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Two of the biggest pop stars in the universe
are about to go into battle.
The power voice of Adele versus the king of grime, Dizzee Rascal.
There can only be one winner, so stay right here.
I'm Amberley Lobo and this is Pop Slam!
Going head-to-head, we've got...
-# Bonkers... #
# Some people think I'm bonkers... #
The east London rapper, grime MC, writer and producer.
As UK rappers go, he is as big as there is.
But how will he do against...
# We could have had it all... #
She's got one killer voice and can write songs that make grown men cry.
This is going to be one epic Pop Slam!
So, whose team are you on?
Team Dizzee or Team Adele?
I'll be hitting the road to find out everything there is to know
about their superstar lives
and to see who deserves to win the coolest prize in pop - the Ambo.
There's only one way to win the Ambo
and that's by gaining as many of my Ambo points as possible.
I'll be dishing them out over three slamming rounds of pop-osity,
where I meet the people who knew the stars back in the day,
then I check out how hard they've been working.
And finally I scrutinise their style.
All before the big moment.
The winner of the Ambo is...
Now, you might not agree with the outcome,
and, if not, go to the CBBC website and have your say.
But seriously, who would you choose?
I mean, Adele arguably has the best voice in pop
and Dizzee is an awesome rapper. I mean, I'm about as confused as you.
There's only one way to sort it. It's time for Pop Slam!
Round one, Pop Potential.
This is all about how our stars made it.
# Fix up, look sharp... #
Dizzee may be one of the biggest UK rappers in the world nowadays,
but before that he was a bit of a rascal
and he grew up right here, in Bow in east London.
# You graze me with your cold shoulder... #
And then there's Adele. Years before she became a colossal superstar,
she grew up in a few places in and around London Town.
So, just how did Dizzee and Adele
become the superstars they are today?
I'm gonna find out.
# Stress on the brain complain to the full
# Stress on the brain complain to the max
# I'm gonna search for big money stacks... #
This is Bow, east London, where Dylan Mills, aka Dizzee Rascal,
spend most of his youth.
In fact, he spend a lot more time around here than
he actually did at school.
And that's the type of thing that will get you expelled - and it did.
Dylan got expelled four times.
But while he was struggling with his schooling, a new type of music
was taking off around Bow, which saw Dylan become a music superstar.
This is how Dylan Mills became the biggest grime MC in the world.
# He's just a rascal Just a rascal... #
# He's just a rascal Dizzee Rascal... #
In the early 2000s,
grime was the coolest underground music in east London.
# He's just a rascal Just a rascal... #
He may be living the high life nowadays, but when
he was growing up, things for young Dylan Mills were very different.
# So you can try anything you want I definitely don't mind... #
Life for Dylan was pretty hard as a teenager.
He grew up here and his mum worked two jobs
to keep him out of trouble.
# Blood, don't make me get old school... #
But that was a tough task. After being kicked out of a few schools,
Dylan finally ended up somewhere that didn't give up on him.
This is Langdon Park School. And it's here where he discovered
one class that he absolutely loved - maths.
Ah, it was music!
In fact, music was the only class he was allowed in and this was
taught by someone who changed Dylan's life forever - Tim Smith.
And I caught up with him to get the lowdown.
What he was like in a classroom environment?
Initially he walked in the classroom, hood up,
a bit withdrawn but he was like an outcast.
So he came in, kept his head down and got on.
# And if it's on top you know I got that... #
He came to Langdon Park clearly with some skills already
but maybe not so much opportunity or time or something like that.
It was quite...quite exciting from the word go,
that this was something different.
# The sun's the biggest star in the sky
# But naturally it's gotta make room for the moon every night... #
Dizzee actually thanked you on his first album. How did that feel?
I was gobsmacked.
I was... I felt so humbled that he would thank me for...
I think the expression was "keeping the faith even when times got grim."
They did get grim from time to time for him at school.
But we had some good times, and fabulous memories.
Did you think when he was in the classroom, sitting there
with his music, that he was going to just blow up and become massive?
