Rita Ora is delighted she pulled out of the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest as a teenager, because the decision set her on the path to success.
The British star auditioned to represent the U.K. at the annual international singing competition, which has launched the careers of ABBA, Celine Dion, and Julio Iglesias, but she pulled out after making the shortlist.
Ora was only 17 years old at the time and admits taking a huge step could have backfired but she is adamant sticking to her decision has benefited her career.
She tells British magazine Event, "I did it because I thought it was a chance to sing, but then I felt inside that it wasn't right for me. I was chosen to perform and sang Ain't No Sunshine in front of people like Andrew Lloyd Webber and got through to the next stage (of the auditions).
"I was incredibly nervous because I was just 17 and I was making this really big decision to pull out. Amazingly, the BBC producers were unbelievably kind and supportive, which made me feel more sure of myself artistically. I wasn't going because I had another option, I was going because it wasn't right."