British singer, songwriter and actress

Tula Paulinea Contostavlos (born 13 July 1988),[1] known as Tulisa, is a English singer, songwriter, actress and television personality of Greek and Irish ancestry. She was a member of the Camden-based hip hop group N-Dubz. Tulisa was also a judge on The X Factor.

Background information
Birth nameTula Paulinea Contostavlos
Born (1988-07-13) 13 July 1988 (age 36)
Camden, London, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
  • television personality
Years active2000–present



Tula Paulinea Contostavlos was born on 13 July 1988[1] in Camden Town, London. When Contostavlos was five, her mother, who has bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.[2] The 2010 BBC programme, Tulisa: My Mum and Me, described Contostavlos' life looking after her mother before joining N-Dubz.[3]

On 9 March 2020, Contostavlos revealed she suffered from Bell's palsy.[4]



Her Irish mother, Anne Byrne, was born in Churchtown, Dublin. Anne and her three sisters were in a 1980's big band and swing group, called Jeep.[5][6] Contostavlos' father, Plato Contostavlos, is Greek-Cypriot and at one time was keyboardist with Mungo Jerry.[7] Plato's brother, Byron Contostavlos, was bassist with Mungo Jerry and later became the manager of N-Dubz.[8]



Tulisa was in the band N-Dubz with her cousin Dappy and their friend Fazer. The group became very popular. Tulisa was a celebrity judge on The X Factor in 2011 and 2012. She mentored the "Groups" category in 2011. They included Little Mix, the first group to win the competition. Tulisa returned to the show in 2014 because Mel B was ill.

As a singer, Contostavlos has recorded three studio albums with N-Dubz, Uncle B (2008), Against All Odds (2009) and Love.Live.Life (2010). In 2011, she started work on a solo album. In 2012 it was released. The Female Boss got a lot of bad reviews and didn't chart well. Three singles were released from the album. The first single, "Young", entered the UK Singles Chart at number one.

In 2022, N-Dubz went on a reunion tour. They have also appeared on Celebrity Gogglebox together since 2023.

Drug trial


In June 2013, Costostavlos, along with rapper Mike GLC were arrested on suspicion of supplying class A drugs.[9][10] In July 2014, Contostavlos' trial for supplying cocaine ended because it was discovered that the journalist who accused her, Mazher Mahmood, had lied to the court.

In July 2014, she made a documentary about her time during the trial named Tulisa: The Price of Fame, which premiered on BBC Three to a moderate success, attracting 615,000 viewers (3.8% of the audience within its time slot).[11] In April 2015, Justice Nicholas Kearns, President of the Irish High Court, described her as having been "cruelly deceived in a shabby sting operation", but dismissed her attempt to sue the Irish Sun for defamation.[12]

After the collapse of her drug trial, The Guardian's Suzanne Moore wrote an article on Contostavlos image and reputation and wrote that "Tulisa is famously a working class girl made good, though of course made good is never what she is allowed to be".[13] In Moore's opinion, "Tulisa has been branded by the media as a chav and therefore almost anything can be said about her".[13]




Year Title Role Notes
2007–2009 Dubplate Drama Laurissa Series 2–3
2010 Tulisa: My Mum & Me Herself
2010–2011 Being... N-Dubz Documentary
2011 Before They Were Dubz Documentary
Big Fat Gypsy Gangster Shaniqua
Demons Never Die Amber
2011 & 2012 The X Factor Judge
2014 Guest Judge Temporary replacement for ill Mel B
2011–2012, 2014 The Xtra Factor Herself The X Factor spin-off
2014 Tulisa: The Price of Fame Documentary
2016 Hoff The Record Cameo appearance
TBA Diva Sista C Film in development


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Tulisa". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  2. "Three Programmes – Tulisa: My Mum and Me, 10 August 2010". BBC. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  3. "Tulisa – My Mum & Me Review: I Need You". Channelhopping.onthebox.com. 10 August 2010. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  4. Rosseinsky, Katie (9 March 2020). "Tulisa reveals she has Bell's Palsy as she discusses cruel trolling over her appearance". Evening Standard. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  5. Vondrau, Melanie. The Truth About Tulisa Contostavlos: Her Childhood & Early Years: Kindle Edition. BookBaby. ISBN 9781483501079.
  6. "From 1940s' jazz to Donal Lunny: singer's musical Irish family had that 'X factor'". Irish Independent. 29 September 2012. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  7. "X Factor Tulisa's dad - I'm so proud of my girl...but she's not from the ghetto". Trinity Mirror. 5 June 2011. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  8. "Talking Shop:N Dubz". BBC. 19 October 2007. Archived from the original on 5 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  9. Tulisa arrested
  10. Tulisa arrested: Friend Mike GLC insists star has "not done anything" and "truth will come out"
  11. "Tulisa: The Price of Fame - 615,000 viewers watch intimate documentary". Daily Mirror. 29 July 2014. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  12. "Tulisa loses High Court defamation bid against the Irish Sun". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 15 April 2015. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015. The High Court President, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said Tulisa Contostavlos, had been "cruelly deceived in a shabby sting operation" and there was no doubt it had caused her grave upset. But he said he was astounded that a more rapid reaction to initiate legal proceedings did not take place. He said he was satisfied that there should be no extension of time for the case. It is understood the singer, who was not present in court, is now considering appealing the High Court decision.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Moore, Suzanne (28 July 2014). "If Tulisa Contostavlos were middle class, she wouldn't face such scorn". The Guardian.

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