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Two of the biggest pop stars in the universe
are about to go into battle -
electropop sensation Ellie Goulding
against multitalented rapper Will.i.am.
There can only be one winner, so stay right here.
I'm Amberley Lobo and this is Pop Slam!
Going head-to-head, we have...
# This is love for the bass
# And love for the treble
# Love for the orchestra. #
# Violin, cello Love for computer... #
He's the multitalented rapper, producer
and TV super judge who's gone from LA hip-hopper
to international superstar.
But how will he fare against...
# And we gonna let it Burn, burn, burn... #
She's got the multimillion-selling silky voice,
the songs and the red-carpet style to match.
It's going to be one epic Pop Slam, so whose team are you on,
Team Will or Team Ellie?
# Gonna let it burn. #
I'm going to be delving into the lives of these two megastars
to see who has what it takes to win the most coveted prize
in pop music - the Ambo!
There's only one way to win the Ambo,
and that's by getting as many of my Ambo points as possible.
I'll be dishing them out over three slamming rounds of popocity,
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.
And the winner of the Ambo is...
Now, you might not agree with the outcome.
And if not, get onto
the CBBC website and have your say.
Who do you think is going to win? I mean, Ellie Goulding, look at her.
Her hair is amazing and she has millions of hits online.
But then, there's Will.i.am, and he is just so cool.
If I was a guy, I'd be Will.i.am.
There's only one way to sort this out, it's time for Pop Slam!
Round 1 - pop potential. This is all about how our stars made it big.
# I don't want to be alone tonight
# I'll be rockin' with you Rockin' with you. #
His life may be all flash cars and flashing lights now...
But when Will.i.am was just plain old Will Adams, life was very
different, growing up in a tough superb in Los Angeles, California.
# You promised forever and a day
# And yet you take it all away. #
Meanwhile, before Ellie Goulding was tearing up the charts,
she was growing up in sleepy Herefordshire.
But her pop star dreams started to become a reality
right here in the rock 'n roll town of...
Exactly how did Will and Ellie scale the heights of superstardom?
First up, it's Will.
# What's wrong with the world, Mama?
# People livin' like they ain't go no mamas. #
This is the video that made Will.i.am a megastar in 2003.
But it was well over a decade before this that his musical journey began.
This is Palisades Charter High School,
and it is here where Will Adams, a.k.a. Will.i.am, went to school.
But this wasn't his local school.
Will lived miles away on the other side of town.
Will grew up in an area of Los Angeles called Boyle Heights,
where crime was high and opportunities for kids were few.
His mum wanted to get him a better education, so you she sent him to
a good school, which was an hour's bus ride across town each way.
Phew! But the willpower paid off,
because it is right here where Will Adams became Will.i.am.
# Let's get it started
# Let's get it started in here! #
Whilst at school, Will met two kids called Jaime Gomez,
a.k.a. Taboo, and Allan Pineda, a.k.a. Apl.de.ap.
The three formed a group that would one day become the hip-hop
megastars The Black Eyed Peas.
# You wanna hate on us Be envious. #
The Black Eyed Peas formed in 1995 and went on to sell more than
30 million albums
and have become one of most downloaded acts in history.
But let's rewind back to 1998 and the Black Eyed Peas' first single.
# Play it again Saying that's the joint.
# Turn it up and play it again That's the joint. #
And there's Apl. Looking good, guys.
# Play it again Let your body collide
# To the rhythm provided by the... #
And in a major Pop Slam exclusive,
I tracked down Apl in LA.
You guys aren't going to believe this,
but this is the actual street where Apl.de.ap lives.
I didn't know it was up a hill.
# Maybe in time You can stop this crime
# But until then, yo I'ma rock a rhyme
# Sayin' that's the joint. #
It's worth the hike because Apl has agreed to tell me
all about being with Will in those early days.
So, from an early age,
you guys knew that you kind of wanted to do a dancing thing
-or a singing thing?
-Yeah. So the first thing we formed was
a dance group called Travel Nation.
And, you know, we would just practice every day
in a recreational room.
As well as being amazing dancers,
the boys realised they could rap, too.
We would just put on some beats and we would just, like, sit
-in our own corner and, like, try to write a verse, you know?
And then after you finished, like, "Yo, check out what I came up with."
So you'd do it separately and then compared it to each other.