I'm really genuinely proud that he's moved on and changed, evolved,
and I've been teaching now 37 years.
I've never come across such raw talent.
I've never come across a student who knew where
he wanted to take that talent.
# Blood, don't make me get old school... #
Although he had been a troublemaker and struggled at school,
with the help of Mr Smith, Dylan had found his calling - music.
Have five Ambo points for turning your life around.
# Fix up, look sharp... #
Dylan became known as Dizzee Rascal, and was creating a name for himself
by emceeing on underground radio stations and at raves.
He got signed to a record label and released his first album,
Boy In Da Corner, in 2003.
But he was still pretty underground
until he got nominated for a Mercury Music Prize.
# I got the big beat... #
The Mercury Prize is one of the mega-important awards in music
and usually won by super-serious artists.
# They're trying to see if Dizzee stays true to his grammar... #
Dizzee was up against Coldplay and Radiohead,
two of the biggest bands in the world.
If you are nominated for a Mercury Music Prize,
all of a sudden people pay more attention to your music.
The winner of the 2003 Mercury Music Prize is...
When Dizzee won it, and won it over the people that were the favourites
to win it, I think immediately everybody was like, who is this guy?
We need to find out who this guy is.
And, immediately, it was all eyes on Dizzee Rascal.
I just want to thank God, I want to thank my mum, my family, everyone.
Remember to support British talent cos it's there.
Yes, man, big up all the Bow E3 crew, East London crew, London, stand up,
England, UK talent. Watch out.
What a winner. That's two Ambo points coming your way, Mr Rascal.
Soon Dizzee had become the most talked about rapper in ages.
So from then it was all number ones, multiplatinum records
and private jets, right? Well, not quite.
See, it actually took six years of hard work and three albums
later before the big bucks actually started to kick in.
And for that he needed a Scottish producer and asked us
to dance with him.
Oh, Dizzee, I thought you'd never ask.
SHE HUMS THE TUNE TO "DANCE WIV ME"
# I see you glance at me That's why I'm askin', B
# So let's party, B Come and dance wiv me... #
Dizzee teamed up with smash hit maker Calvin Harris to produce
the single Dance Wiv Me, and it was Dizzee's first number one.
# Get away from the bar
# Tell your boyfriend hold your jar and dance wiv me. #
Dizzee had finally broke into the big time and became one of
Britain's biggest male solo artists, but that was only the start for him.
Elsewhere in London, Adele was on her way.
Let's find out how she made it big.
# Round my hometown
# Memories are fresh
# Round my hometown
# Oooh, the people I've met... #
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was just a normal London girl
who loved to sing Spice Girls in her bedroom.
So how did she become the record-breaking worldwide
megastar we know and love today?
# Are the wonders of my world... #
Before Adele hit the big time, she hung out here,
on Portobello Road, dreaming of becoming a pop star.
But there was one other place that really helped her make it.
# Short skirts, shorts and shades... #
In her early teens, she got into the Brit School,
which is a performing arts school where loads of megastars go.
Imagine sharing a school with Jessie J and Leona Lewis,
cos that's exactly what happened to Adele.
It was at the Brit School that Adele learned
to write songs, but she still hadn't quite found her sound.
It wasn't until she bought a couple of albums by Etta James...
# Something told me
# It was over, babe... #
..and Ella Fitzgerald...
# Dream a little dream of me... #
..that she found the soulful voice that made her famous today.
# No, there's nothing that I wouldn't do
# To make you feel my love... #
So Adele had the voice and all she needed was the songs
and that's where this place comes in.
This is the very place where Adele signed her record contract,
but this pub is it so important to Adele's story for other reasons too.
# I could hold you for a million years
# To make you feel my love. #
Every singer dreams of the moment they get offered a record contract
and usually that comes from being super-talented
and working really hard. But for Adele it came much easier,
not that she's not talented or hard-working.
You see, one of her friends posted some of her music online
and someone from XL Recordings saw it and offered her a contract.
Boom - it was that easy.
But Adele needed some inspiration for her writing.
And right on cue, she broke up with her boyfriend.
