X Factor champion to record album
X Factor winner Ben Haenow is to head into the studio to begin work on his album in less than a fortnight after finally signing a deal today (January 6) - on his 30th birthday.
The former van driver from Croydon triumphed in the ITV show last month and his winner's single Something I Need went on to become the Christmas number one.
Ben has now signed a contract with Syco Music, with Simon Cowell saying he was "thrilled" to have him on board.
The singer, whose album will be released later this year, said: "To say I'm excited to become part of the Syco family is an understatement."
He continued: "Getting to work with Simon during the show was incredible. He is a great guy and amazing mentor - and really helped me as an artist. I can't wait to start working with him and the team again and putting together a great record for 2015."
X Factor boss Simon said: "Ben is a great talent - and a great guy. I'm thrilled he is now officially part of the Syco family and can't wait to get working with him on his first album. And happy birthday Ben."
Sonny Takhar, the president of Syco Music, said: "Ben is not only supremely talented, he has garnered the most votes ever for an X Factor winner. We cannot wait to get started on launching his artist career."
His single was the fastest-selling debut of 2014, selling 214,000 copies during its first week on sale, outstripping the 2013 winner Sam Bailey who shifted 149,000 copies of Skyscraper. But it was way behind the 2012 winner James Arthur who achieved 490,000 sales of Impossible in a week.
Ben will be heading out on the road next month on the 26-date nationwide X Factor tour, which begins in Belfast.