The Female Boss

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The Female Boss
Studio album by
Released30 November 2012 (2012-11-30)
Singles from The Female Boss
  1. "Young"
    Released: 29 April 2012
  2. "Live It Up"
    Released: 9 September 2012
  3. "Sight of You"
    Released: 2 December 2012

The Female Boss is the debut studio album by British singer and former N-Dubz member Tulisa. It was released on 3 December 2012 via All Around the World and Island Records.[1] The album's artwork was revealed on 6 October 2012 via Tulisa's official Facebook page. The Female Boss originally was to be released on 26 November but was pushed back by one week. It incorporates hip hop, dance and R&B styles while enlisting a variety of producers; The-Dream, Fazer, Stereotypes, Rico Love, Diane Warren and Ed White, among others. The album features guests appearances from British rapper Wiley, American rapper Tyga and Nines. Three singles preceded the album's release; the lead single "Young" peaked at number 1 while "Live It Up" and "Sight of You" peaked within the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart.

Upon its release, The Female Boss has received generally negative reviews from most music critics, with many critics panning the themes, intro of the album, production and some lyrical content, while some critics felt the dance songs were highlights. Commercially, the album opened with poor sales, debuting at number 35 on the UK Albums Chart and number 55 in Ireland.[2]


Recording of the album began in July 2011 and concluded in May 2012, with the release of the lead single, the summer club party anthem, "Young". The album's second single, urban party hit "Live It Up", was released on 9 September 2012, before the ballad "Sight of You" was released on 25 November 2012 as the album's third single. Tulisa revealed that her decision to release three singles prior to the album's release was to "focus on the long-term sales of the record".[3] "Visa" was originally recorded by N-Dubz for their third studio album, Love.Live.Life in 2010 but didn't make the final track list.[4]

Tulisa said of the album in an interview with Digital Spy: "Having a number one album isn't important. Let me tell you something, do you know how many artists go to number one in the charts and they release on a certain week because they know that in that week they have more chance of going to number one? Then they drop out of the album charts a week later and they might have sold 100,000 when they could have sold 400,000. For me, just like with N-Dubz, I don't care about having a number one album, I care about going platinum. I care about the overall sales. What's the point in having a number one but people saying, 'She only sold 60,000 though'? I don't want that. Most people these days kind of drop the one single and then the album but that was one thing I said I would never do," she explained. "I have to put the background work in. I've got to give people a reason to buy it. I want to prove myself this year, more than ever, as a musician and as a solo artist."[5]


Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic1.5/5 stars[7]
The Independent3/5 stars[8]
Metro1/5 stars[9]
4Music3/5 stars[10]
MusicOMH1/5 stars[11]
Digital Spy2/5 stars[12]
The Observer2/5 stars[13]

The Female Boss has received mostly negative reviews from contemporary music critics.[15] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, The Female Boss received an average score of 35, which indicates "generally unfavourable reviews", based on 6 reviews.[6] Robert Heller from awarded a sole star out of five, jokingly commented that the album is worse than "Freddy Krueger scratching an infinite blackboard". He criticized the album's so called "pop music" saying "Pop does not have to be like this" and "The rest continues the pound-shop Rihanna sound without the panache."[9] Lewis Corner from Digital Spy was less harsh, but criticised the production with The-Dream saying "The result is an overly-considered debut that suffers from one-too-many label hook-ups for a singer who is way out of her depth."[12] Phil Mongredien from The Observer awarded it two stars out of five believing her debut didn't sound promising.[13] Amy Gravelle from Entertainmentwise felt that the R&B and Hip-Hop songs were main issues on the album and felt she should stick to dance music, and criticised her "cliched lyrics" and themes on the entire album.[16]

Philip Matusavage from MusicOMH awarded it a single star out of five, saying "[The Female Boss] is more endurance test than anything else, with the strong sense of ‘will this do?’." He panned the intro and themes, calling them "hilarious" and felt "bafflement is typical of an album which has almost no identity of its own, instead sounding like a calculated effort to target certain demographic markets."[11] Q gave it a mixed review, feeling the album "Struggles to get to grips with the predictably generic R&B ballads."[14] Aneet Nijjar from Allmusic rated the album one-and-a-half stars out of five. In comparison to her former band N-Dubz, she stated they had "have bags of charisma, and most important of all, the songs" but stated the album "has neither." She found that Tulisa didn't "convince" her abilities of producing pop and urban music and criticised it for being "fleeting and insufficient", calling the album "a lamentable debut all round."[7]

On a more positive review, Andy Gill from The Independent compared the album to works of Rihanna, saying she "tries to turn adversity to her advantage, employing the incident as her own version of the familiar R&B soap-opera gambit, whereby the private life becomes the subtext," but he nevertheless felt most of the songs were bad.[8]

Commercial performance[edit]

The Female Boss entered the UK Albums Chart lower than its midweek position of 17, debuting at number 35 with over 7,000 copies sold.[17][18] The following week the album dropped out of the Top 40, falling to number 63.[19]


"Young" was released as the album's lead single on 29 April 2012.[20] The single went straight to number one in the United Kingdom, becoming the fastest selling debut single of the year, and the third fastest selling single overall, following the release of Cheryl Cole's "Call My Name".[21]

"Live It Up" was released as the album's second single on 10 September 2012. The track was announced on 24 July, and features vocals from American rapper Tyga. Tulisa commented on the song, saying: "This track is me going back to being me, and trying to define myself as an artist. It's even more urban than anything else i've done before".[22] The music video was released on 24 August 2012[23] and the single peaked at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart.[3]

"Sight of You" and "Live Your Life"[24] were released as a double A-side, and the album's third single on 25 November 2012. On 11 September, Tulisa revealed that "Sight of You" would be a "Christmassy ballad", stating "I think it's important for every artist to have that ballad that stands the test of time."[25] "Live Your Life" (previously revealed to be "Freedom", and later re-titled) was written and produced by fellow N-Dubz musician Fazer, and is similar to her debut single, "Young".[26] The song premiered on radio on 19 October 2012.[27] Tulisa confirmed during an interview with KissFM that the music video would be released on 22 October. She performed the single on The X Factor on 2 December. The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 18, becoming Tulisa's lowest-charting solo single in the UK.

