‘X Factor’ champ Melanie Amaro signs to Epic Records
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Melanie Amaro, the inaugural winner of Fox’s stateside edition of “The X Factor,” has signed to Epic Records, the label announced Tuesday.
Amaro snagged the largest guaranteed prize in television history with a $5-million recording contract to Sony Music through Syco, a joint venture between Sony and show creator Simon Cowell, when she took the crown in December.
Though she was guided by her mentor Cowell during the competition, when she goes to Epic, the 19-year-old’s debut will be overseen by one of the show’s other judges, Antonio ‘L.A.’ Reid. Reid was appointed chairman and chief executive of the label in July after previously serving as chairman of Island Def Jam -- from which he departed to become a judge on “The X Factor” alongside Cowell, Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.
“We all agreed that Epic would be the right fit for Melanie,” Cowell said in a statement. “L.A. made it clear that he wanted the opportunity to work with her, and with his track record, you can’t say no to that.”
Cowell previously told Pop & Hiss that the contract was a guaranteed $5 million paid to the winner over five years and also promised that his team would offer the winner separate financial support so the contestant wouldn’t be forced into investing their own money into their debut project.
“The recording costs, marketing costs [that go into the winner’s album] is all separate,” he said. In comparison, ‘The X Factor’ deal dwarfs the $1 million that winners on Cowell’s previous hit Fox competition, “American Idol,” earn.
As part of her prize, Amaro will also star in a Pepsi commercial to air during next month’s Super Bowl.
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-- Gerrick D. Kennedy