Birth name Costadinos Contostavlos
Born 11 June 1987 (1987-06-11) (age 24)
Camden, Greater London, United Kingdom
Origin London
Genres Hip hop, grime, rap
Occupations Singer-songwriter, rapper, actor
Instruments vocals
Years active 2000—present
Labels Polydor Records (2007-2008)
AATW (2008-present)
Def Jam (2010-2011)
Takeover Entertainment Ltd (2011-present)
Associated acts N-Dubz, Richard Rawson, Tulisa, Tinchy Stryder, Chipmunk, Mr Hudson,
Boy Better Know, Wiley,
Gary Barlow, Maze, Skepta, Maniac.
Website TheDappy.com

Costadinos Contostavlos[1] (born 11 June 1987) better known by his stage name Dappy, is a British singer-songwriter, rapper, actor of Greek descent. He is best known for being the lead singer of the Camden-based Grime/hip hop/R&B trio N-Dubz, with his cousin Tulisa and their friend Fazer. He is known for his slightly unusual dress sense and his love for what he describes as "eye-catching headwear". His trademark is wearing a selection of woolly chullos (sometimes referred to as "Dappy hats"), turning up one of or both the ear-flaps of the hat.


Early life

Born and raised in Camden Town, North London, Dappy grew up with his parents, Byron Contostavlos and Zoi Agorou and older brother Spiros. His father had been a member of the group Mungo Jerry. Byron died on 12 April 2007.

When Costadinos was younger, he attended Richard Cobden Primary school, then St Aloysius secondary, a Roman Catholic boys-only school in Islington, attending for a year before being expelled for truancy. In N-Dubz's book Against All Odds: From Street Life to Chart Life, Dappy says that he doesn't remember the school "because I wasn't there often". He then attended Bishop Douglass school when he was around twelve years old, where he got into fights "almost everyday", which "...always started if someone had been making fun of me or something stupid".

Dappy eventually dropped out of education when he was 15, but he returned later to study at college and received an A* in English and a B in GCSE Music.[2][3]

However, realising they shared so much in common, Dappy and Fazer (who he had first met at karate lessons when he was 9, before becoming best friends with him at school) started making beats together and coming up with lyrics, later asking Dappy's cousin, Tulisa, to join the band and started to perform in and around Camden Town from the age of thirteen. At the time they were called the Lickle Rinsers Crew and went under the management of Dappy's father Byron, who had found success with 1970s pop band Mungo Jerry, and to Dappy was the "inspiration behind the band". Byron worked at a local barbers shop, putting all the money he had into equipment and resources for the band at their studio. However, Byron died on 12 April 2007 after a heart-attack[2] and N-Dubz wrote the song "Papa (Can You Hear Me?)", which was played at his funeral and became the group's second biggest hit at #19, and at #17 in the download charts. Dappy later described his dad's death as "the lowest point in our lives, we had no money, no manager, no driver, no accountant, but most of all I had no father - B was everything to me and it hurts so much to think that he never got to see what we have achieved now, but I know he's looking down on us and he'd be really proud".[2]

Dappy had the words "RIP Dad" tattooed on his neck and doesn't like to say his dad's name, instead referring to him as "B" or "Uncle B", which was also the name of N-Dubz's debut album. Before Byron died, he said he'd like their album to be called Against All Odds but after his death, the group called their debut album Uncle B in tribute, with their second album being called Against All Odds.


N-Dubz and other projects

Dappy appeared on the television show Never Mind the Buzzcocks on 29 November 2007, on Phill Jupitus' team, and wore a trademark "Dappy hat", also giving one to Simon Amstell to wear as part of the gag. Despite vowing he would not return to the show he appeared for a second time on the guest team on 4 December 2008 and for a third time, on Phill's team, which was broadcast on 18 November 2009.

He is known to be a good friend of Chris Moyles and also gets on well with Tinchy Stryder after releasing a single together, called "Number 1", although in the past they have said to have fallen out many times over credits for the song etc.[4] They responded by telling the crowd after their performance at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in May 2009, "and remember, don't believe what the media say 'cos it ain't true".

