The definitive ranking of Rita Ora’s biggest ever bangers
Never been more jealous of Love Islanders in my life
I’m not sure what timeline we’re all living in right now, but its the one where Rita Ora is going into the Love Island villa to sing some bops for Islanders. Gone are the days of Joel Corry and Becky Hill, who find their usual slot in the sin bin whilst Ne-Yo and actually-pretty-great British pop icon Rita Ora. I will defend The Ora til the end of time, because not only is it camp that she’s literally nobody’s favourite pop star, she actually has a reputation for being a lovely person and a consistent maker of bangers. in honour of those bangers, here are the biggest Rita Ora hits ranked from worst to best.
22. Body On Me (feat. Chris Brown)
I do not acknowledge the existence of the man in brackets.
21. Girls (feat. Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX and … Cardi B)
Nope, not a fever dream – a cultural regret that actually happened. We all deserve awards for living through this hell because you had to be braver than the marines to survive it. As a Charli XCX stan I was in the trenches. Worse still, I used to pretend it was a massive banger to save face. Dark times. Hanging head in shame.
20. How To Be Lonely
Literally the most boring song on earth. Lewis Capaldi has a writing credit on it, but you’d be forgiven for having never heard it because it made zero ripples in the pop culture sphere at all. Unfortunately released at the same time CeeLo Green turned up on the red carpet in a gold mask and, alas, the comparisons of Rita’s artwork for this song with Green’s getup were unshakeable.
19. Only Want You
A single on the tail end of the Phoenix era that couldn’t be saved from its generic production and uninspired chorus. Even giving it a single release with 6LACK on didn’t make things better.
18. Black Widow (with Iggy Azalea)
Black Widow was everywhere in 2014, when the world was in its Iggy Azalea era. Rita hops on to belt the chorus out and give us a pretty half arsed prechorus before that, but the entire thing hasn’t aged as well as Kill Bill, the classic Tarantino film the music video for Black Widow pays homage to. Sounds carbon dated.
17. Big (feat. Gunna, David Guetta and Imanbek)
Rita Ora’s completely random 2021 EP ushered in a bewildering era of her career. The EP is dance led but hollow, and the Axel F sampling Bang Bang is the silliest of the lot. Big slaps your tits, though – even if it only exists to live on your running playlist.
16. Doing It (with Charli XCX)
There was this random time where Charli XCX and Rita Ora were kinda besties. Rita’s hopped on the VIP mix of After The Afterparty, as well as Girls – on which we’ll say no more about for everyone’s sakes. Best and biggest of the bunch is Charli’s Sucker single Doing It, which is arguably the most generic she’s ever sounded but her and Rita sound like their having a blast and if you catch me in the right mood I admittedly love it. Best bit of the whole track is in the final moments; “XCX, with the R-I-T-AYYYY”.
15. Coming Home (with Sigma)
If this was released in 2023, we’d have to endure Becky Hill or Ella Henderson on lead vocal.
14. RIP (feat. Tinie Tempah)
Of all the Rita Ora tunes ranked here, RIP takes the title of being the first song I’d ever heard by Rita Ora. And you know what? It still bangs. Tinie and Rita have great chemistry, and whilst it’s very of the time you can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic for this early 10s sound in British pop.
13. Lonely Together (with Avicii)
A progressive house banger with the late Avicii, Lonely Together is a solidly done dance feature from Rita that proves its worth because I used to have to listen to this for every single shift I did in retail in 2017 and I STILL like it.
12. You Only Love Me
“Rita, it’s me” coos Taika Waititi at the start of You Only Love Me, the muted lead single from Rita’s not even a week old third studio album You & I. I call it muted because this song has pretty much zero wow factor, but still manages to have milked at least 50 streams out of me this year and that simply must count for something. Generic but great in equal measure. Give Taika a verse next time you cowards!
