English pop singer Dua Lipa showcased a throwback vibe and a knack for catchy pop with soulful grit, much like Sia, Jessie J, or P!nk, and a slyly rebellious air like Charli XCX and Marina & the Diamonds. Born and raised in London to Kosovar-Albanian parents, the sultry-voiced Lipa attended Sylvia Young Theater School (Rita Ora, Amy Winehouse) until the age of 13, when she relocated to Kosovo with her family. However, the move wouldn’t last very long, and she was back in London by age 15, living on her own and pursuing a singing career. Her first demos were released in 2012, attracting the attention of Lana Del Rey’s management team, who signed her and linked her up with Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey, Bruno Mars).
Her shimmery debut single, “New Love,” was followed up with the soulful “Be the One.” Longlisted for the prestigious BBC’s Sound of 2016, Dua Lipa released “Hotter Than Hell” and “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” in 2016, coinciding with a tour throughout the spring and summer. While “Hotter Than Hell” went on to break the Top 20 in the U.K., in 2017 she earned the distinction of having three simultaneously charting singles in the U.K. Top 15 with “Be the One,” “Scared to Be Lonely” with Martin Garrix, and “No Lie” with Sean Paul. Dua Lipa, her debut full-length, arrived that summer. In addition to her previously released singles, the album included “Lost in Your Light,” a duet with Miguel. ~ Neil Z. Yeung