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Rita Ora: I was put in care as a child

Published 26/10/2015

Rita Ora
Rita Ora

Musician Rita Ora has opened up about her harrowing start in the UK after fleeing Kosovo.

Singer Rita Ora and her sister were put straight into care when they fled Kosovo with their parents.

The star was just one year old and her sister Elena three when they left their home to escape war in the former Yugoslavia. But the family faced a devastating blow when the children were put into care while their status was assessed.

“We were sent straight to the children’s home, me and my sister, because my mum and dad were refugees and so were we," she explains in a candid new book, being serialised in Britain's The Sun newspaper.

Now 24, the singer went through a rebellious phase when she was a teenager, heading to booze-fuelled parties with her friends. Looking back, she can only imagine what her parents had gone through to give her a new life.

“I never realised how much they had to sacrifice," she admits. “I think my parents are the strongest people I’ve ever known. They made a life all over again, from scratch.”

Things got even harder when Rita's mother, who had beaten breast cancer before, was again diagnosed with the disease. The musician spiralled further out of control as she worried about her mum's health. She knew she wanted to sing but when her career didn't take off straight away, she wondered whether it would ever happen.

“It was just a moment in my life where it was, I either do something with my life or I just sit on this block and just sell weed with the rest of my friends," she writes.

“I just feel like the worst kid. I was, like, so bad in school and not knowing she had all that s**t to deal with when we were young. I had nothing to do with drugs but I was around it and in all honesty it’s an experience I don’t really wish on anybody.”

Thankfully everything changed when she was signed by Jay Z and now the star has hit singles such as Black Widow under her belt and is mentoring other hopefuls on The X Factor UK.

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