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Growing Success and 'Future Nostalgia'

At the 61st Grammy Awards in 2019, Lipa won Best New Artist. She also won a second Grammy that year: Best Dance Recording for “Electricity.”

Lipa’s second album, Future Nostalgia, was more personal than her debut release. She’d come up with the title while in Las Vegas, and had a writing credit on all the record’s songs. At the beginning of March 2020, Lipa was gearing up to release Future Nostalgia. Then the album leaked online just as the world was shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many other artists put their work on pause, but Lipa decided to release Future Nostalgia a week early.

Given the global crisis, Lipa was unsure about proceeding with the album release, though the leak had left her in a difficult position. Fortunately, her work was embraced by listeners. While Lipa had described her earlier songs as “dark pop,” this album was more dance-friendly. The tracks displayed a connection to music from the 1970s, ’80s and 90s, while also bearing up-to-date touches.

Dua Lipa Merch

Early Career and 'Dua Lipa' - Dua Lipa Merch

In London, Lipa studied at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, where she’d been a student before her family relocated to Kosovo. She also posted song covers on YouTube in an attempt to garner attention. “Deep down I wanted to have that Justin Bieber effect where someone would find me on YouTube!” she said in a 2020 interview.

Lipa earned money by working in a restaurant. She also signed with a modeling agency, believing it could boost her career. Yet because she wasn’t interested in losing weight as the agency wanted, few jobs materialized.

Still focused on music, Lipa shared songs on SoundCloud. Though she didn’t appear on the performance-focused reality show X-Factor, she did sing in a commercial for the show. In time, Lipa was offered a music publishing deal, which set off a fortuitous chain of events. Lipa contacted a lawyer for advice on the deal. The lawyer put her in touch with a manager, who also managed Lana Del Rey. Lipa ended up signing on with this manager.

In 2015, Lipa got a record deal. Her first single, “New Love,” came out that year. More songs followed, but her self-titled album didn’t arrive until 2017. That album’s singles had middling success until “New Rules” was released. The video for that blockbuster hit has been viewed more than two billion times on YouTube. Another single from the album, “IDGAF,” went platinum.

Growing fame resulted in some backlash for Lipa, such as being criticized for lackluster choreography in 2018. However, she took the comments in stride and used them as fuel for dance training sessions.

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