A little bit sad, but she had her writing material
and started writing right here in this pub.
# I've made up my mind
# Don't need to think it over
# If I'm wrong I am right
# Don't need to look no further
# This ain't lust
# I know
# This is love, but... #
No-one knows how to write a song like she does.
-No-one can tell your story better than yourself.
With Adele it's her story.
# And that's exactly what I need to do... #
The album that took her international was very, very honest
and it was about a break-up with an ex-boyfriend
and everybody can kind of relate to breaking up with someone
and a bit of heartache and she was honest enough to put that on paper.
# Even it leads nowhere
# Or would it be a waste... #
That is some superb writing talent and defo deserves three Ambo points
for sharing your pain with the world.
# Should I give up... #
In 2008, Adele released her first album, 19,
named after her age when she wrote it,
and it hit number one in the album charts.
Have another Ambo point for getting straight to the top spot.
Let's check out the scores.
Both Dizzee and Adele had raw talent from a young age,
but Dizzee really managing to find his focus
has pitched him into the lead.
If you don't agree with me, then get online to the CBBC website
and have your say.
Round two - Pop Success.
This is all about what our stars have been up to to make sure
that they stay at the top of the charts. First up, Dizzee Rascal.
When Dizzee first started out, he was mainly doing smaller gigs.
Respect. But since Dance Wiv Me, he got to perform
on much bigger stages,
like Radio One's Big Weekend and even Glastonbury.
# I know you're really busy and I know you got plans
# But are you really too busy for a sun tan?
# I ain't talkin' 'bout walkin' down the high street
# I'm talkin 'bout layin' on a bright white beach... #
A Dizzee Rascal gig is insane.
I think he's probably one of the best live UK hip-hop acts
or emcees that we have.
The crowd go crazy, his energy is insane
and I've never seen anything like it.
Glastonbury, are you ready?
Bounce, bounce, bounce...
As well as playing some of the biggest festivals
in the world, Dizzee Rascal has sold out massive venues across the UK.
He is so good that he was even asked to perform
at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony,
watched by an estimated 900 million people. Wow!
# Hey... #
Have three Ambo points for working hard to entertain the fans.
Peace and love!
But where Dizzee's performances are full of energy
and get the crowd totally wowed,
Adele's performances are completely different
but still extremely powerful.
# Old friend
# Why are you so shy? #
One performance in particular took her career from big to huge.
This from the Brit Awards in 2011.
# I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
# But I couldn't stay away... #
When she performed on the Brits,
everybody was mesmerised by her performance,
and that performance was syndicated across the world,
so loads of people got to see it around the world
and just see how amazing she is.
# Never mind, I'll find someone like you... #
I was at the Brits when Adele was performing Someone Like You
and you could hear a pin drop.
# For you too... #
She was just stood on stage, there was no fancy pyrotechnics,
no dance moves, nothing really going on in the background,
it was literally just her and her voice
and that shows the power of Adele's songs,
because it sent goose bumps down you.
# Nothing compares, no worries or cares
# Regrets and mistakes They're memories made... #
When she sang a track at the Brit Awards, I cried a bit.
I definitely cried a bit.
If any of my friends are watching this,
I'm sorry but it doesn't matter,
it was a good song and she meant it.
# Never mind, I'll find
# Someone like you... #
After this incredible performance,
Someone Like You became Adele's first number one.
It also went on to become the most downloaded digital single
of all time in the UK.
That is a most amazing statistic - have five chart-topping Ambo points.
# Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead
# Yeah, yeah. #
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
But Adele isn't the only one to have some major commercial success.
It was on Dizzee's fourth album that he really hit the mainstream.
He had four number ones and released this monster of a track.
# Some people think I'm bonkers but I just think I'm free... #
Bonkers got to number one back in 2009
and stayed in the charts for 23 weeks.
Ah! Have two Ambo for creating an absolute tune.
# I wake up, every day is a daydream
# Everything in my life ain't what it seems
# I wake up just to go back to sleep
# I act really shallow but I'm in too deep... #
It seems like things are going great for Dizzee, right?
