Rita Ora has joked she has been crushing on Justin Timberlake since “she was born”.

The singer is gearing up to attend the BRIT Awards in London tomorrow, where she has been nominated for the best British single and best British breakthrough act prizes.

She is excited about attending, especially after hearing Justin will be taking to the stage now he’s making his musical comeback.

“I have fancied Justin since, like, when I was born. Or at least since the *NSYNC days,” she laughed. “I’m a massive fan. Oh my God, he is just so cool.”

Justin recorded his new track Suit & Tie with Rita’s mentor Jay-Z.

Rita has two tracks in the running for the best British single, R.I.P. and her song with DJ Fresh Hot Right Now. She can’t believe how much things have changed for her over the last 12 months.

“Last year was my first BRITs. I loved it, sitting on a table and watching the show,” she recalled to British newspaper The Sun.

“But I was just observing that day and learning a lot. It’s going to be different this year. I’m really excited and nervous because I’m nominated.

“Being up for best breakthrough is incredible, so fingers crossed.”

The star isn’t thinking too much about what she’ll do if she wins a trophy. Although she’d love to be victorious, she isn’t sure it will happen for her.

“I try not to think about it too much because I don’t want to jinx it. To win would be a great achievement for me and my fans, but we’ll see,” she explained.

She is competing against Alt J, Ben Howard, Jake Bugg and Jessie Ware for the British breakthrough act gong. In the best British single category, Rita is vying against acts including Adele, Robbie Williams, Coldplay and Rihanna and Jessie J.

Taylor Swift is up for the best international solo artist prize against the likes of Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Cat Power and Lana del Ray. She can’t believe she received the nomination and is thrilled to have been accepted by fans in the UK.

However, she thinks she will always worry about what critics make of her tracks.

“With music critics that I respect, I know every one of them has a different idea of what they want from me now,” she said. “So that’s what I get nervous about — that people will like this album [Red] in general and see it positively, that I’ve decided to evolve and work with different people and work outside of my comfort zone.

“I love a really great pop melody that will get stuck in your head. I’ve come to appreciate hookyness as a specific art form.”