Yeah. We would do it separate,
we would write our own, and then we'd compare, like,
-"Oh, cool, yours is better, I got to rewrite mine."
So when did you start getting really serious about, you know,
getting a group together, starting a rap group?
Maybe like at 16, me and Will were like,
"Yo, we're going to do this, man. We are going to make this, man.
"We've got to make this happen."
# I like to hear my favourite song on the radio
# So I call up and request it on the radio. #
Will, take three Ambo points for having the determination
to make it big while still being at school.
But I want to know if he's always been called Will.i.am.
Back in the day, did you have a nickname for him
or was it Will.i.am?
Oh, he had a few names. He had Will 1X.
Oh, this is a good one.
This is his first name, actually.
Will Chill?! Uh, good call to change it to Will.i.am.
Before I went, I figured that as Will and Apl
are such good dancers, there was one thing left for me to do.
I feel like I've absorbed enough information on this Will guy
to kind of take his place.
I could dance battle you right here, right now.
-You think you could break it down?
-I think I could.
-I'll let you go first.
-Put some beats on.
I've got to warn you, when I'm not in the car, it's dangerous.
A you warming up or are you dancing?
Your turn. Yeah!
Break it down.
Will, I got a new best friend.
-Will, you ain't got nothing on her!
-You ain't got nothing!
# Yo, this is the way it's going down
# We come in compound Releasing double rounds at hound. #
Apl, what a lad.
Will, take two Ambo points for having an amazing bezzie
and forming an amazing band.
# Entity with a so-called MC enemies. #
But music wasn't the only thing Will was working on in the early days.
When he wasn't laying down the beats,
he was beating a path to get his hands
on the coolest clothes in town.
But money was pretty tight, so Will had to hit up
second-hand shops to find clothes to create his unique look.
# Like this People... #
He may have looked the part,
but Will and the Black Eyed Peas still weren't hitting the big time.
The band released two albums and Will made two solo albums,
but didn't get anywhere near the top 20.
There was something missing from the band,
and it wasn't until Will met this girl...
I wish. No, this girl.
# Shut up, just shut up, shut up. #
In 2003, Stacy Ferguson, a.k.a. Fergie,
joined The Black Eyed Peas.
# Shut up, just shut up, shut up. #
And Will's dream team was complete.
# Just shut up, shut up
# We tried to take it slow But we're still losing control. #
They released their third album, Elephunk,
and it went on to be huge,
selling more than nine million copies.
For an epic breakthrough, Will, take four Ambo points.
# Girl, me and you were just fine You know. #
Will, chill for a bit. Ellie, what have you got?
# Oh Everybody is starry eyed
# And nobody goes... #
Ellie came here, to the University of Kent.
Up until 2005, she had lived in a small village.
But it is this place where Ellie's life started to change.
This is how a country girl turned into one of the biggest pop
stars on the planet.
# Everybody is starry eyed
# And everybody goes... #
Ellie has been musical since she was nine years old,
when she picked up a clarinet.
But she didn't come to Kent University
to study music, she came to do drama.
And her tutors agreed to let me in on a few little Ellie secrets.
Now, Sian, what was she like?
She was fabulous. She was a great student.
She was incredibly enthusiastic about performance.
A bit different, actually. Quite a tomboy.
-I can't imagine her being a tomboy.
-Yeah, no, she was quite a tomboy.
-So how did Ellie actually get spotted?
Well, Ellie entered a music competition,
which happens at Keynes College, called Keynestock.
Keynestock is Kent University's annual music talent show.
In 2007, Ellie decided to enter.
But in those days, she wasn't all about dance and pop.
She was a folk singer.
And guess what, she won.
# Stone-cutters Made them from stones. #
Have three Ambo points for bagging your first big music prize.
Also in the same contest was another talented songwriter, Lucy Kitt.
And she is going to tell me all about that big night.
OK, so paint a picture for us.
It's 2007, the stage is just over there and Ellie has just hopped on.
What was it like?
Um, yeah, her winning performance was kind of at night,
so the stage was over here, there was tonnes of students
kind of screaming. And it was a really catchy tune.
And I remember thinking, "I can hear this in the charts."
# The mountaineers gathered Timber piled high... #
The good news didn't end there, because in the crowd,
was a music talent spotter, who offered Ellie the chance to sign
with his company and move to London to pursue a music career.
-Did you know that there was going to be agents in there spotting?
