Contostavlos is currently a judge on the The X Factor and mentored the "Groups" category in her first year including Little Mix, the first ever group to win the competition to date. Contostavlos will release her debut solo album in the summer of 2012. On 16 March 2012, during a Twitter dispute with Dappy, Contostavlos announced that N-Dubz had in fact split up and were not taking a break as stated in 2011.
Early life and Career beginnings
Contostavlos was born in Camden Town, North London, to an Irish mother, Anne Byrne (who, with her three sisters, was a member of the 1980s band Jeep) and a Greek Cypriot father, Steve Contostavlos (part of Mungo Jerry). When Tulisa was five, her mother, who has bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Contostavlos' father left the family home when Tulisa was 14 years old. She said that she was brought up in a 3 bedroom house and experienced a lot as a teenager: violence, depression, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, anorexia nervosa, mental health issues, financial difficulties and bullying.
At thirteen she was very emotional . She revealed that she twice tried to kill herself as a teenager and also used to self-harm to try to help her cope with everything she was going through. With support from her uncle, N-Dubz's former manager, Byron Contostavlos, at age 14 she enrolled at Haverstock Secondary School, later attending Quintin Kynaston School in St John's Wood, but she didn't sit her GCSE examinations.
2000–11: N-Dubz and group disbandment
Dappy and Fazer, who had already started rapping together, decided they wanted a female voice in the group, which was called the Lickle Rinsers Crew at the time, and so invited Contostavlos to be part of the group. They started performing together as a group around Camden from as young as twelve years old. For N-Dubz's second album, she did a solo song called "Comfortable". Performing as the Lickle Rinsers Crew, they released the singles "Bad Man Riddim" and "Life Is Getting Sicker by the Day", which became hits on English pirate radio stations. After Lickle Rinsers Crew, they then became NW1, after the area they hail from, making their first music video in 2005 for the track "Everyday Of My Life", which received airplay on Channel U, recording more demos as NW1 such as "Don't Feel Like Moving", "Girl On Road" and "Livin Broke". Their first single to be released was "You Better Not Waste My Time", which was available for download only until their 2006 self-released single, "I Swear", which gained them their first mainstream notice. It wasn't until 2007's "Feva Las Vegas" (also self-released) that the group appeared on the UK charts, peaking at No. 57. Each member appeared on the second series of Channel 4's Dubplate Drama after they began to get noticed as a group.
n May 2008, a song entitled "Ouch" surfaced along with a music video. The video for "Ouch" attracted over 4 million viewers on networking site YouTube in just over a month after release. On 6 August 2008, it was announced that the group had left Polydor Records and had signed to All Around the World records. The label predominantly specializes in dance music; however, they have occasionally released hip hop records such as Ice Cube's You Can Do It. The press release stated that the label would be releasing "Ouch" as the group's first single on the label in September 2008. The group's first album, Uncle B, was released on 17 November 2008. The album includes "You Better Not Waste My Time", "I Swear", "Feva Las Vegas", "Love for My Slums", "Ouch", "Defeat You" and "Papa Can You Hear Me?". "Strong Again" was touted as the third single to be released from the Uncle B album on 16 February 2009 and a music video was made, before the physical CD released of the song was cancelled for unknown reasons. The song charted for five weeks in the UK Singles Chart, peaking highest at number 24. Group member Dappy was featured in Tinchy Stryder's 2009 No. 1 single tentatively titled "Number 1", the video also featured cameo appearances from all N-Dubz's members. Due to the success of their debut album, the group embarked on their first headlining tour, Uncle B Tour. The tour was originally planned for 16 dates but due to high demand 5 extra dates were added. The tour was supported by Stevie Hoang and Tinchy Stryder with whom N-Dubz collaborated with on his No. 1 single "Number 1". The tour sold out within days. During one performance, Tulisa fainted on stage. Multiple news sources reported that it was due to suspected swine flu. The song "Wouldn't You" was then announced to be the seventh, and last, single to be released from the Uncle B debut album. The song was released digitally on 25 May 2009 and peaked at No. 64 in the UK.
