Amberley Lobo delves into the lives of Labrinth and Kylie to reveal who has what it takes to win pop music's biggest prize, the Ambo.
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Get ready, cos two of the biggest pop stars in the universe
are about to go into battle -
the amazing Labrinth versus the official princess of pop,
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...
MUSIC: Higher by Sigma and Labrinth
..producer, singer and songwriter.
This guy is a multi-skilled superstar
who has some serious style and some serious talent.
But how will he stack up against undisputable pop royalty...
MUSIC: All The Lovers by Kylie Minogue
She's sold millions of records worldwide,
can act, has been a coach on The Voice
and knows how to put on a show.
So, whose team are you on - Team Labrinth or Team Kylie?
Can't decide between these two? Well, I'm going to help you out.
I will be delving into the lives of these two megastars
to see who has what it takes
to win the ultimate 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-ocity,
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...
You may not agree with the outcome and that's cool.
Just go to the CBBC website and have your say.
I'm on Team Labrinth, all the way.
He's a great singer and it's cool music.
All of his songs have really cute meanings to them.
His music videos are awesome.
I'm on Team Kylie, because I love the way she dresses.
She's the greatest singer of all time.
Go, Team Kylie!
It's going to be a tough one.
She is literally the princess of pop and a fellow Aussie.
But he can sing, write, produce and he's way too cool for school.
Well, there's only one way to decide this.
You know what's going to happen. It's time for Pop Slam.
Round one, Pop Potential.
This is all about how our stars made it big.
# Labrinth, come in. #
MUSIC: Earthquake by Labrinth and Tinie Tempah
Before he was making waves as a super-talented artist and musician,
he was little old Timothy McKenzie
and he lived right here in Hackney, in London.
# I predict an earthquake up in here... #
This is the very street that Timothy, AKA Labrinth, grew up on.
He had eight brothers and sisters and they were all very musical.
This is the story of how Timothy McKenzie
became the pop mega-star that is Labrinth.
# What you're about to witness is no illusion... #
Timothy was showing off his music talent from a very young age
and was really encouraged by his massive musical family,
who all used to play music together at their home in Hackney.
When he was younger,
Timothy and his eight siblings formed a band called "Mac 9".
Why? Because their surname was McKenzie
and there were nine of them.
Sounds increds! You know what? I'm going to give them a knock.
-Who is it?
-How're you doing?
-Is this the McKenzie household?
-Yes, it is.
I'm ShezAr and I'm going to make you a cup of tea
and let's get to talking.
-I am so keen! No-one ever does this.
MUSIC: What I See by ShezAr
# If I could be the clouds that float above you... #
This is ShezAr, one of Lab's sisters,
singer and former member of Mac 9.
ShezAr, can I just say,
I am so excited to be sipping tea in the house that you guys actually...
Cheers. ..grew up in. What was it like, back then?
Back then? Where do I start, really?
There's nine of us, who are crazy about music.
We used to literally draw out Mum's pots and pans,
take out her hair brushes and combs and just perform.
So, one would start off something hitting on the table
and then another with a note, like # Ba-ba-ba-ba. #
Somebody else would come in with a # Mmmm #
-and then it would just...
-It sounds like Glee, almost - a musical!
Yeah, literally, we would always be breaking out into song.
# Put my money where my mouth is and I ate my cards... #
So where did Labrinth actually get his name from, then?
Labrinth, he got his name from the person who he is.
He is such a deep guy.
He's an old man in a young boy's body
and he's always taking things to the next level.
Even when you have conversations with him sometimes,
it's like you're having two or three conversations at once,
so it's like you're always in a maze with him.
MUSIC: Let It Be by Labrinth
So, how cool is it to see your brother doing
all these amazing things?
His success has propelled to some next degree
and we're all so proud of him.
It just brings so much joy to my heart,
so I just can't be ever more proud of what he's achieved
and I know that he's going to be achieving more, you know?
-Let's keep him rolling.
Seriously, thank you so much, ShezAr.