11. Don’t Think Twice
The third single from You & I, and it’s a BANGER. Zara Larsson-esque strings and a tit slapping UK Garage beat that’s been cruelly overlooked by the general public. It’s a bit too similar to Leigh-Anne Pinnock’s debut solo single Don’t Say Love which came out just a few weeks prior to it, which I don’t think helped its fortunes.
Not sure what Rita Ora was going for when she decided she wanted to be depicted as Bomb Voyage from The Incredibles on the single artwork for Poison, but since we aren’t getting her ranked on those matters I will put it out of mind and just say that once you get past the insufferable lyrics “I could have beer for breakfast, my sanity for lunch” you’re treated to a pretty belting pop song.
There was a time when Anywhere was my most streamed song on Spotify of all time. OF ALL TIME. I loved this song with every fibre of my being. The choppy instrumental chorus breakdown? I truly believed pop music had peaked. I campaigned hard to get this song to win the Popjustice Music Prize of which I have judged on many times – and I got my wish. Do I still love it as much now? No, I think it’s aged like curdled milk on a hot summer’s day. But I still have a soft spot for it and think it deserves a top 10 placement.
8. For You (with Liam Payne)
A song for the Fifty Shades film franchise featuring Liam fucking Payne has no business at all being as perfect a pop song as this is. Like, how dare it, actually? This is the same film franchise that managed to get Taylor Swift doing a song with Zayn Malik, though, so there we are. This song absolutely SOARS. It’s gorgeous? It’s euphoric? It’s pop perfection?
7. Ritual (with Tiesto and Jonas Blue)
Another dance feature that goes harder than it literally has any right to, Ritual is simply a call to arms. It is a belt at the top of your lungs, scream-a-long kind of track that I can’t do a workout without blasting. One of my favourite songs of 2019 and I say that unironically.
6. Let You Love Me
The coolest song on Phoenix is this banger, which features production from easyFUN – one of the greatest musicians in the PC Music collective. A big smash at the time, but one I feel has fell under the radar in recent yours. I’m dragging it back from the dead. The chorus is one of her greatest vocals.
5. Praising You (feat. Fatboy Slim)
I know, I know. We all have sampling fatigue. Every pop song under the sun in the last few years has heavily sampled a dance classic from the 90s or 00s. I said I was done with it, but then Rita Ora dropped the Praise You sampling banger Praising You – a monster banger that should have been number one from the moment it released earlier this year and still should be in the top five right now. The chorus speaks for itself, but her lyricism is so much fun and the melody on the verse scratches my ear in the most delicious way. Justice for Praising You.
4. How We Do (Party)
The sugariest, poppiest, girliest song on the Rita Ora catalogue. Her first ever lead single, a UK number one, and one of the most nostalgic Rita Ora songs ranked here by quite a mile. It has a Disney feel to it, like an early Miley or Demi track. It’s cheesy, but that chorus is irresistible and I know for a FACT if I put this on at any pre drinks every gay on the room would get their silly little life.
3. Hot Right Now (with DJ Fresh)
DJ Fresh deserves a knighthood for services to pop music for Gold Dust and Hot Right Now, back to back bangers that have aged like a fine wine. How anyone could listen to this song and not want to dump their boyfriend, put their fittest outfit on and go and get sweaty on a dirty dance floor is beyond me. Rammer.
2. Your Song
This is Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You but for gay people.
1. I Will Never Let You Down
A Calvin Harris produced unrelenting one way ascent to pop heaven. The biggest Rita Ora detractors will say she’s boring. They’ll say she has no identity. They’ll tweet “I’ve never met a Rita Ora fan.” To those people, I press play on I Will Never Let You Down and watch their faces light up in that way only perfect pop music can make a face light up. The combination of Calvin Harris’ pen, production fingers and Rita’s radiant vocals made this a stone cold classic from the moment it dropped. Nearly 10 years later, it remains her best song – a career definer.
Every Rita Ora song ranked here is streaming everywhere now. Love Island 2023 is on ITV2 and ITVX. For all the latest Love Island news and gossip and for the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook.
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Rita Ora ranked article featured image courtesy of ITV.