New York (AFP) – Ready to launch an album after several years of reluctant silence, pop singer Rita Ora will return to her hometown of London to host the MTV Europe Music Awards in November.
The youth culture network announced Ora — a household name in Britain who has been trying to crack into the US top ranks — will lead the EMAs at Wembley Arena on November 12.
A self-proclaimed lifelong EMA viewer, Ora promised to put on a lively show. Like its main US-based counterpart — the MTV Video Music Awards — the EMAs are more closely watched for pop culture moments than for the actual winners.
The 26-year-old also told AFP she would perform a new song from her upcoming album — which she confirmed was finished and highly personal in subject matter.
Ora has topped the British charts with catchy hits such as “How We Do (Party),” an adaption of a track by slain rap legend The Notorious B.I.G.
In 2008, she looked set to break big in the United States when rap mogul Jay-Z signed her to his Roc Nation imprint.
But she later filed a lawsuit, saying Roc Nation had little time for her while the contract kept her from pursuing music on her own.
Her upcoming album, her second, will come out on major New York label Atlantic Records — and she called the work “lyrically driven.”
“I had a lot to write about,” Ora said.
“There was a lot of frustration and a lot of sadness — and happiness — as I couldn’t put out music for the past few years,” she said.
“There are moments when I’m really lashing out and there are moments where I’m really vulnerable.”
Ora added she was continually writing music even as she became known for on-screen roles — both on “The X Factor” and other television contest shows and in movies, including the erotic thriller “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
In May, Ora put out the album’s first track — “Your Song,” a giddy dance number co-written with Ed Sheeran on which she declares, “I don’t wanna hear sad songs anymore / I only wanna hear love songs.”
Ora will be the second consecutive host of Albanian descent. Bebe Rexha, the New York-born pop singer whose parents are Albanian, hosted last year’s EMAs in Rotterdam.
Born in Kosovo, Ora’s family moved to London when she was a toddler but she has enthusiastically embraced her heritage, serving as an honorary ambassador.
“I tend to really represent my country wherever I go,” Ora said. “I’ve always been very proud of where I’m from and where I was born.”