I guess you never know who's there at the time.
And I'm sure Ellie probably didn't know who was there at the time.
But, um, just I suppose, you know, anything can happen.
And how does it feel that, you know, someone at the same
university has gone on to become this massive megastar?
It's quite an inspiration, I guess, cos you kind of see, you know,
from the roots, where you can go if you really just try
and persist and never give up your dreams.
So it is an amazing inspiration.
# Thought we were due for... #
With the offer of a music career, Ellie had a tough call to make -
finish her uni course or leave to follow the her dreams?
She came to talk to me, said this person had said that she was
going to be the next big thing, she was incredibly excited.
And I think she MIGHT have made the right decision.
Oh, definitely made the right decision.
But, Ellie Goulding, you have one year left to finish your degree.
-If you're listening, Ellie Goulding, get back to uni.
-And I miss you.
-Finish it and then go do your music.
Come join us, we're waiting for you at uni.
Age 20, Ellie quit uni and moved to London to try and make it.
Take two Ambo points for a brave decision.
And so her rise to popstardom was complete.
Or was it?
Unfortunately, the road to fame wasn't so easy for Ellie,
and she spent the next two years doing hundreds of small
gigs before even getting noticed.
# We're under the sheets
# And you're killing me. #
But gradually, her hard work began to pay off.
When she released her debut single Under The Sheets in 2009,
people were so excited about her that it made the news.
You may never have heard of her, but by the end of this year,
Ellie Goulding could be hugely successful.
She's a 22-year-old singer-songwriter who has
made it to the top of the BBC's Sound of 2010 list.
# We're under the sheets
# And you're killing me. #
After being named the hottest new talent in music for 2010,
Ellie released her debut album, Lights,
and it stormed to number one in the charts.
That's four Ambo points for lighting up the charts.
So what does that mean for our scores?
Both Ellie and Will have made a strong start
and sit on nine Ambo points.
This one could go either way.
Now that we know how our stars made it,
let's check out how hard they've been working since then.
It's time...for Round 2.
Round 2 - Pop Success.
This is all about what our stars have been up to to keep them
at the top of the charts.
First up, Mr I.am
Will.i.am has been recording music since 1995,
and he's had massive success,
both with The Black Eyed Peas and as a solo artist.
But his golden talent would have to be his song writing.
And there's a list of artists as long as my arm who he's
written music for.
Don't believe me? Then check it out!
# Bring the action.
# When we up in the club All eyes on us
# All eyes on us
# All eyes on us. #
Will has written classic tunes for this little lot of stars. Ready?
Britney Spears, of course, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber,
Cheryl Cole, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Mick Jagger and Jennifer Lopez.
There's just so many to scream and shout about.
# I want to scream and shout
# And let it all out
# And scream and shout And let it out. #
I think so many talented vocalists
are very keen to work with Will.i.am because
he seems to have the Midas touch.
Will seems to know the formula, and it works.
# I want to scream and shout And let it all out. #
Will, have three Ambo points for keeping everyone in pop busy.
# Because I'm calling your name. #
It's not just Will who's got the golden touch
when it comes to collaborating with other artists.
Ellie is in hot demand to supply guest vocals
for some of the biggest names in music, including Tinie Tempah...
# Imagine when it changes. #
..Calvin Harris and Skrillex.
# It's more than being famous
# More than the applause And more than any form of status. #
I think Ellie's music is really accessible, it's fun,
and she's got a really, really unusual voice.
I think that's why so many people want to work with her.
I'm giving Ellie two Ambo points for working hard to become
pop's Miss In Demand.
Meanwhile, after producing more music than is healthy for one man,
Will's not exactly putting his feet up.
Music isn't the only thing Will has created.
He has his own fashion label and even invents gadgets, sort of.
Like this camera attachment for your phone.
You can print out a physical version of a wave form
and make a bag out of it.
Will, have an Ambo point for some out-there ideas.
But that's not all, OK? Get this.
In 2012, Will became the first artist ever to have a song
broadcast from Mars.
That's like your music being played on a whole other planet. No way.
# Yeah! #
American space agency NASA asked Will to write a song to
commemorate the Curiosity rover's mission to Mars.
The song Reach For The Stars was uploaded in August, 2012, and, in
a world first, was broadcast nearly 500 million kilometres
through space all the way from Mars to Earth.