Dappy has made cameo appearances on K.I.G's "Head, Shoulders, Kneez and Toez" music video, Gracious K's "Migraine Skank" music video, and Chipmunk's "Chip Diddy Chip" music video, as one of Chipmunk's school friends.

N-Dubz break and solo career

It was annouced in June 2011 that N-Dubz had left their American record deal, amidst rumour that the band had split.[5][6][7] These rumours began circulating again in September 2011, however Dappy insisted the band had not split, but were simply taking a break.[8] Dappy has since took the chance to start a solo career with the management company Takeover Entertainment Ltd who also manage Tinchy Stryder. Dappy's first solo single is "No Regrets". Dappy was quoted to have said "I really want to earn the respect of an older audience."

“I don't think there's any shame in trying to write music that will be recognised by people I admire, like Adele. Even Bono. I have big goals. I want to have two No. 1 singles back-to-back as a solo artist.” In reference to his debut solo album which is being released late 2011 or early 2012.[9]

Dappy also confirmed that on his album, there will be a collaboration with The Wanted which will be a single, and also a very possible collaboration with Rihanna after she heard his music.[10]

Criticism and controversy

In mid 2007, Dappy released "Love for My Slum" with fellow UK rap artist Baker Trouble, which was number one on Channel U (now Channel AKA) for several weeks and was a big hit in the underground urban scene. However, it didn't do as well with the media and was heavily criticized for a scene in which Dappy is standing outside a block of expensive luxury flats with a "rich kid" who is trying to look like a gangster. The Independent wrote, "His lyrics combine jealousy with anger: 'You got too much to lose / You're in a great position... You wouldn't last a minute where I'm from / You'd go missing / So appreciate what you got / 'cos I'm still wishing.' And then he grabs the rich kid by his coat, pulls him toward him, and punches him in the face. The silent boy falls instantly to the pavement ... Do scenes like these suggest that music videos are encouraging their viewers to indulge in criminality?".[11] Other papers put that he was "idolising thuggery". When asked in interviews about the single, following these comments he said "these people need to listen to the lyrics, they are about showing appreciation to what you've got".[12]

During December 2008, Dappy pleaded guilty to two accounts of assault at Chelmsford Magistrates Court, Essex after reportedly spitting in a girl's face while drunk on a night out. Dappy pleaded guilty to the offences and for each count received four weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, to run concurrently and 100 hours community service. He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to the girl and her friend and £300 costs.[13]

On 29 January 2009, Contostavlos was arrested and bailed after he was accused of making death threats with a gun. He denied the allegation. His home in Camden was raided following the incident, by police looking for a firearm. Three days later (31 January) he was then hauled off a BA flight from Edinburgh to London by police after it touched down, with fellow N-Dubz performer Fazer, after appearing to be acting disorderly. A source said: "They were swearing at kids on the plane, being foul and threatening passengers. Cabin crew called ahead to the police, who were waiting when the plane landed. They were taken away by armed officers."[14]

On 12 January 2010, Contostavlos appeared on the Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1 along with Fazer and Tulisa. The show received a text message from a single mother named Chloe Moody in Boston, Lincolnshire complaining that Dappy was "vile" and "a little boy with a silly hat" and that N-Dubz were "losers". Dappy secretly copied Moody's phone number from the studio console and, the following day, tried calling her and sent threatening messages including: "Your [sic] gonna die. U sent a very bad msg towards Ndubz on The Chris Moyels [sic] show yesterday Morning and for that reason u will never be left alone!!! u say sorry I will leave u alone u ****." Moody claimed that she continued to receive messages after declining to apologise, one of which said: "u dum f****** ***head u can call me names over the radio but when I call u direct u chicken out u punk!nana f****** niii, Dappy").[15][nb 1] Dappy's management later apologised on his behalf and offered free tickets to one of his concerts, but he has not apologised to Moody personally.[16] N-Dubz were subsequently dropped from the Government's anti-bullying "R U Cyber Safe?" campaign. The rapper previously appeared with Schools Secretary Ed Balls to launch pop single "R U Cyber Safe?" in November 2009, and Balls said he was "thrilled to have them on board". After the band was dropped, he commented that "[the] text message was totally unacceptable. There is no excuse. We have no further plans to work with the band."[17]

