Tulisa Contostavlos is the most remarkable new star in the country today. She was an eleven-year-old school girl when her Uncle Byron offered her £20 to be the singer in a new band with son Dappy and his friend Fazer. She held out for £50 and started on a rollercoaster ride to fame that led to her becoming an ‘overnight’ sensation on The X Factor.


Tulisa is the first biography of a girl determined to leave behind a life in which underage sex, smoking weed, drinking cider and bullying were the norm. Her love of music and an unswerving desire to make money, buy a house of her own and drive a sports car provided her with the incentive to escape.

The UK’s leading celebrity biographer Sean Smith has discovered that behind the tough exterior and dazzling smile is a funny, loyal and sensitive young woman. He has travelled to the leafy streets of fashionable Belsize Park in North West London to uncover the truth about her upbringing, her relationship with her musician father, who left home when she was nine, and her mother who abandoned a singing career because of ongoing mental health problems but whom Tulisa says she loves ‘with all my heart.’

He tells the story of N-Dubz and their mentor ‘Uncle B’, who tragically died on the threshold of their success. They rose to become one of the most popular bands in the UK without ever capturing a mainstream audience, but their American adventure ended in disappointment.

Tulisa describes her failed love affairs, her mercurial relationship with controversial cousin Dappy, her sometime boyfriend Fazer and a cast of characters including Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder and Mr Hudson who make up the urban music scene she embraced. It relives her X Factor triumph as mentor to the winners Little Mix, her feud with fellow judge Kelly Rowland and her fashion triumphs and disasters.

Tulisa is the gripping and inspirational story of how a lonely and bullied young girl transformed herself into ‘The Female Boss’ – a role model for a generation.


“The old Hollywood view of becoming a star would show the young Tulisa as a happy little girl gazing out of her bedroom window at the heavens and dreaming of bouquets and applause. The reality was a lonely child, staring tearfully at her bedroom walls, worried sick about her mum and not knowing what to do.

They lived in Belsize Park, one of the pleasanter areas of North West London, two minutes from Haverstock Hill. If you turn right, you can walk past her primary school and on to Rosslyn Hill with all the inviting boutiques and chic coffee houses of Hampstead. If you turn left, you can gaze at the prison-like walls of Haverstock School before venturing on to the grim Denton Estate in Chalk Farm and the high-rise blocks of Camden Town. Why did Tulisa turn left?

Tulisa’s mother, Ann, was a singer and on good days would dance around the kitchen, serenading her little girl with her favourite songs from the forties – classics by The Andrews Sisters and Glenn Miller. Her father, Plato, was a professional keyboard player. Music was the family business just as much as if they owned a grocer’s shop or a plumbing business.”