# Let's reach for the stars
# Reach for the stars. #
And the people at NASA went ballistic!
Well, sort of.
# Reach for the stars. #
For an out-of-this world achievement...
Give it up for Will.i.am!
That's three intergalactic Ambo points to you, sir.
# Goodness gracious I can't seem to stop
# Calling you up. #
Will's on a different planet, but don't worry,
when it comes to mixing with the stars, Ellie's right there with him.
After rocketing onto the scene, suddenly, she was everywhere.
Everything was going really well and, before she knew it,
Ellie was kicking in front of some of the most famous people
in the world - the Lobo family.
No, even more famous.
In 2011, Ellie was invited to the White House in America to
sing for President Obama at the Christmas Lights ceremony.
Ha, no biggie(!)
It introduced the whole of America to Ellie.
So, no surprise,
her next single, What, blew into the US charts at number two.
That's three presidential Ambo points.
# You show the lights that stop me
# Turn to stone
# You shine it when I'm alone. #
OK, so singing for the President of the United States
in his home pad is pretty cool, but it gets better.
In 2011, Ellie was asked to sing...
At a wedding.
Now, I know at first it doesn't sound too cool,
but what if I told you the groom was William and the bride was Kate?
Now, we don't actually have any footage from the event,
but I imagine it went a little something like this.
"William, what's up?"
"OK, gather in, we have got a situation, code red."
"Now, don't be upset, I forgot to book a wedding singer." "Say what?"
"What are we going to do about this?" "I've got it!
"We'll get... Ellie Goulding!"
"Ah! William, you're a genius!" "I know.
"I was just thinking, I listen to her all the time
"when I'm in my helicopters.
"JUST between us, I think Harry secretly likes her."
"I'll text her right now."
"Ah! No way!
"I just got a message from Kate, and she wants me
"to sing at the wedding? Better reply.
"'Yes, totes, lock me in. OMG.
"'Very excited.' Better go tell everyone the news. Mum!"
# It's a little bit funny
# This feeling inside. #
And this is the classic Elton John song that Will
and Kate choose for Ellie to perform for their first dance.
Performing at the wedding of the century
was just an incredible thing.
I think people at the time thought, "What, Ellie Goulding?
"That's a bit strange.
"How come Will and Kate have picked her to perform?"
But there is no doubt that that meant that the whole world
suddenly knew who she was.
# And you can tell everybody
# This is your song... #
For a serious royal connection, that is for majestic Ambo points.
OK, let's find out what all this hard work has meant for those
all-important record sales.
# Tonight's the night Let's live it up
# I got my money Let's spend it up! #
Will's sold more than 70 million records
worldwide as part of The Black Eyed Peas,
but this Pop Slam is a solo head-to-head,
so no points for those, I'm afraid. But don't worry, he still managed
six million solo UK sales.
# I feel stressed out I wanna let it go. #
# Goodness gracious I can't seem to stop
# Calling you up. #
Meanwhile, Ellie has racked up an amazing
6.2 million record sales in the UK.
# Calling you up
# Just to keep crawling to your arms. #
Serious numbers that gained each artist
three multiplatinum Ambo points.
So what does that mean for the scores?
Will now has 19 Ambo points,
but Ellie has stolen the lead on 21.
Don't agree? Get yourself online
and have your say.
We have seen our stars' pop potential
and how hard they've worked at it,
but now that they have reached the dizzy heights of superstardom,
let's see how glamorously outrageous they have become.
Round 3, what you got?
Round 3 - Pop Style.
This is all about our celebrities' lives - clothes, cars,
pets or whatever else they choose to splash their cash on.
First up, it's Will.
# I be everywhere Everybody know me
# Super, super fresh What a dope stylin'. #
It is fair to say that there is no-one in pop with a style
quite like Will.i.am.
Throughout the years, we've seen him go
from Goth casual to space chic, and
right now he is rocking some of the coolest threads in the pop world.
And I am about to meet the man who puts the thrill into Will.
Ashton Hirota is one of LA's top celebrity designers.
When Will needs a new outfit, he comes to Ashton.
Now you're obviously doing a lot of fashion with Will.
And you have even styled him in his music videos.
Will is the most creative individual I've ever met on the planet.
You'll be talking to him
and then he's left the room and comes back and,
"This is what we're going to do, this is what we are going to do!"
