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LA Times: Dua Lipa is pop's new superstar. She's also a bit of a mystery

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When Dua Lipa was 15 years old, she left her parents and two younger siblings behind in the family’s native Kosovo and moved more or less on her own to London.

The plan, at least as understood by her mom and dad (who’d only agreed to it because she’d be rooming with the older daughter of a family friend), was to finish high school and then enter university. By the time Lipa graduated, though, she’d turned her focus to music, posting covers online and recording hooky originals she co-wrote while supporting herself as a hostess at a Mexican joint in London’s Soho neighborhood.

“I kept telling my parents, if I take a gap year, then I don’t have to pay off my university debt,” the singer says today with a laugh.

Asked how long she was willing to stretch that gap year — how long she was prepared to grind in the hopes of becoming a pop star — she smiles as though amused by the misconception that she’d been struggling.

“That was a great life — I was working in a restaurant, I was partying all night, then I’d wake up in the morning and go to the studio,” she says. “I had so much fun.”

A decade after she set out from home, it’s tempting to think she was right. Last year, Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” — a sophomore LP full of sticky vocal melodies, shimmering guitar licks and crazy-funky bass lines — topped the U.K. album chart and was certified gold in the U.S. “Don’t Start Now,” the project’s disco-throwback lead single, has been streamed nearly 2 billion times on Spotify and YouTube.


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