Dappy was then shamed again live on GMTV on 28 April 2010 after he was on that day's front pages with CCTV pictures of him taking the illegal drug Mephedrone, in a night club. He apologised, insisting "It's just not a thing to be doing. I've learnt my mistake. I'll never do such things again", going on to say, "I was just a bit tipsy and it just fell into the wrong place at the wrong time."[18][19]

Just a day later, Dappy was kicked out of Alton Towers theme park hotel in Staffordshire, for allegedly smoking cannabis. Contostavlos and his two other companions suspected to be Kaye Vassell and fellow hip-hop musician Fearless after guests complained about a "funny smell" coming from his room, according to reports. An Alton Towers spokesperson told Sky News: "We can confirm a guest was asked to leave."[20]

In October 2011, Dappy was arrested on suspicion of assaulting the mother of his two children, Kaye Vassell, and was later released without charge.[21]

Personal life

Dappy is cousin to fellow band member Tulisa. Dappy lives with his girlfriend, Kaye Vassell and their two sons, Gino and Milo. Gino was born in January 2009[22] and Dappy's second son, Milo, was born on 10 December 2010.[23]

N-Dubz were forced to reschedule some of their live shows from the Uncle B tour after Dappy was diagnosed with temporary deafness.[24] He later said the ordeal "was terrible and it has really taught me to take better care of my ears because I wouldn't be the musician I am today if I couldn't hear". However he still "suffers from really bad Tinnitus after ignoring advice not to turn his headphones up" according to his ex-girlfriend and "he can't get to sleep unless there's some loud background noise to drown out the ringing. He will leave the shower running all night, thundering away, so he can sleep".[25]

It has been claimed that Dappy has an obsessive habit of crashing model planes. There was a rumour Dappy had set up his own Greek kebab shop in London called 'Dapz Bapz', a claim which he later rubbished.[26]

He revealed that he is a "massive" Arsenal fan when N-Dubz appeared on Live from Studio Five, gushing "it is an honour to sit next to you" to former Arsenal striker Ian Wright who was one of three hosts on the show.[27]

In September 2011, he revealed that he puts pepper into his toddler's mouth when he swears which received a lot of criticism from parents and critics. [28]


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
No Regrets
  • Released: April 2012
  • Label: All Around The World/
    Takeover Entertainment Ltd
  • Formats: CD, digital download


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"No Regrets" 2011 1 1 8 1 No Regrets
"Rockstar" [32]

As featured artist

Year Single Peak
2009 "Number 1" [nb 2]
(Tinchy Stryder featuring Dappy)
1 1 1 Catch 22
2011 "Spaceship"
(Tinchy Stryder featuring Dappy)
5 1 48 Full Tank



  1. ^ The Guardian wrote that asterisks were presumably added by The Sun, who originally reported the story
  2. ^ The single "Number 1" was credited as Tinchy Stryder featuring N-Dubz, when in fact only Dappy appeared as a featured artist.