Because he is so creative.
And it is the most inspiring thing to have an artist that not
only has ideas but good ideas.
# They call me Will-A Stay so cool, I'm chilly
# I done made that milli On the way to that billi. #
When Will decided that none of his 93 billion shirts were cool enough
to wear in the video for his 2013 single That Power, panic ensued.
Cue an anxious phone call to Ashton, requesting he make shirts
for Will and all his dancers for a video shoot in Japan.
What was Ashton's reaction?
"OK, cool, we'll do it, we'll do it."
"OK, I leave in five days. "What? You leave in five days?
"OK, let's get all your dancers dressed,
"you dressed, all dressed."
And with him, it's always short, last-minute things,
but it is the most exciting. So that is how it happened for him.
He saw it, he wanted it, we did it.
# And oh
# I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive
And guess what, the shirt made it all the way back to LA.
So, is this the actual one that Will wore?
Yes. This is the actual piece.
-No it isn't. Is it really?
I went and met with him last night
and requested to pull it back for you guys.
OK, this is it.
Turn around, arms down.
I don't even remember my life before I put this on.
Do you feel the all-encompassed willpower?
Wah! I feel cool already.
I just feel, like, really you could be the dancer.
# I got that power
# I got that power. #
# I got that power
# Boom, boom, boom-boom-boom Boom, boom
# I got that power Boom, boom, boom-boom-boom. #
Don't worry, Will, I won't be giving up my day job.
# Boom, boom, boom-boom-boom. #
# I got that power. #
You guys know what you should do if you are wearing a Will.i.am's suit.
-Never getting it back!
For a unique fashion that is always keeping us guessing, that's
four Ambo points, Will.
While Will is turning his style up to 11,
Ellie is staying true to her dressed-down roots.
However, if there is an awards ceremony in town,
she can definitely still bring it on the red carpet.
# You know we can get away. #
When it comes to style, there are definitely two Ellie Gouldings.
There is the country girl from Herefordshire who can rock
bobble hats and wellies.
And then there is the glam Ellie spotted on red carpets
from LA to London.
That's two Ambo points for Hollywood star appeal.
That is our stars' style, but what else do they splash their cash on?
# Oh, my goodness
# Part of me... #
Will lives his life in the fast lane, literally.
Cars are his obsession, so much so that, get this,
he has actually made three of his own, including this amazing
beast which reportedly cost him an eye-watering £550,000.
Have four Ambo points
for over-the-top four-wheeled action.
That's Will's transport sorted, but how does Ellie get around town?
# I need your love I need your time
# When everything's wrong
# You make it right
# I feel so high. #
While Will is out there getting stuck in traffic on the freeway,
Ellie is using some leg power to churn the miles.
# I need your love. #
So get this, Ellie runs six miles a day, every day, since she was 18.
That adds up to around 21,000 miles,
which is like running around the Earth once. Amazing!
That's two extreme fitness
Ambo points to you, Ms Goulding.
But Ellie's healthy lifestyle doesn't end with running.
She's also a vegetarian and eats really healthy. Oh!
I wonder how long that's been here.
For getting your five a day, Ellie,
that's one bonus Ambo point,
which brings us to the end of Round 3.
Well, we have reached the end of another Pop Slam.
But we still have this bad boy to give away. Who has won the Ambo?
Will it be Ellie Goulding or Will.i.am?
Let's find out what we have learned.
We've watched Will go from hip-hop wannabe to global megastar.
And Ellie has become such a big deal that she sang
for the President and the future King.
It is an unbelievably close Pop Slam,
but who has done enough to win the Ambo?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is
the moment we have all been waiting for.
The points have been counted and independently verified, by me,
and the winner of the Ambo is...
Oh, Ellie, get out of here. Will.i.am, hug me.
Never let me go. Let's see more of you in action.
# Bang-bang, bang-bang-bang Bang, bang, bang, bang. #
Please pick up.
What's up?! I was just wondering if Will was in.
It's Amberley from CBBC.
Oh, come on, I can hear him saying, "No, no, no," in the background.
Tell him it is Amberley.
Uh, is that footst...? Is he running off?
Is that a car? Oh, classic Will, he is so busy.
No, don't even worry about it, I'll call back. Half an hour. OK.
All right, bye. So Will!
# Bang-bang, bang-bang-bang Bang, bang, bang, bang! #