Sam Bailey has joined the long list of former “X Factor” U.K. winners who have parted ways with Syco Music, the record company co-owned by Simon Cowell and Sony Music. Meanwhile, Syco has signed R&B/hip-hop diva Fleur East (who came in second place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2014), while Sony Music’s RCA Records has signed pop vocalist Andrea Faustini (who came in third place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2014).
On Feb. 14, 2015, Bailey (the winner of “The X Factor” U.K. in 2013) tweeted: “Hi guys yes it’s true I have parted ways with syco!! Don’t worry tho, I’m happy xx lots of exciting things happening xx”
She later deleted the message and added on Feb. 16, 2015: “I wish people wouldn’t see the ‘syco thing’ as a negative!!! I’m genuinely happy how things are going xx onwards and upwards xx”
And on the ITV talk show “Lorraine,” Bailey said about being dropped from Syco: “I’m not silly, I’ve been around the block a bit, I kind of knew it was coming.” She also told The Sun: “I’m really grateful for everything ‘X Factor’ has done for me. I’m going straight into a studio to write after the tour. I would also maybe like to get into acting and I would love to do ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.”
BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” airs opposite ITV’s “The X Factor” and has been beating “The X Factor” in the rating since 2012.
Bailey and her family will be appearing on ITV’s “All Star Family Fortunes” on March 8, 2015.
Although Bailey had hit sales for Syco, including her first album (“The Power of Love”) and first single (a cover version of Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper) debuting at No. 1 in the U.K., this “X Factor” blog predicted back in June 2014 that Bailey would be dropped from Syco before she would get a chance to release a second album with Syco. Her follow-up singles to “Skyscraper” were “Compass” and “With You,” and they both were major flops. Her quickie autobiography (also released in 2014) had less-than-impressive sales.
According to tabloids such as the Daily Mirror and The Sun, Bailey (who is 37) was never Cowell’s favorite contestant to win on the show in 2013. His preferred contestant that year was reportedly teenager Tamera Foster, who has since signed a deal with Syco. Cowell has made no secret that he prefers to work with new artists who are under the age of 30. (Susan Boyle was a major exception because of her unique voice and phenomenal rise to fame.) Bailey is a middle-aged mother of three underage kids, one of whom is a newborn, and she just doesn’t fit into Cowell’s image of the pop stars he likes to have on his label.
Bailey’s pregnancy with youngest child Miley (who was born on Sept. 10, 2014, three weeks before the due date) affected her tour plans. Bailey wasn’t able to do her first solo tour until early 2015. The U.K. tour began on Jan. 26 and ended on Feb. 18. Had she not been pregnant, Bailey would have toured in 2014. (Miley’s godmother is Sharon Osbourne, who was Bailey’s “X Factor” mentor on the show.)
Former “X Factor” U.K. winners Steve Brookstein (2004 winner), Leon Jackson (2007 winner), Joe McElderry (2009 winner), Matt Cardle (2010 winner) and James Arthur (2012 winner) each released just one album on Sony Music before Sony dumped them. Shayne Ward (2005 winner), Leona Lewis (2006 winner) and Alexandra Burke (2008 winner) released more than one album with Sony but “parted ways” with the company after their album sales decreased significantly.
As of now, girl group Little Mix (winner of “The X Factor” U.K. in 2011) and rock singer Ben Haenow (winner of “The X Factor” U.K. in 2014) are the only winners from “The X Factor” U.K. signed to Syco. Industry insiders are expecting Haenow’s debut album (title and release date to be announced) to have solid, but not spectacular, sales. Based on Syco’s track record of dropping “X Factor” winners, Haenow should not expect to make a second album with Syco because it’s only a matter of time before he too “parts ways” with the company.
Meanwhile, Syco seems to have high hopes for East, who was mentored by Cowell on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2014. Even though Haenow was also mentored by Cowell on the show, Cowell has been obvious in showing that he prefers East, who has been positioned as the standout in the 2015 “X Factor” U.K. tour that features the show’s Top 8 contestants of 2014.
East told Digital Spy some details about her first album with Syco: “I’ve already started writing and recording so I’ve been in with Wayne Hector, I’ve been in with Jack Splash and then straight after the ‘X Factor’ tour I’m going to be recording with TMS and Invisible Men. I want it to be urban-inspired but I want to salute the old school as well so I want it to be really uptempo, uplifting.”
Meanwhile, Faustini commented in a press release about signing to RCA: “Only a year ago I was a normal student in Italy with a dream to sing. Thanks to the UK public my dream is about to become a reality and I can’t wait to work with RCA and show everyone what I can do.”
The titles and release dates for East’s and Faustini’s debut albums are to be announced.