Dua Lipa says she wanted to provide some much-needed relief during the coronavirus crisis, as she hits yet another high note in her career with the Music Award at the 2020 Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar.
Britain’s biggest pop star admits she wrestled with the dilemma of whether or not to release her shiny-as-a-mirrorball second album, Future Nostalgia, at the beginning of lockdown – before deciding it might just be the musical medicine we needed (‘Don’t Start Now’ Miss Rona, indeed).
“2020 has been such a surreal year. I had literally the best time performing at Mardi Gras in Sydney at the start of the year – it’s crazy to think that at one point we were all celebrating together. Then suddenly it’s like someone pulled the plug,” Dua begins in her acceptance speech as we launch the Attitude Awards issue, out to download and to order globally from 1 December.
“Those first few weeks when COVID really took hold were so confusing. It was such a difficult decision to put out music during the pandemic, but I decided I would because I hoped that this record would make people happy and provide some light in a dark time. I really hope it did, because God we needed that.”
Oh, it did, babes, no doubt about it.
All things considered, Dua – who received her accolade from go-to collaborator Mark Ronson – has absolutely bossed 2020. Some might say it has been a, ahem, Lipa year in more ways than one.
Dua wears top and trousers by JW Anderson, shoes by Amina Muaddi (Photography: Jonas Bresnan)
Future Nostalgia shimmied to number one in the UK charts; her dazzling virtual extravaganza, Studio 2054, featured guest appearances from the likes of Sir Elton John, Kylie Minogue and Miley Cyrus; and she recently scored six Grammy nominations, including for best album and song.
However, the cherry on top (we’re sure) was Dua’s Attitude December issue front cover and story, in which she reflects on her growing status as a gay icon and bona fide ally.
“I fight because I feel that love is universal and there should be free expression of it, in whatever your heart desires,” she says, in until-now-unpublished excerpts from the interview.
Dua – who memorably praised the “bravery” of her LGBTQ fans, after being moved to tears when concertgoers waving rainbow flags were forcibly removed from her show in Shanghai in 2018 – also relives her headline performance at Mardi Gras alongside Sam Smith and Kesha - her final gig before the pandemic struck.
(Photography: Markus Bidaux)
“I’m so happy that that was the last thing I did because it lingered in my mind for so long,” she beams. “Sweaty people… glitter… cool outfits… there was so much love and good energy in the room.”
The chart-topper was less loose-lipped, understandably so, when asked about her next record. “I don’t know what [era] of music yet,” she teases. “But I’ve started doing research.”
So long as there is another relatable banger about enjoying “good pipe in the moonlight”, the gays will be happy...