Dua Lipa was born in London, England to ethnic Albanian parents who had emigrated there from Kosovo in the 1990s.
Her father is Albanian-Kosovar rock singer Dukagjin Lipa.
Dua Lipa's first name means "Love" in Albanian.
She was raised on her parents David Bowie and Bob Dylan LPs - but the first album she bought was by Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado. "I remember knowing every single one of the lyrics on that album before I hit year one at school," she recalled to BBC. "I was obsessed."
Dua developed her performing career on the school playground, where she would make up dance routines to Jamelia's "Superstar" and Ciara's "1, 2 Step" with her friends.
Dua Lipa had aspirations of becoming a singer from an early age but her dream seemed unlikely after her family returned to Kosovo when she was 11, calling time on Saturday classes at Sylvia Young Theatre School, where Rita Ora - herself an immigrant from Kosovo - also started out. "Music there was so different," Lipa told NME. "It just didn't compare to the pop stars I'd see on TV, like Britney Spears and Destiny's Child."
In Kosovo Lipa attended concerts by rappers like Method Man and Redman, 50 Cent and Chamillionaire. "I've always been obsessed with hip-hop," she told Billboard magazine. "I've wanted to take the honesty in the storytelling - of someone like J. Cole - to describe my own story."
Lipa began posting covers of her favourite songs by artists such as Christina Aguilera and Nelly Furtado on YouTube in her early teens. At the age of 15, she persuaded her parents she should return to London alone, so she could study full-time at Sylvia Young. "There was an older girl from Kosovo moving to London at the same time and my parents knew her parents, so they said I could live with her. Like a kind of guardian," Lipa recalled.
Though the two girls ended up sharing a flat in Kilburn, Lipa quickly had to learn to look after herself. "She was super-busy with her boyfriend and stressed with her studies, the Albanian songstress explained. "So I'd have lots of friends over all the time and I'd always be on FaceTime with my parents."
Her parents were worried that she'd decided to pursue music rather than attend university, yet within a year Lipa had signed with the management company that guided Lana Del Rey to fame. In August 2015 Lipa released her first single "New Love," which was helmed by Lana Del Rey producer Emile Haynie.
Lipa did some modelling shoots as a teen, but quickly left the business when she was told she'd have to lose weight to be successful. "I took the diet quite seriously for a couple of weeks and then I realized I was just making myself miserable," she admitted. "Because I don't really enjoy, like, thinking about every single thing. And I just f---ing like pizza, you know?"
Dua Lipa once crashed another pop star's show. She recalled to the BBC: "I invaded Katy Perry's stage at the Hammersmith Apollo, when she was doing the Teenage Dream
tour! She was singing I Wanna Dance With Somebody
and she was like, 'OK, who wants to get on stage with me?' and I made sure I got up. I climbed over everyone, over the barrier, up on the stage and dived around."
Dua Lipa told Billboard magazine: "A lot of [my] songs are songs to dance to, but if you really listen to the lyric, you can cry to them, too. I quite often refer to my music as 'dance-crying.'"
Dua Lipa was really short when she was young and took up basketball to try and make her taller. "I thought it would help me grow but it didn't," she recalled. "The second I quit, I did grow."
Speaking on the January 18, 2021 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Dua Lipa confessed that she is "quite superstitious" because of her Albanian heritage. She revealed there are several things she'll never do, such as wash clothes on a Friday or take out the trash at night.