With the UK being the home to over 67 million people — 52 thousand of those employed in the music industry, you might have caught yourself filled with curiosity about what Dua Lipa’s roots are. Is this famous star British?
Dua Lipa is British, though she was born to Albanian parents, Dukagjin Lipa and Anesa Lipa. She grew up between London and Kosovo throughout her childhood, and she currently resides in her home in London.
It still comes as a shock to people when they hear Dua Lipa’s British accent because, in many of her popular hits, her accent doesn’t stand out as British, but why does our accent change or disappear when we sing? How many British accents are there? Discover more on this below.
Accent vs. Dialect
As you might or might not know already, an accent is a way in which a person pronounces words and phrases.
But what’s a dialect, and how is a dialect different from an accent?
Unlike an accent, dialects encompass aspects of language such as pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, which the term accent doesn’t consider. Dialects are usually specific to a geographic location or country.
How are accents developed?
Accents are developed as a result of long-term exposure to a specific dialect in a geographic region. To gain an understanding of the groups someone has belonged to in their life, you should pay attention to their accent because a person’s accent can provide insight into this matter.
Some people claim that they have no accent, but there have been claims to the contrary. There are claims that there is no such thing as accent-less speech, so whoever you are, wherever you are – you have an accent!
You will often hear people refer to accents specific to those from the British Isles as British accents. This is not the best way to talk about their accents because, in the UK, there are a large number of dialects that exist, 37 to be precise. And in the world, there are 160 variants of the English dialect.
Some of the main British dialects include but are not limited to:
- Cockney – a dialect associated with the working-class citizens in London.
- Yorkshire – a dialect you’d hear in the county of Yorkshire, known as God’s Own Country, supposedly.
- Northern Irish – you’re likely to hear this dialect if you visit Northern Ireland and surrounding areas.
- Scottish – a dialect that’s similar to the Irish dialect, you’re likely to hear this one if you visit Scotland.
- Brummie – this dialect is for those who live in Birmingham. It’s the accent you might have heard in popular show Peaky Blinders.
- Scouse – a dialect attributed to Liverpool born folks. You’ll have heard the accent if you know the Liverpudlian band The Beatles.
The Disappearing Act: Why do accents disappear?
You might wonder why a singer’s accent doesn’t shine through in their songs, but there’s a simple answer to that one, and I’ve got it for you!
Singing accents become neutral because when we sing, our voices are more drawn out, and words sound more powerful, but also, air pressure is relevant too.
When learning to sing, we learn to control our breathing so we can hold notes and improve our vocals. Over time this expands our air passages resulting in the quality of sound differentiating from before.
When our air passage is expanded due to learning how to control breathing effectively, our regional accents disappear because the quality of sound produced is different, meaning that what we sing sounds utterly different to how we sound when we talk.
Dua Lipa’s British Accent
Dua Lipa has shocked many audiences with her British accent.
In fact, when she won an award at the Grammys, it sparked dismay on Twitter with one user posting: “How long has Dua Lipa been British?” She’s been British since 1995 last I checked!