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Top 5 Artists from X Factor UK that have Grown Massive in the Music Industry

Updated on September 11, 2016
Little Mix at the Gibraltar Music Festival in 2015
Little Mix at the Gibraltar Music Festival in 2015 | Source


The X factor is a singing reality TV show which originated from UK. The idea of the Show was brought up and created by Simon Cowell (the owner of Syco Music Record Label). The X Factor later had other related TV shows such as The X factor US, The X Factor Australia, and The Xtra Factor.

Since the opening of X Factor UK in 2004, the British reality television music competition has accumulated a lot of talented singers, nurtured them, and made some of them into international superstars. The show has been one of the most popular TV shows in Europe, with more than 19 million viewers in UK. However, with the Show's quite known achievements over the years, this piece provides arts that appeared in past series of the Show's UK version, but kept growing massive in the music industry

Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis performing live on a stage in 2010
Leona Lewis performing live on a stage in 2010 | Source

Leona Lewis is a pop and R&B singer and songwriter who rose to fame after winning the third series of The X Factor in 2006. She made it to the life shows under the guidance of Simon Cowell. However, she launched her carrier shortly after the competition, and till date, has been considered the most efficacious art from The X Factor.

Lewis has sold over 30 million records worldwide, with her debut album 'Spirit' marking a record of over 8 million sales. So far, Leona has released five albums namely 'Spirit' (2007), 'Echo' (2009), 'Glass Heart' (2012), 'Christmas, With Love' (2013), and 'I AM' (2015); with 'Spirit' and 'Echo' topping the UK Albums Chart. Her single 'Bleeding Love' was a main hit, taking number-one spot in 30 countries. Nevertheless, Leona Lewis is the first X Factor contestant nominated in Grammy Awards.

One Direction (1D)

One Direction: When they were still five. From the left are Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, and Niall Horan
One Direction: When they were still five. From the left are Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, and Niall Horan | Source

One Direction was formed in 2010 season of The X Factor UK by Simon Cowell. The band consists of four members (since Zayn Malik departure). The then five individuals auditioned as solo contestants in season seven of The X Factor, but were eliminated at boot camp stage. They were later called back and put together as a group for the live shows. 1D later finished third in the Show, with their mentor Simon Cowell.

After The X Factor journey, one direction released four albums, with all making it to the Top of US Billboard 200. The band has sold over 50 million records worldwide, with their debut album 'UP All Night' selling over 5 million copies. Till date, 1D is labelled as the biggest boy band on planet, having a net worth of over $41.2 million.

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Olly Murs

Olly Murs on New Zealand
Olly Murs on New Zealand | Source

Murs gained national recognition in 2009, when he auditioned in the sixth series of The X Factor. He was mentored by Cowell, and later finished in second place. After the show, he embarked on his musical carrier, realising his debut single 'Please Don't Let Me Go', which charted at number-one on the UK Singles Charts

Murs overwhelming carrier success, surpassing the winner, proved that "you don't have to win The X Factor in order to archive greatness". However, he has sold over 20 million records worldwide, with an accumulation of 4 million UK single sales. Albums named Olly Murs (2010), In Case You Didn't Know (2011), Right Place Right Time (2012), and Never Been Better (2014) were his masterpieces.

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Little Mix

Little Mix in 2014
Little Mix in 2014 | Source

The undeniable talented English singer and songwriter, Alexandra Burke, appeared in the second series of The X Factor in 2005 but couldn't make it to the finale four of Louis Walsh's category. In 2008, she surfaced again in the fifth series and later made it to the live shows, under the guidance of Cheryl Cole. Burke was finally declared the winner after performing her debut single 'Hallelujah' by Leonard Cohen, which ranked number-one on the Charismas Chart in 2008.

Burke has metamorphosed into a spectacular international figure after The X Factor, selling over 5.5 million records worldwide. She has released two albums: 'Overcome' and 'Heartbreak On Hold'. 'Overcome', being her debut studio album, sold over 1.5 million copies; three of its singles making it to the top of UK Singles Chart, receiving a platinum selling single.

Alexandra Burke

Alexandra Burke at the MOBO Award
Alexandra Burke at the MOBO Award | Source

The pop and R&B English girl band, consisting of Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwail were formed in 2011. They auditioned individually and couldn't survive the Show as solo artists, but they were later brought together as a girl group in the eighth series of The X Factor. Amazingly, they became the first group to win the TV Show since its history.

Little Mix has since evolved as one of the significant girl group in UK, breaking a record of earning the highest debut US Chart position by a British girl band; which was held by Spice Girls since 1996. The band has sold over 8 million records worldwide, with over 5 million singles' sales. Three albums have so far been produced by Little Mix: 'DNA', 'Salute', and 'Get Weird'.


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