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Jay-Z on Rita Ora: ‘You Can See the Potential’

Jay-Z, Rita Ora
VEVO / Tim Whitby, Getty Images

Jay-Z is happy with the progression of his new Roc Nation signee Rita Ora. The pop newbie has scored her second No. 1 U.K. single ‘R.I.P.’ (Featuring Tinie Tempah) and is currently opening for Coldplay on their European tour. Not bad for the 21-year-old London native.

Three years ago, when Rita was 18 years old, she had to auditioned for her boss Jay-Z to join his label Roc Nation. Obviously, she nailed the audition, but what did Hov see in the young songbird back then?

“You can see the potential,” Jay-Z explains in the latest video of Rita Ora’s VEVO LIFT series. “When she enters a room it changes — and that presence, you can’t duplicate that, especially at a young age. It was just infectious to me, like, ‘Man, she loves this.’ She’s driven in that way.”

Jay also reflected on the first time he saw Ora perform. “The first time I truly saw her on stage was at the Cartier event in New York City,” he recalls. “To have that sort of stage presence and that sort of energy — the music went off and she still was like — she still wanted to go. She jumped off the stage at one point and was dancing with the crowd. It was a great moment.”

“She has that bit of punk rock feeling to her which I love,” he added.

Speaking of love, Ora recently garnered some love from her presumed rival — Rihanna. The ‘How Do We Party’ singer tweeted a photo of her getting a smooch on the cheek by Ri-Ri during Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s ‘Watch the Throne’ tour this past weekend.

Yep, it’s official. Everybody loves Rita Ora.

Watch Jay-Z Talk About Rita Ora

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