Pop star Dua Lipa has been granted Albanian citizenship for spreading international awareness about the country.
Albanian President Bajram Begaj granted citizenship to the British singer born to Albanian immigrant parents on Sunday for her musical talent and contributions to the culture. "She has made us proud with her global career and engagement in important social causes," Begaj shared on Twitter.
The Grammy winner thanked Begaj and Erion Veliaj, the mayor of the capital of Tirana, for the honor in her own social media post.
The honor was bestowed ahead of Albania's 110th anniversary of independence from the Ottoman Empire, Begaj said. Lipa told Associated Press, "It is an indescribable great joy with such acceptance, love and everything."
Lipa was born in London to parents from Kosovo and her first language was Albanian. Her parents longed to return to Kosovo, and the family moved back when Lipa was the age of 11, she told NPR in April. "It took me a really long time to find my feet there," Lipa said. "It's interesting going into that at 11 years old, but I think I wouldn't change it for the world because it really helped me become who I am."
As she got older, though, the "Levitating" singer gravitated back to London. "When I was living in Kosovo from the age of 11 to 15 I loved doing music, but I just felt like there was no way that I could really cut through all the noise without being in a place where everything was happening," she said. "I felt like I needed to be in London to make my dream a reality. That's what I felt like I needed to do and where I needed to be."
Lipa is set to conclude her "Future Nostalgia" tour in Tirana on Monday.