Well, not quite.
Even superstar rappers can have a wardrobe malfunction,
and one particular time was pretty embarrassing.
Unfortunately, there's no video footage
but I can recreate it for you.
Yo, hi, bruv, my name's Dizzee Rascal
and I'm just about to go on American TV.
So I'm just going to warm up my voice, yeah? Here I go. M-m-m-m-m-m.
# He's just a rascal, just a rascal
# He's just a rascal, Dizzee Rascal
# Rascal, he's just a rascal, Dizzee... #
Oh, my pants fell down. Oh!
Oh, no! Hit the deck!
I'm not 100% sure that that's how that went down
but, to make matters even worse,
Dizzee wasn't actually wearing any underwear,
so his entire crew saw his bottom.
That's what I call awkward.
# I let sanity give me the slip... #
Not wearing any pants when you're working,
I'm taking off an Ambo point for that one.
# Some people think I'm bonkers but I just think I'm free... #
But while Dizzee was sorting out his trousers...
# There's a fire starting in my heart... #
Adele was really starting to hit the big time.
Adele's success was so quick that in a matter of months
she went from Rolling In The Deep to rolling in the cash.
# They keep me thinking that we almost had it all... #
Her second album, 21, became the bestselling album
of the 21st century and the fourth bestselling album ever in the UK.
I'll say it again. The fourth bestselling album ever in the UK.
Have two Ambo points for some mega sales success.
# You had my heart inside your hand
# And you played it to the beat... #
Adele is so good that she has won a tonne of awards,
like, an actual tonne.
She's gone on to win four Brits, a MOBO,
an MTV EMA
and three MTV VMAs,
nine Grammys and two Ivor Novello Awards.
Not only this, but after she recorded Skyfall
for the James Bond film, she only went on to win an Oscar.
I mean, it's just amazing!
You can have five award-winning Ambo points for that lot.
# But you played it, you played it, you played it to the beat. #
And while Adele was appearing at all these award shows,
Dizzee was also appearing in some pretty surprising places.
# Life's too short to be livin' with stress
# I'm too young to be all depressed
# I can't complain, I'm highly blessed
# And there's one thing that I wanna get off my chest. #
Dizzee was popping up everywhere
and even in places you wouldn't expect him, like Newsnight.
Get this, in 2008 Dizzee was asked to come on Newsnight
to talk about Barack Obama, who had just been elected as president.
And, as always, he was super cool.
-Mr Rascal, could you see this happening in Britain?
-Yeah. In time.
I think a black man, purple man, Martian man can run the country,
whatever, man, as long as he does right by the people.
To see a grime artist on Newsnight was a really big deal.
-It was ground-breaking.
No-one's ever done it before.
And to see someone like Dizzee do it, we was proud of him.
-Why don't you run for office?
-See, that's a very good idea.
I might have to do that one day,
still Dizzee Rascal for Prime Minister, yeah? What's happening?
Go, Dizzee! Have three political Ambo points.
# Get with the programme, I got the flow and I got the dough... #
But how has all this affected their sales? Let's take a little look.
Dizzee has sold over 5.3 million records in the UK.
Pretty good going. Have an Ambo point.
But Adele has sold a whopping 13.2 million.
You can't argue with the stats.
That's three multi-million selling Ambo points to Adele.
Let's check out the scores.
They've both had some uber success,
but because Adele has sold so much music, she's gone into the lead.
If you're on Team Dizzee and disagree,
then hit up the CBBC website and have your say.
It's all to play for going into round three.
Round three - Pop Style.
This is all about our celebrities' lives, clothes, cars,
pets or whatever else they like to spend the cash on.
First up, Dizzee Rascal.
Dizzee Rascal is the king of street cool, right?
So he would look pretty out of place performing with this person.
# Diamonds are forever... #
This is legendary diva Dame Shirley Bassey singing
Diamonds Are Forever, possibly the most iconic James Bond song ever.
She's singing in the uber-classy Royal Albert Hall.
It is one elegant performance, people,
but who can scrub up, don a suit
and not be afraid to bring some rap to the proceedings?
