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Cowell signs X Factor star as pop really does eat itself

In possibly one of the most depressing stories this writer has ever heard about the music business, Simon Cowell has reportedly won the fight to sign The X Factor star Ella Henderson to his label.

If you think that is an overstatement – just consider this. Cowell set up talent shows like The X Factor to churn out endless sums of money for himself and his label. His stroke of utterly diabolical genius was to use the viewing public to manufacture the hype for him, so by the time the various contestants had warbled their way through weeks of cover versions, they were already household names, and Cowell could then resell the artists to the public after the series finished. The whole point of The X Factor was to make one pile of cash out of the actual program before tying the winners or favoured losers into a contract with him so he could milk the whole format a second time. So not only do you not pay for PR anymore – you actually get people to pay you! Exploitation anyone?

If that is not bad enough – the Sunday Mirror reports that after the 17-year-old had signed with Sony, SyCo landed the deal ahead of other Sony labels Epic, Colombia and RCA.

So hang on – this bidding war for Ella Henderson was conducted entirely between Sony subsidiaries? No wonder the state of popular music is so appalling if that is the kind of ‘fierce competition’ we are talking about. How homogenous does all of this have to get before it implodes?

The paper claims Simon is keen to oversee Ella's career, and intends to make the young singer a global star and millionaire by next year. He really is all heart. Selflessly laying down his time to give young, naive and easily manipulated teenagers a leg up in the world while quietly minting it off their backs and crushing any glimmer of actual creativity.

Ella told the Sunday Mirror: "I've already written stuff but I can't wait to pen new material because I haven't written all through the period of being on the X Factor."

Possibly because original songwriting has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the kind of money making vehicle Cowell set the X Factor up to be. He could still teach City bankers a thing or two about cynical profit. And that is really saying something.

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