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Pop stars with Albanian roots conquer the world

Dua Lipa, Rita Ora, Ava Max, Bebe Rexha....

UNTIL RECENTLY the most famous ethnic Albanians were Mother Teresa (a nun who cared for orphans and lepers in India) and Enver Hoxha (a homicidal communist despot). Now to the saint and the sinner must be added the singers.

They are everywhere. Dua Lipa has 55m monthly listeners on Spotify, a music-streaming platform. Bebe Rexha has 24m. Rita Ora (pictured) has had five British number one singles and has been a judge on “the X Factor”. Era Istrefi sang at the football World Cup in 2018. Njomza Vitia, a singer-songwriter, and Labinot Gashi, a rapper, have global followings. Ava Max’s sexy single “Sweet but Psycho” is universally considered more fun than Hoxha’s literary offering, “Albania Challenges Khrushchev Revisionism”.

All these megastars of Albanian heritage except Ms Istrefi grew up in the diaspora. Ms Lipa, Ms Max, Ms Rexha and Ms Vitia were born, respectively, in London, Milwaukee, Brooklyn and near Stuttgart. Only Ms Max has roots in Albania itself; the rest are of Kosovar descent, save Ms Rexha, whose family come from North Macedonia.

Throughout history, says Dukagjin Lipa, Ms Lipa’s father, Albanians have been squashed, but the success of this generation of musicians shows that “given the chance, we excel.” The stars of the diaspora often perform back home, wrapping themselves in Kosovar or Albanian flags.

Besa Luci, editor of Kosovo 2.0, a magazine, says they clearly feel a need to represent the nation and in return earn an outpouring of love. “My heart bleeds Albanian blood,” said Ms Rexha on a visit to Albania. In July Ms Lipa courted controversy by tweeting a map associated with extreme Albanian nationalists showing a vast Greater Albania. She later said her post had been “misinterpreted”.

The parents of the stars who grew up abroad left the Balkans in the turbulent early 1990s. But it was not always a story of refugee rags to riches. The Ora and Lipa families were part of Kosovo’s elite. Both girls attended a top performing-arts school in London.

The pop stars, along with a clutch of Albanian footballers in top teams across Europe, play an “incredibly important role” in helping to change Albanians’ image from one of conflict, says Petrit Selimi, a former foreign minister of Kosovo. In 2016 an unusually demure Ms Ora performed in Rome to celebrate Mother Teresa’s canonisation.

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by Anonymousreply 37October 13, 2021 6:44 PM

...and talent-free.

by Anonymousreply 1October 9, 2020 11:37 PM

Why do Albanians give their girl children such weird fucking names?

by Anonymousreply 2October 9, 2020 11:39 PM

I have a name for an Albanian pop songstress - Talenta Les.

by Anonymousreply 3October 9, 2020 11:40 PM

my fav is Dingbok Fupa

by Anonymousreply 4October 9, 2020 11:40 PM

Are they all Muslims?

by Anonymousreply 5October 9, 2020 11:41 PM

Rita Ora is talentless but the others aren't

by Anonymousreply 6October 10, 2020 12:24 AM

Budalla Zuskë is a great singer

by Anonymousreply 7October 10, 2020 12:29 AM

Albanian once conquered my armpit hair. She quitted after conquer and won't come back. My Barron has to mow my armpit hair since she left.

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by Anonymousreply 8October 10, 2020 12:31 AM

"the most famous ethnic Albanians were Mother Teresa (a nun who cared for orphans and lepers in India) and Enver Hoxha"

We feel ignored.

by Anonymousreply 9October 10, 2020 12:52 AM

Also, most of them have gone platinum blonde.

I was a huge fan of Bebe Rexha before she became popular and it’s sad because she looked so much better brunette. But it seems most of them are following that same formula.

by Anonymousreply 10October 10, 2020 1:05 AM

Wasn't the Egyptian royal family of Albanian descent too?

by Anonymousreply 11October 10, 2020 1:20 AM

LMAO! These people are hardly "megastars". GFY!

by Anonymousreply 12October 10, 2020 1:20 AM

Maybe there’s an Albanian mob forcing their stars on the world a la Frank Sinatra.

by Anonymousreply 13October 10, 2020 1:22 AM

Rita Ora is not that famous.

by Anonymousreply 14October 10, 2020 1:22 AM

Albanians are wannabe Italians.

by Anonymousreply 15October 10, 2020 1:27 AM

Rita Oral does oral.

by Anonymousreply 16October 11, 2020 12:52 AM

R12, no those are Romanians

by Anonymousreply 17October 11, 2020 1:55 AM
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by Anonymousreply 18February 27, 2021 7:20 PM

The only one of these women with an actual career is Dua Lipa

by Anonymousreply 19February 27, 2021 7:29 PM

Albanian ladies is klassy and ellagint

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by Anonymousreply 20February 27, 2021 7:38 PM

Dua Lipa: cant sing, autotuned to the gills, decent songs, heavily produced and manufactured

Bebe Rexha: can sing but no charisma

Rita Ora: try hard, cant sing, zero charisma, annoying

AvaMax: stupid annoying songs, sounds exactly like Gaga

They all look dumb with their blonde hair and coloring. Kardashian version of pop singers.

by Anonymousreply 21February 27, 2021 7:41 PM

Rita Ora can sing her ass off. Idk wtf y'all talking about.

by Anonymousreply 22February 27, 2021 7:46 PM

Rita Whora. So thoroughly unliveable yet she clings on and on.

by Anonymousreply 23February 27, 2021 8:17 PM

They seem to have a bit of a hardened and cheap look to them though. But then again JLo amd Beyoncé look like street walkers these days so perhaps it’s a sign of the times

by Anonymousreply 24February 27, 2021 8:44 PM

When you wear too much makeup and wigs and you damage your hair you look hard. Women need to learn this.

by Anonymousreply 25February 27, 2021 10:01 PM

They look cheap.

by Anonymousreply 26October 13, 2021 3:11 AM

I think most of them are common prostitutes?

by Anonymousreply 27October 13, 2021 3:14 AM

Dua L:ipa's first hit:

"Albania! Albania!

Our love for you is a mania,

from our toes up to our crania!

Albania! Albania!"

by Anonymousreply 28October 13, 2021 3:28 AM

Albanians seem so mysterious to me, the more I read about them the more I dont understand. It's like they're half way between Greeks and Armenians, but not really.

by Anonymousreply 29October 13, 2021 4:23 AM

Their beauty queens bring the glamma but tend to be saddled with unfortunate-to-English-speakers names like Blerta and Fatbardha.

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by Anonymousreply 30October 13, 2021 5:17 AM

Albania - Number ONE in White-adjacent, zero-talent, pop-whores.

by Anonymousreply 31October 13, 2021 5:33 AM

That Drita woman from Mob Wives is Albanian.

by Anonymousreply 32October 13, 2021 5:40 AM

The Albanian mob makes The Mafia look like pussies. They're not wannabe anything.

by Anonymousreply 33October 13, 2021 5:43 AM

Don't look at me, I'm an actress. I played George Lopez' "Mexican" daughter

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by Anonymousreply 34October 13, 2021 5:20 PM

R30 is Fatbardha shaming!

by Anonymousreply 35October 13, 2021 6:03 PM

Labinot Gashi sounds very, um, "lady parts"-ish to me.

by Anonymousreply 36October 13, 2021 6:36 PM

I'm a huge fan of the Albanian boy band Coxha Fehmiu.

by Anonymousreply 37October 13, 2021 6:44 PM
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