edition.
The history is still being written......