Diane Warren Is Shocked That Rita Ora Hasn't Promoted Their Song


The OG songwriter Diane Warren penned a record for Beyond the Lights called “Grateful,” which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. Unfortunately, Warren is upset that the song’s performer Rita Ora hasn’t promoted it on social media.

You can spot the sentiment in these statements from Warren, who twice makes it clear that Ora wasn’t her first choice to record “Grateful.” She’s happy Rita agreed to do the song and all—which, again, wasn’t her call—but she wishes Ora would have sent out a few tweets in support. Warren told The Huffington Post:

“Gina [Prince-Bythewood], the director, wanted Rita to do it. Had I known there wouldn’t be a lot of support, had I known she would have only tweeted about it once … you know? She sang it great, but it’s a little frustrating.”

Warren has celebrated the win on Twitter:

Warren also says she was looking to shoot a music video for “Grateful” but got no response from Ora:

“I have to be really honest, I don’t want to be a jerk or anything, but had I known about this lack of support, there are other artists I’m working with that — if it had been up to me — I would have gone with. She sang it great! But, come on. How on earth are you not wanting to [promote it]… I don’t get it. Everybody around me, we’re all shocked.”

Is this petty on Warren’s end or just a reasonable business gripe? This social-promotion issue comes up a lot in the entertainment industry—artists and actors are sensitive about turning over their timelines to promo with no compensation. Beyond the Lights itself, a great movie, was minimally promoted. HuffPost reports:

Relativity Media, which released Beyond the Lights, reportedly didn’t send out awards screeners. Warren herself had to pay for trade ads promoting her work. (“I said I’m going to bet on myself. I might not have any shot whatsoever, but I will always bet on myself,” she said. “I’m good bet.”) Even Rita Ora, who sings “Grateful,” has largely ignored the song’s existence.

Sadly, typical. The default music-business marketing model right now is essentially: Do your own damn promotion. You could say Rita needs it. But this is a case where she recorded a song for a movie, not a personal project, and one that she probably has little stakes in, other than it being an opportunity to further extend her brand. Warren is the one nominated for the Oscar. Can’t blame Ora for not going all the way in on social media. That said, she has made an effort to tweet about her Brit Awards nomination and you’d think an Oscar is major enough to get excited about.

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