This has been an amazing cup of tea, amazing chats.
And if you're having a family dinner party and there's a spare spot
-and you need someone to maybe bang some dinner plates...
-I'm going to holler at you, girl.
-Oh, yes, you are! Thanks!
I'm going to give Labrinth three Ambo points
for rocking it with the fam.
The young Labrinth was developing his musical skills
and getting a name for himself as a hotshot writer and producer.
And it wasn't long before the big names started to take notice
and soon, he was producing for the likes of Wretch 32
and Professor Green.
But there was one collaboration in particular
that made the whole industry sit up and take notice.
Oh... I think I'm going to PASS OUT!
# Yeah, yeah, we bring the stars out
# We bring the women and the cars and the cards out... #
Lab's first big break came when he produced and performed
on Tinie Tempah's hit single Pass Out.
# Let it rain
# Let it pour away
# We won't come down
# Until we hit the ground and pass out... #
The track was massive and in March 2010
got to number one in the UK.
Take two Ambo points for being responsible for such a tune.
After Pass Out, everyone wanted a piece of Labrinth
and soon, Mr X Factor himself, Simon Cowell, came calling
and offered him a record contract,
making him the first artist in six years
Simon had signed that wasn't from The X Factor. Kudos.
Go, Labrinth! Take three Ambo points for getting signed by the Cowell.
# Let it rain
# Let it pour away... #
After being the guy in the background for so long,
it was time for Labrinth to release his first single.
Did the sun shine? Did it ever!
MUSIC: Let The Sun Shine by Labrinth
# Let it all go
# Let it all go... #
Let The Sun Shine was released in September 2010
and it got to number three in the charts.
Not bad for a first solo release.
Have two Ambo points.
Labrinth had landed,
but there was much more to come from this young musical genius.
Now, let's head 10,000 miles down under, to check out
the one and only Kylie Minogue.
MUSIC: Love At First Sight by Kylie Minogue
# Thought that I was going crazy
# Just having one of those days, yeah... #
Kylie is hands down one of the most famous people in pop,
who performs all over the world.
But before all that she was an aspiring actress,
right here in Melbourne, Australia.
Oh, yeah! I'm down under! Whoo-hoo!
# Music you were playing really blew my mind
# It was love at first sight... #
This is the very street in Melbourne where one Kylie Ann Minogue grew up.
Back then, she was into acting more than singing
and by age 11, she was already on TV.
This is the story of how one Aussie actress
became one of the biggest names in pop.
# Cos baby when I heard you
# For the first time I knew
# We were meant to be as one... #
In Australia, we love our soaps and before Kylie was even a teen,
she'd appeared in not one, but two of them.
That's right, before Kylie was even 13,
she'd appeared in Australia's Skyways
and The Sullivans.
And when she was 17, she bagged a main role
on a series called The Henderson Kids.
But it was right here on Ramsay Street where she hit the big time,
when she appeared on the legendary Neighbours!
This is so exciting! Whoo!
I can't believe I'm here!
# Everybody needs good neighbours... #
On 17th April 1986,
at just 17 years old,
Charlene Mitchell, AKA Kylie,
appeared for the very first time on Ramsay Street.
She was on Neighbours for over two years
and lived right here, at number 24.
# That's when good neighbours become good friends. #
Neighbours was huge in the 1980s
and Ramsay Street -
which is actually a real road
called Pin Oak Court in Melbourne, by the way -
would turn Kylie into a global star.
This episode, where Charlene got married to Scott -
played by Jason Donovan -
was watched by over 19 million people in the UK alone!
My, oh, my. I can't believe I'm in the actual street
where Kylie used to act.
I remember she used to live over there with her boyfriend, Scott,
and then, there was Mrs Mangle, Harold and Madge and Paul...
Paul, oh! Bit of a fan.
Do you have time for a chat?
Yeah, but a little secret - my name's not Paul, it's Stefan.
Ooh, Stefan! First name basis. OK, well...
