Dua Lipa is aiming for longevity in her career, following in the footsteps of Madonna. She plans to peak in her 40s and then retire gracefully at 50!

SHE has rapidly become Britain’s biggest pop star, riding a wave of success in which everything she touches turns into a hit.

And Dua Lipa is determined to ensure her triumphant year is more than a flash in the pan.

In fact, the 24-year-old singer, now worth an estimated £16million thanks to her domination of the charts, has set her sights on emulating Madonna by peaking in her mid-forties — before putting her feet up and getting back into bad habits.

Though in a new interview, Dua admits she feared she would never make it in pop.

She even got a tattoo saying “Patience” to urge herself to keep sight of her goals ahead of a performance at Glastonbury three years ago, amid fears that nobody would turn up.

Now, after two best-selling albums, a string of Brit and Grammy Awards and a charity collaboration with Foo Fighters rock icon Dave Grohl, she says: “I want to do this for as long as I can.

“I feel like Madonna peaked at 40 or 45 and made the best pop album known, and she continues to kill it.

“Women, we can do it for as long as we want to. And then at some point I’ll retire with a couple of dogs and take up smoking again.”

She adds: “The success I’ve had is more than I ever imagined was possible. To be really honest, I never thought I would get this far.

“Not because I didn’t think I could, but because I didn’t know something like this was possible.

“Every time I went on stage was so exciting. At the Grammys, that moment, I sometimes have to watch it back to remember it, because when they called my name I felt like I blacked out.

“That’s why I got my tattoo, Patience, on my hand. It’s a reminder that everything takes time and you have to work really hard.

“It can be frustrating because you have to play the long game, you have to spend the hours in the studio and write.

“You have to try to beat your personal best and express yourself, because no matter how much you think you know, you are always coming up with better ways to explain yourself.”

The singer has now worked alongside some of the biggest names in the business, including recent charity single Times Like These, with stars including Dave Grohl and Chris Martin, which she helped to mastermind, and a hit collaboration with Calvin Harris, One Kiss.

She says: “Now I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I’ve always wanted to do music and it almost felt like my life depended on it.

“I wanted to do it so badly it was like, ‘I have to make this work’.

“Obviously there were times when the ball game was so big and you have to stand out in your own way. Those times were hard, but it worked out.”

The past two years have seen Dua break through from respected pop newcomer to mainstream star, dominating radio play and travelling the world — joking that last year she spent only 22 nights in her own bed in London due to her non-stop promotion schedule.

She has since bagged a string of awards, including three Brits and two Grammys.

She tells Chelcee Grimes’s What We Coulda Been podcast: “I definitely felt the pressure with the first record and felt like I needed to prove myself and to be like, ‘I write and these are my stories and this is what I want to say’.

“I was still thinking, ‘Can I do this?’ when I got up on stage at Glastonbury in 2017.

“My album had just come out and moments before I went on stage I looked out and there weren’t many people and I was like, ‘S***, maybe no one is going to show up’.

“Then the moment I went on stage, it was completely full and it was raining and people were still outside waiting and watching me, and I was like, ‘Maybe this could happen’!”

Dua says she celebrated her second album Future Nostalgia hitting No1 last month with a “couple of bottles of wine” as she FaceTimed her friends.

And she reveals she got so nervous when interviewed with Dave Grohl about their recent Radio 1 Live Lounge performance that she “buckled” and couldn’t get her words out.

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