The lead single from the group's second album titled "I Need You" was released on 9 November 2009 and charted at No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart. The album Against All Odds, was released on 16 November 2009, and charted at No. 6 in the UK Album Chart. The album went platinum within approximately 2 months of release. The second single, "Playing with Fire" features R&B/pop musician, Mr Hudson. The song reached No. 15 in the UK Charts on album downloads alone; however, when the single was released, it fell to No. 16, reaching a new peak at No. 14 the week after. The music video for the third single taken from the album, "Say It's Over", was released on 5 March 2010 on Channel AKA. It was announced that the single will be released on 25 April, it reached No. 27 on album downloads alone before the single was released. In late 2009, N-Dubz announced that they will tour their current album, Against All Odds in spring 2010, making it their third tour in two years, starting on 31 March and finishing on 20 April. It included 17 shows with supporting acts Skepta, Talay Riley and Ultra. On 1 April 2010, they released their first book, N-Dubz – Against All Odds: From Street Life to Chart Life, which they described as "the answer to the critics, there is a lot of bad press about N-Dubz at the moment and this is going to put the record straight about who we really are and what we're about!", saying they want to put "everything out there", and Fazer also adding "It's going to surprise you!". The book also gives access to a secret N-Dubz website.
The group filmed a 6 part documentary, Being... N-Dubz, which premiered on 21 June 2010 on 4Music, and was later renewed for a second series in 2011. After much speculation, it was confirmed that US label Def Jam signed the group. The first release was the album Love.Live.Life, N-Dubz's third studio album. It was released in the UK on 29 November 2010. The group began recording the album following the success of Against All Odds. "We Dance On" was released on May 20, 2010, as the album's lead single. It peaked at #5 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was also included on the soundtrack to the film Streetdance 3D. "Best Behaviour" was released on October 17, 2010 as the second single from the album. It peaked at 10 in both the UK and Scotland, and became a top 40 hit in Ireland. The song also appears on Skepta's album Doin' It Again. "Girls" was released as the album's third single on December 12, 2010. It peaked at 19 on the UK Singles Chart. A fourth track from the album, "So Alive" was released as single on February 6, 2011. Five singles were released from Love.Live.Life. The first, "We Dance On", had previously been released in May 2010 from the StreetDance soundtrack. On 1 September 2010, N-Dubz announced via Facebook that their first new single from the album would be "Best Behaviour", which was eventually released on 17 October. The music video premiered on Channel AKA and Clubland TV on 8 September and was uploaded on YouTube by AATW Records later that day. The final three singles from Love. Life. Live were "Girls", "So Alive" and "Morning Star". Love. Life. Live became N-Dubz' third platinum selling album.
2011–present: The X Factor and debut solo album
In August 2011, it emerged that N-Dubz had parted company with record label Def Jam, stating that they were "Never going to co-operate with them when they decided to change what we are". With Tulisa taking up a role as a judge on eighth series of The X Factor and Dappy releasing his solo single "No Regrets", N-Dubz' gig on 18 September 2011 was described as "their final gig for the foreseeable future".
On 30 May 2011, Tulisa was confirmed as a judge for the eighth series of The X Factor, alongside Louis Walsh, Kelly Rowland and Gary Barlow. The first public auditions began on 23 June 2011, with the new judging panel being sighted together for the first time. Contostavlos mentored the Groups category and mentored 2 Shoes, Nu Vibe, The Risk, and Rhythmix (later renamed Little Mix) during the live shows. After three out of four of her acts were eliminated in the first five weeks of the competition, Constostavlos was left with Little Mix. The group then went on to become the most successful girl band in The X Factor history, having avoided the final showdown every week and winning the show in the process, making them the first group to do so in the show's eight year history.
In 2011, Tulisa confirmed that she had started work on a solo album that would be released on 17 September 2012. The first single to be released from the album was "Young". The promo video for "Young" was filmed on 2 March in Miami. On 29 April 2012, "Young" was released as part of a remixes EP, which charted at number five on the Irish Singles Chart and number 1 in the UK. On 16 March 2012 during a Twitter row with her cousin and bandmate Dappy, it was alleged that N-dubz had split after he decided to cut off communications with the group members. But the pair eventually reconciled on June 28.
Contostavlos was named at number 15 in FHM's '100 Sexiest Women in the World list' in the May 2010 issue. The singer received the top ranking in FHM's May 2012 issue.
On July 20, 2012, Contostavlos announced that her second single, "Live It Up", featuring Tyga, will get its premiere on July 24. The song is set to be released on September 9, 2012.