Dua Lipa was born on 22 August 1995 in London, the firstborn child of Kosovo Albanian, Dukagjin Lipa and Anesa Lipa. They are from Pristina.
Lipa was influenced by the taste in music of her father, who was the lead singer and guitarist of the Kosovan rock band Oda,which split up in 1998 after the release of their last album, 1998. Dukagjin continued to play at home, including his own compositions and popular songs by artists such as David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Sting, The Police and Stereophonics. In this family environment, she started singing at the age of five.The following year she discovered new sources of inspiration from her first records, Whoa, Nelly! by Nelly Furtado and Missundaztood by Pink, which she described as “a significant part of her life” and which hold “special meaning” for her, as well as Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Schoolboy Q, ASAP Rocky, Prince, Blondie, Jamiroquai, Moloko, Missy Elliott and Madonna.
She attended Fitzjohn’s Primary School, where her music lessons included the cello, though she found it unsuitable due to her small stature. When she auditioned to enter the school choir, she was rejected because her voice was “too low” to reach the high notes and the teacher told her that “she could not sing”. At the age of nine, she began weekend singing lessons at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, where her teacher, Ray, who helped her develop her vocal skills as well as discovering her desire to become a singer. She claimed that when she was 9 years old “he saw something” in her and made her sing in front of older students, which increased her self-confidence. At the age of eleven, after finishing primary school, she and her family moved back to Pristina after Kosovo declared independence.
Her move to the capital of Kosovo was motivated by the work destination of her father, Dukagjin, a marketing entrepreneur, who–shortly after settling in Pristina, specifically in the Bregu i Diellit neighborhood where he had grown up–founded a communications agency for marketing. Lipa looked forward to the move and, upon arrival in Kosovo, she was “fascinated” by the feeling of “community” and “safeness” she perceived from the capital. The adaptation process that she developed was also positive and she soon managed to feel good in her new residence, as she had the support of several acquaintances of her mother who frequently came to visit them in London together with their children, with whom they asked go to the same school what made her parents feel more “comfortable”.
Lipa did not have much difficulty with the local language either, because Albanian is her first language and she spoke it at home with her parents since she was a child, although she could not write or read it fluently. She stressed that the city “it’s way safer” than London because she could walk alone to school without being accompanied by adults. She attended the Mileniumi i Tretе school in Pristina, where she learned more about the Albanian language and participated in various concert activities that helped her reaffirm her idea of starting a musical career. She was also put in a class with children two years older than her because students in Kosovo start school later than in United Kingdom. She learned about the Kosovo War, since although her family was not so affected, it was not the case with her classmates and closest friends whose situation she described as “really sad” and “horrible”.
By the time Lipa arrived in Kosovo, she coincided with the arrival of rap artists from North America who were performing in the country, thus she was also influenced by this style of music. Additionally, her father was also involved in the production of several of those concerts through his job at a telecommunications agency, therefore the first concert that she attended was the one by Method Man & Redman. She also had the opportunity to attend concerts by Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, and 50 Cent of whom she was particularly enthusiastic at the time and described his performance as the most memorable she ever attended. Her time in Kosovo was decisive in determining that the small scope of the music industry that Kosovo had did not satisfy the type of music career that she wanted to start and she did not feel possibilities of being able to launch music there, because she wanted to have her musical beginnings in a “global scale” and therefore she decided travel to London.
Since releasing their first single in 2015, Dua Lipa has become one of the hottest young music artists in the world. Her self-titled debut album closed 6 million worldwide sales, with singles sales reaching 80 million, with the video for the exploding hit “New Rules” (the song that changed my life, she says) making her the youngest female solo artist, reached one billion views on YouTube.
She wrote a history of the BRIT Awards in 2018 as the first female artist to garner five nominations, with two wins for British Breakthrough Artist and British Female Solo Artist.
She then received two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Dance Record for Electricity, her collaboration with Silk City next year. At the end of 2019, Dua presented the number 1 global hit single “Don’t Start Now“ at the MTV EMA, ARIA and AMA Awards, leading to the release of her latest album Future Nostalgia.
Her second record came out in March 2020 and surpassed 294 million streams in its first week and exceeded 6 billion streams of all tracks. “Future Nostalgia” was nominated for 6 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year & Best Pop Vocal, and also holds the record for most listened album in a day by a British female artist.
Dua is the most listened to British artist on Spotify globally and the most listened to female artist on the platform. She also has the longest presence of 3 tracks in the top 10 by a female artist since 1955, and the album spent 26 weeks in the top 10 after its release.