  1. ^ "Costadinos Contostavlos". Artistdirect. http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/costadinos-contostavlos/6461349. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Sloan, Jenna (28 April 2009). "The family tragedies behind N-Dubz, Britain's No1 band | The Sun |Showbiz|Music". The Sun. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/music/article2398915.ece. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "N-Dubz star Dappy tells all in book about how he turned his life around | The Sun |Showbiz|Bizarre". The Sun. 24 March 2010. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/2904773/N-Dubz-star-Dappy-tells-all-in-book-about-how-he-turned-his-life-around.html. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "N-Dubz and Tinchy Stryder fall out over song | The Sun |Showbiz|Music". The Sun. 29 April 2009. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/music/2401643/N-Dubz-and-Tinchy-Stryder-fall-out-over-song.html. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Darvill, Josh (Friday, June 17, 2011). N-Dubz to split up following Tulisa Contstavlos new X Factor role. xfactor.tellymix.co.uk.
  6. ^ N-Dubz set to split up. SB.TV. Saturday, June 18, 2011.
  7. ^ Daniels, Colin (Saturday, August 13, 2011). N-Dubz dropped by US record label Def Jam. Digital Spy.
  8. ^ Gritt, Emma (Tuesday, September 13, 2011). Dappy forced to retract claims N-Dubz will split within two years. Metro (British newspaper).
  9. ^ N-Dubz star Dappy has ‘big goals’ for his solo career. pressparty.com. Thursday, July 21, 2011.
  10. ^ N-Dubz to split and Dappy to work with Rihanna. Daily Mirror. September 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "Music video violence: Should grime clean up its act? - Media, News". The Independent. 24 September 2007. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/music-video-violence-should-grime-clean-up-its-act-403286.html. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  12. ^ "N-Dubz: Interview - Time Out London". Timeout.com. http://www.timeout.com/london/music/features/3668/2.html. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  13. ^ Rogers, Jess (11 September 2009). "Drunk Dappy spat in girl’s face | The Sun |Showbiz|Bizarre". The Sun. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/2631880/Drunk-Dappy-spat-in-girls-face.html#ixzz0YvgVZhVZ. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "Showbiz - News - N-Dubz removed from plane by armed police". Digital Spy. 2 February 2009. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/news/a145368/n-dubz-removed-from-plane-by-armed-police.html. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  15. ^ Swash, Rosie (2010). "N-Dubz's Dappy sent death threats to BBC Radio 1 listener". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/jan/15/ndubz-dappy-death-threats. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "BBC News - N-Dubz star Dappy 'sorry' over text message threats". BBC. 15 January 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8461267.stm. Retrieved 15 January 2010. 
  17. ^ Hartley, Clodagh (16 January 2010). "Death text Dappy was Government’s anti-bully star | The Sun |News". The Sun. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2811168/Death-text-Dappy-was-Governments-anti-bully-star.html#ixzz0cttPHp9e. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  18. ^ Connolly, Lucy (29 April 2010). "Dappy tried to apologise for his meow meow shame live on TV | The Sun |Showbiz|Bizarre". The Sun. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/2951874/Dappy-tried-to-apologise-for-his-meow-meow-shame-live-on-TV.html#ixzz0mgheEmUH. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  19. ^ "BBC - Newsbeat - N-Dubz rapper took mephedrone". BBC News. 28 April 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/entertainment/newsid_10080000/newsid_10088800/10088828.stm. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  20. ^ "Showbiz - News - N-Dubz star Dappy in 'second drugs row'". Digital Spy. 30 April 2010. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/news/a217521/n-dubz-star-dappy-in-second-drugs-row.html. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  21. ^ "Dappy arrested in assault probe". Guardian. 9 October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/feedarticle/9886499. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "Second baby on the way for N-Dubz Dappy". ITN. 13 April 2010. http://itn.co.uk/e6e29e4c7dc5319f35e6ef132270e05b.html. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  23. ^ "More nappies for Dappy: N-Dubz star welcomes second son Milo". Daily Mail. 10 December 2010. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1337504/N-Dubz-star-Dappy-welcomes-second-son-Milo.html. 
  24. ^ "Music - News - N-Dubz forced to reschedule live shows". Digital Spy. 3 April 2009. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a151718/n-dubz-forced-to-reschedule-live-shows.html. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  25. ^ "Huge security operation ahead of N-Dubz gig | The Sun |Showbiz|Bizarre". The Sun. 17 April 2010. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/2936273/Huge-security-operation-ahead-of-N-Dubz-gig.html. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  26. ^ "ROAR Global - Press Archive". Shalitglobal.com. 26 January 2010. http://www.shalitglobal.com/press/N-Dubz/cutting.php?id=120. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  27. ^ "Live From Studio Five". Five.tv. http://www.five.tv/programmes/daytime/live-from-studio-five?filter=Clips&page=5. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  28. ^ Pauley, Nigel. Parents blast Dappy pepper punishment. Daily Star. 23 September, 2011.
  29. ^ Dappy - No Regrets (UK Singles Chart). The Official Charts Company.
  30. ^ Dappy - No Regrets (UK R&B Singles Chart). The Official Charts Company.
  31. ^ Dappy - No Regrets (Scottish Singles Chart). The Official Charts Company.
  32. ^ "Dappy may delay debut album 'No Regrets': 'I want fans to cry for it'". DigitalSpy.co.uk. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a346124/dappy-may-delay-debut-album-no-regrets-i-want-fans-to-cry-for-it.html. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 

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