Kylie - tell me everything there is to know.
It's been a very, very long time since I worked with Kylie.
People forget that it was 27 years ago, I think.
And she was just this really great...
You've got to remember, she was about 17 or 18 years old, then.
So, she was this great little actress, great person
and yeah, she was just one of the gang.
MUSIC: In Your Eyes by Kylie Minogue
So, how did Kylie go from Charlene the actress
to Kylie Minogue, the pop star?
Ah, well, it actually started off in a very humble way, but to us,
we thought, "Oh, yeah - this is really good."
And we didn't realise the mega degree that it was happening
and the bullet train speed that it was happening with.
And so, we thought, "Oh, that's really good. Good on you, singing.
"Oh, you made a record? Great, great!"
Unaware that this was just going whoosh, you know?
It was Mount Vesuvius erupting.
# I can't think of a single thing... #
Everybody loves Kylie. You knew her -
what is it about Kylie?
She's just a nice person and she's one of those people who,
if you're in a party room or something and she walks in...
It's not that she "Wow!" lights up the room, but you know she's there.
And you probably want to talk to her,
because she's this really nice person
and it's hard not to describe Kylie without being a bit syrupy,
because she's just lovely.
Well, Paul... I mean, Stefan, it's been amazing. Thank you so much.
-Bring it in.
-Ah, yeah. Bring the love.
Kylie had hit the big time acting on Neighbours,
but how did she become a global mega-star singer?
Call her lucky, but Kylie almost accidently became a pop star.
At a charity event,
she performed a cover of the famous song, Locomotion.
MUSIC: Locomotion by Kylie Minogue
The crowd went wild
and in that crowd was a record label big wig
and he said, "Hey, Kylie! How about you release that song on my label?"
And she said "Righto, bonza!" and it was huge.
# Everybody's doing a brand-new dance now
# Come on baby, do the locomotion... #
Locomotion was released in July 1987.
It got to number one in Australia and stayed there for seven weeks.
Have four Ambo points for making it big down under!
# It's easier than learning your ABCs
# So come on, come on
# Do the locomotion with me... #
Kylie was getting a lot of attention in Australia,
but she was yet to break the UK.
That was about to change, when at 19 years of age,
she hopped on a plane to London, England.
Kylie had been invited to a meeting with a top UK record label,
but when she got there, they forgot she was coming.
Huh! Rude! But they managed to squeeze her in.
In fact, they did one better.
They wrote her first UK number one
right there and then on the spot, in under an hour.
Huh - she should be so lucky!
No, seriously. She should.
MUSIC: I Should Be So Lucky by Kylie Minogue
# I should be so lucky Lucky lucky lucky
# I should be so lucky in love... #
I Should Be So Lucky got to the number one spot in the UK.
And not only that, it stayed there for five weeks.
Kylie had broken the UK in a big way.
No luck about it - that is all down to talent and hard work.
Five Ambo points for making it on both sides of the world.
And that brings us to the end of round one.
Let's take a look at the scores.
It's a close one, but by my reckoning,
Labrinth has just got the edge and is in the lead by one Ambo point.
If you disagree, then get to the CBBC website and have your say.
We've seen how our stars made it.
Now, let's see how hard they've been working.
It's time for round two.
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, Labrinth.
MUSIC: Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth and Emeli Sande
# You've carried on so long
# You couldn't stop if you tried it... #
After Labrinth released Let The Sun Shine,
it was a whole year and a half later
when he finally released his debut album, Electronic Earth.
Way to keep us hanging, Lab-man.
# Would you let me
# Sleep beneath your beautiful? #
Electronic Earth got to number two in the album charts
and not only that, but four of the singles released from the album
got into the UK top five,
including the absolute killer of a tune, Beneath Your Beautiful.
# Would you let me sleep beneath your beautiful tonight?
# Oh, oh... #
Beneath Your Beautiful was Lab's first number one,
and featured Emeli Sande, love her.
# ..sleep beneath your beautiful... #
It was huge and had over 95 million views online.