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition
3."Live It Up" (featuring Tyga)
5."British Swag" (featuring Nines)
  • Courtney Freckleton
  • Jonathan Yip
  • Jeremy Reeves
  • Ray Romulus
  • Ray McCullough
  • Corey Gibson
  • Courtney Harrell
  • Courtney Freckleton
The Stereotypes3:41
6."Live Your Life"
  • Rawson
  • Ibsen
  • Tennant
7."Visa" (featuring Wiley)
8."Foreigner"Terius NashThe-Dream4:50
10."I'm Ready"
  • Contostavlos
  • Baptiste
  • Ryan Buendia
  • Michael McHenry
  • Baptiste
  • Buendia
11."Steal My Breath Away"
12."Kill Me Tonight"
  • Contostavlos
  • Gad
  • Baptiste
  • Rabin
  • Griffin
  • Gousse
  • Gad
  • Baptiste
13."Counterfeit"Diane WarrenWarren4:07
Eg White3:49
15."Sight of You"NashThe-Dream4:39
  • Contostavlos
  • Jordan-Patrikios
Total length:58:27


Chart (2012) Peak
Irish Albums (IRMA)[29] 55
Scottish Albums (OCC)[30] 46
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 35
UK Digital Albums (OCC)[32] 31

Release history[edit]

Regions Dates Format(s) Label(s)
Ireland 30 November 2012 CD, digital download All Around the World, Island Records
United Kingdom[33] 3 December 2012


  1. ^ "The Female Boss: Music". Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  2. ^ irma archive 6.12.12
  3. ^ a b Published Tuesday, 18 Sep 2012, 13:10 BST (18 September 2012). "Tulisa reacts to 'Live It Up' chart position: It's a strategic single - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 November 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ The Making of Love.Live.Life DVD, filmed 2010, released April 2011. Retrieved on 3 November 2012.
  5. ^ Published Tuesday, Sep 4 2012, 10:47 BST (4 September 2012). "Tulisa: 'I don't care about No.1 album, I just want to go platinum' - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 November 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ a b "The Female Boss by Tulisa".
  7. ^ a b "Album review: Tulisa, The Female Boss". Allmusic. 30 November 2012.
  8. ^ a b Gill, Andy (30 November 2012). "Album review: Tulisa, The Female Boss". The Independent. London.
  9. ^ a b "Tulisa's The Female Boss brings a pound-shop Rihanna sound". Metro. 30 November 2012.
  10. ^ "Review: Tulisa - The Female Boss". 4Music. 26 November 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Tulisa's The Female Boss review". MusicOMH. 30 November 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Tulisa: 'The Female Boss' review". 3 December 2012.
  13. ^ a b Mongredien, Phil (2 December 2012). "Tulisa: The Female Boss – review". The Guardian. London.
  14. ^ a b "The Female Boss by Tulisa reviews - Any Decent Music".
  15. ^ Journalist, Sarah Dean (3 December 2012). "REVIEWS: Tulisa's Debut Album Slammed By Critics." HuffPost UK.
  16. ^ "REVIEW: Tulisa Brings Ghetto Grime And Ibiza-Sounding Beats With 'The Female Boss' - Celebrity Gossip, News & Photos, Movie Reviews, Competitions - Entertainmentwise".
  17. ^ "Tulisa's Debut Album 'The Female Boss' Sells Only 7,000 Copies In First – Could N-Dubz Reunion Be On The Cards?". The Huffington Post. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  18. ^ Smart, Gordon. "N-Dubz singer Tulisa's album flops – The Sun –Showbiz–Bizarre". The Sun. London.
  19. ^ "Official Singles Analysis: Arthur makes Top 10 biggest week sales of 21st century". Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  20. ^ Published Friday, 23 Mar 2012, 09:38 GMT (23 March 2012). "Tulisa unveils debut single 'Young' music video - watch - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 November 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ Published Sunday, 6 May 2012, 19:00 BST (6 May 2012). "Tulisa scores first solo number one single with debut 'Young' - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 November 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  22. ^ Published Tuesday, 24 Jul 2012, 10:03 BST (24 July 2012). "Tulisa debuts new single 'Live It Up' - listen - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 November 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ Published Monday, 20 Aug 2012, 17:34 BST (20 August 2012). "Tulisa unveils 'Live It Up' video - watch - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 November 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ Published Monday, 22 Oct 2012, 10:11 BST (22 October 2012). "Tulisa premieres new single 'Sight of You' music video - watch - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 November 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  25. ^ Published Tuesday, 11 Sep 2012, 09:45 BST (11 September 2012). "Tulisa teases next single: 'It will stand the test of time' - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 November 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ Published Monday, 15 Oct 2012, 10:27 BST (15 October 2012). "Tulisa to release double A-side single - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 November 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  27. ^ "Twitter / officialtulisa: My new single Sight Of You". Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  28. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Female Boss (Deluxe Edition) by Tulisa". Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  29. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 49, 2012". Chart-Track. IRMA.
  30. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  31. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  32. ^ "Official Album Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  33. ^ "Tulisa: (N-dubz): Female Boss (2012): CD". Retrieved 7 November 2012.

External links[edit]