LOUIS Walsh won't be the only X Factor judge with a special eye for the Irish this year -- Tulisa Contostavlos is really a Dubliner at heart.
The N'Dubz singer grew up in the inner-city of London -- where she got involved with teenage gangs and fell into a life of drink and drugs -- but the Herald can reveal that she has strong Irish connections.
Tulisa's mother, Ann Byrne was born in Churchtown, on Dublin's southside, and lived there until her teens, before moving to London to start a new life. "She grew up in Dublin 'til the age of 15 before moving over to England with her family," Tulisa said.
And it's clear that the singer gets her musical roots from her Irish family. Not only was her mother apart of the Eighties band Jeep with her two sisters, but her two uncles, Michael and Brian Byrne, were part of the hit band Emmet Spiceland.
Another successful musician in the family was her Irish grandfather Tommy Byrne, who won the Feis Ceoil three times in a row back in the 1930s.
"He was a legend. My granddad was also in a band and he always sang Molly Malone to me. That's where I get my music from," she revealed. Tulisa adds that she still visits Ireland as her mother is still very close to her family.