In her cover story with UK’s Sunday Times magazine, pop star Rita Ora claimed Roc Nation discriminated against her as an artist because she’s a woman.
The 27-year-old filed a lawsuit against the record label back in 2015, accusing the company of neglect. "When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist," the complaint read at the time. "As Roc Nation's interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives. Rita's remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company."
In response to the lawsuit, Roc Nation countersued Ora for $2.4 million, but the case was later settled amicably in 2016.
The Jay Z-headed label signed Ora back in 2008, its first year of existence. At the time Ora was 18. The contract outlined a five-record deal, but the singer would only release one album, her self-titled 2012 debut, under Roc Nation before her lawsuit.
Ora claims things might have favored better for her under the label had she been a man. “I want to find the right word here, and maybe this is my interpretation, but I do feel I got discriminated against because I was a woman,” she told the Sunday Times. “I almost felt—maybe this is just my interpretation—I could have had a better chance if I’d been male.”
Despite the alleged discrimination and lawsuit, the singer seems to be doing well these days. She’s getting ready to release her sophomore album and head out on her sold out The Girls Tour. The singer’s business manager is now her older sister Elena.
“To be honest, I’d always wanted to become a household name [not just a pop singer], that was my dream,” Ora said.