British rapper Lady Sovereign nearly missed out on the big time when she "messed up" her intimate audition with Usher and JAY-Z - because she was drunk. Sovereign - real name LOUISE HARMAN - gave a private performance to president of Def Jam records JAY-Z and singer Usher in 2005 in a bid to win a deal with the prestigious record company, but was so nervous, she had to drink vodka to calm herself down. The rapper tells London's Time Out, "I was anxious because I didn't know what to expect, so I downed some vodka to steady my nerves. "Usher was in there with Jay-Z, who didn't say much. He was just grinning a lot, but he's a really serious guy. He said, 'Are you ready for this?' And I was like, 'Arggh.' "I did a couple of freestyles and some pre-written stuff, but I choked halfway through. I thought I f**ked up, but I obviously didn't because an hour later they called my manager, and that was it." Lady Sovereign will open for pop star Gwen Stefani on her upcoming tour. The shows kick-off on 27 April (07) in Universal City, California and end on 23 June (07) in Irvine, California.