Rita Ora: It's critical that women fight ageism in music

Rita Ora says it's "critical" that women in the music industry support one another.
The 31-year-old pop star - who was locked in a fierce legal battle with Jay-Z's record label RocNation in 2015, which prevented her from releasing music for several years - has opened up about the ageism female artists face in the music business and how important it is that women work together to "change the narrative".
Speaking about supporting fellow pop star and friend Bebe Rexha, 32, who was told she was "too big" to be dressed for the Grammy Awards, the singer-and-actress told the March 2022 issue of ELLE Spain magazine - of which she is the cover star - that: "Being told what's appropriate and what's not is something most women in the music industry have experienced, myself included. Time and experience have taught me how critical it is for women to support each other in fighting issues like ageism. Our voices matter more than ever and we have the power to change the narrative."
The 'Fifty Shades Freed' star - who is dating filmmaker Taika Waititi - also preached about the importance of remembering you are only "human" when mistakes are made.
She said: "Regardless of who you are or what you do, we all tend to be hard on ourselves when we make mistakes. That's why it's basic to remember that we are human, and all we can do is learn from the past and move forward with a fresh perspective."
Rita's comments come after she issued an apology for breaching COVID-19 rules when she hosted a lavish birthday party in London in 2020.
The 'For You' singer - who breached the rules for a second time after returning home from a trip to Egypt - subsequently issued an apology via social media and volunteered to pay the maximum £10,000 fine for breaking the regulations.
Rita wrote on Instagram at the time: "Hello all, I attended a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday.
"It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK...
"I'm deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk. This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgement. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility."
Meanwhile, Rita recently inked a deal with BMG, which gave her ownership of her masters.
The 'Masked Singer' panellist, who uses music as an "emotional outlet", revealed that she has taken "more risks" on her upcoming third studio album.
She said of the follow-up to 2018's 'Phoenix': "I would say that with this third album I'm taking more risks. Already the 'Bang' EP was a great experiment, as I worked with new people and developed other kinds of sounds. So I'm continuing in that vein: taking a similar approach and pushing myself creatively."
Rita says fans can expect an uplifting collection of songs that are a "true reflection" of her life "at that moment".
She added: "It's about putting out music that is honest and true to who I am. Every piece I write and record is a reflection of me at that moment. So, if I succeed, I feel like I've accomplished what I set out to do. Now, I think we need a little bit of joy, this has been very hard. That's why I come up with songs that make me feel good and happy and that push us all to laugh and celebrate life, that you dance to and move to."