# Diamonds in my ear, diamonds in my ring
# Diamonds on my watch keep me looking like a king... #
Dizzee Rascal of course! Looking pretty sharp in his tuxedo.
# They keep me looking good you can see me from afar... #
Have two Ambo points for pulling off an awesomely chic style.
And have another point for not being afraid to try something new.
But while Dizzee was showing off his classy style...
..Adele was showing off her more down-to-earth style
in a very different way.
You probably think earning millions of pounds changes you
as a person and you can't do anything normal.
Well, nobody seems to have told Adele.
How did she celebrate after winning two Grammys for her first album?
By getting a job here.
It seems unbelievable but after Adele had hit the big time,
she got a job right here in this record shop.
I've caught up with Chris, who worked with Adele,
to tell me all about it.
Now, Chris, first thing I want to know is how did it all
-come about, did she just hand you a job application?
She just said, "I want to do something,
"I need something to focus on in the week
"because, you know, I've got nothing better to do."
So she was like, "Do you need someone? Can I work here?"
You know, I did stand back at first but she was obviously deadly serious.
So we were just like, "Yeah, that's fine. Let's do it."
-Did it last a while? Did she stick around for a little bit?
She was here for maybe two or three months and then obviously
her proper job kicked back in and we all know what happened after that.
So how hard-working was Adele when she was here?
She was extremely hard-working.
She would just knuckle down, get everything done,
cos obviously we get a lot of stock in here every day,
but she would just power through it and get it done really quick.
# It burned while I cried cos I heard it screaming out your name
# Your name... #
-Does she ever come back to the store?
-She does now and again. Yeah.
The last time I saw her she was walking on the other side
of the road with one of her dogs and she said, "Oh, hello,"
but, yeah, she's super...
She's just super-friendly, down to earth, totally normal.
She just hasn't really changed.
Going back to the shop floor after you've hit the big time - kudos!
Have three Ambo points for a down-to-earth lifestyle.
Oh, yeah, you've got to love the fact that fame didn't change Adele,
but what does she spent her money on?
I mean, come on, a girl has got to treat herself, right?
Well, when most people pass their driving test
they celebrate by jumping in their car, going around the block.
But not Adele.
She celebrated by buying herself a car that costs £100,000.
Ha - no biggie!
# I set fire... #
For such a down-to-earth girl to do something
that's really kind of grand and starry is fab,
it goes to show how many facets to her there is.
She is the down-to-earth girl but at the end of the day,
she's very rich - she's not going to be driving around in a Mini Cooper.
Splashing the cash on a snazzy ride. How very showbiz.
Have another Ambo point.
And while Adele was spending some of her hard-earned wonga,
Dizzee was getting back into education. Well, sort of.
The University of East London,
nearby where Dizzee grew up in Bow, awarded him
an honorary Doctorate in the Arts for his services to the community.
# I love it when you act like that
# Slow, fast, bring it back... #
Dr Dizzee - hmm, it's got a good ring to it.
You can take two Ambo points for an educational style.
And that takes us to the end of round three.
We've reached the end of another awesome Pop Slam!
But who has won the Ambo? Will it be Adele or Dizzee Rascal?
It's a tough one. Let's find out what we've learned.
We probably couldn't have had two more different pop stars.
But they've both shown that they had natural talent from a young age,
are totally awesome performers and have had some massive hits.
This Pop Slam! is on a knife edge.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is the moment we've all been waiting for.
The points have been counted and independently verified - by me.
And the winner of the Ambo is...
It's Adele! Dizzee, get out of here! Bring it in, hugs all around.
Let's have a look at you in action.
# She is half your age
# But I'm guessing that's the reason that you strayed... #
Hi, it's Amberley, I was wondering if Adele's in.
I'm from CBBC, she's just won a massive award.
Ah, she's polishing some of her awards?
Well, this is perfect, maybe we can chat about the new one she's won.
I can call back at another time if it's convenient.
No, I could pop round?
I will hold on to it for her. You know what, how about we...?
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