That probs deserves 95 million Ambo points.
Jokes! But you can have four of them, Lab-man.
If we're talking chart success, then brace yourselves, people,
because Kylie is going to knock your socks off.
She has released a colossal 12 albums and 55 singles,
26 of which got to the top five in the UK.
# I just can't get you out of my head
# Boy, your loving is all I think about... #
26 top fives! Amazing!
Have five Ambo points.
But that's not all.
Kylie is also the only girl in UK chart history
to have a number one album in four consecutive decades -
the '80s, '90s, '00s and 2010s.
# Never too late, we've still got time... #
She started out in the '80s with some super cheesy classics.
# Never too late
# To change your mind... #
Then she got a bit more indie cool in the '90s.
MUSIC: Confide In Me by Kylie Minogue
# Confide in me... #
And there was really no stopping her in the '00s
with some absolute pop belters.
# I'm spinning around
# Move out of my way
# I know you're feelin' me cos you like it like this... #
And, of course, even now, in the 2010s,
she's still releasing some killer tunes.
MUSIC: Into The Blue by Kylie Minogue
You couldn't dream of having a career as amazing as Kylie's.
She's had so many hit singles in so many different decades
and they're all brilliant.
And she's just basically the perfect pop star.
That is four decades' worth of absolute pop gold there,
Four Ambo points coming your way!
MUSIC: Earthquake by Labrinth
We all know Labrinth loves to write music,
but he also loves to perform and his shows are epic.
# I predict an earthquake... #
Check it out - he really does know how to work the crowd!
Have two Ambo points.
While Labrinth knows how to get support from his fans,
that only goes so far.
Let me show you what I mean. Funny story.
So, while he was doing a performance at the University of Kent,
he got a little bit carried away.
Now, I wasn't there at the time,
but I imagine it went a little bit like this.
"Hello, I'm multi-instrumentalist,
"Righto, righto, righto! Who wants to hear some music?"
-"Wow, the crowd is going wild!
"This calls for an epic stage dive!"
Apparently, when Labrinth did his stage dive,
it had a domino effect and he knocked over, like, 50 people.
They did not predict an earthquake, nuh-uh.
# Hey, yeah
# Now we predict an earthquake... #
A stage dive shows commitment to the pop cause,
even if it is an epic fail.
Have an Ambo point.
But what does Kylie get up to when she's off stage?
# Every night
# Every day
# Just to be lost in your arms... #
What do you do when you're the princess of pop
and you need a new challenge?
You become a coach on The Voice.
# La la la
# La la la la la... #
In 2014, Kylie was convinced by her mate will.i.am
to join him, Sir Tom Jones and Ricky Wilson on The Voice.
-Your voice is really arresting.
It's kind of otherworldly,
but it just does that thing
that is the thing that we're waiting for.
Thank you so much.
What an amazing musical mentor!
Have three Ambo points for sharing your knowledge and experience
with aspiring singers.
But she's not the only one who wants to help out the musical community.
MUSIC: Jealous by Labrinth
# Wished you the best of
# All this world could give... #
Labrinth has also been mentoring new artists.
In 2011, he started up his very own record label,
in order to find and nurture up and coming talent.
Very commendable, have two Ambo points.
And that very lovely note brings us to the end of round two.
Labrinth's success is outstanding,
but Kylie has been dominating the charts for four decades,
which pushes her into the lead.
If you don't agree with me,
get to the CBBC website and have your say.
We found out how our pop royalty made it big
and how successful they've been.
It's now time to see how glam they've become in round three.
Round three, Pop Style.
This is all about our celebrities' lives, clothes, cars, pets,
or whatever else they choose to splash their cash on.
First up, Labrinth.
MUSIC: Express Yourself by Labrinth
To get the low-down on Labrinth's style,
I'm lucky enough to come and meet his actual stylist, Ayishat.
-How are you?
So good. Now, let's talk Labrinth, because you're his stylist.
What's his style like?
OK, so Labrinth's style is very much his own personality.
He is an oddball, but, like, an oddball in the way that genius is.
So, he's like a mad, musical scientist.
Now, you actually dress him. What's he like to dress?
-Does he enjoy a little fashion session?
-Oh, yeah. Labrinth is...
I think he's one of my favourite clients,
in the sense that he will try the most.
He likes to try hats and lots of cool accessories
and he's not afraid to mess around with colour.
With help from Ayishat, this guy has got it going on!
So I'm going to give Labrinth three Ambo points
for some fantastic fashion.
But I think we need to talk about
one of the biggest fashion icons in the world - Kylie.
MUSIC: Slow by Kylie Minogue
# So I put my best dress on
# Boy, I was so right... #
So, I've come to meet Frank Strachan,
who used to be Kylie's actual stylist.
Now, Frank, we're going to talk Kylie, who you actually know
and are good friends with.
What's it like hanging out with her?
Oh, she's amazing.
She's such a lovely, lovely person and incredible performer.
Is she a fun person to dress?
And I used to do the quick changes in the show as well,
under the stage with her mum.
I'd do half and her mum would do the other half of the outfit
and it'd be frantic, because you're trying to make sure
that she'd be in the next outfit in time to get on stage
as soon as she was ready to sing.
But, yeah, we used to have such a laugh.
-You and her mum got to dress her?
-You are so lucky...
Oh, no. It's a lovely group of people to work with.
# Come on and dance with me, yeah... #
How has her style evolved over time?
It's moved with the times and she's kind of become
more aware of high fashion and experimental fashion
and then, other periods, she's gone much more girl-about-town.
I think, like anyone, she plays with fashion.
So, she's kind of moved with the times, as fashion has.
MUSIC: Come Into My World by Kylie Minogue
Total worldwide decade-spanning fashion domination there, Kylie.
Take five Ambo points.
And it doesn't stop there.
Kylie's pop style has been so iconic over the years
that at Madame Tussauds in London,
there has been not one, but four waxworks made of her,
spanning her colossal career.
That shows some timeless style, Kylie. Have two Ambo points.
MUSIC: Treatment by Labrinth
OK, so Labrinth hasn't had a waxwork made of him,
but he's got a different type of pop style.
# Everyone dressed in white
# I really think I lost it this time... #
Labrinth has style, right?
But he also has taste - literally.
Here's a bit of a scoop.
This super cool restaurant right here, called Mosaica,
is actually one of Labrinth's favourite places to eat.
In fact, he loves it so much that he actually bought it.
That's just how he rolls.
Imagine buying your fave restaurant!
That's three Ambo points to the Lab-man
for having some proper extravagant pop style.
And that brings us to the end of round three.
Wow, what a journey.
Thank you and thank you,
but it's time to get serious.
The winner of the Ambo will be announced shortly,
after we take a look back at what we've learned.
Kylie and Lab are both super hard-working and super talented
and are two of the most stylish pop stars in the world.
This Pop Slam is going to be close.
Ladies and gentlemen, the moment has finally come.
The Ambo points have been counted and independently verified, by me.
Good luck, guys.
And the winner of the Ambo is...
Oh, no, wait! It's Kylie!
Labrinth, I'm so sorry, get out of here.
But Aussies rule! Oh, I'm so proud of you.
Let's take a look at you in action.
MUSIC: Get Outta My Way by Kylie Minogue
# Get outta my way Got no more to say
# He's takin' your place Get outta my way... #
How good was that? Oh, there's plenty more where that came from.
Make double sure you guys tune in next time
to see more of your favourite pop stars battle it out to win the Ambo.
# Now I've showed you what I'm made of. #
Labrinth and Kylie go head to head in a Pop Slam! Amberley Lobo delves deep into the lives of the two stars and meets the people who know them best. Over three rounds, Amberley looks at how they made it big, how hard they've been working and how glamorous their lifestyles have become. Only one act can walk away with the biggest award in pop music, the Ambo.