Just 16 months after he won the X Factor, Joe McElderry has been dropped by Simon Cowell's record label.
After coming out on top in the 2009 competition, the 19-year-old signed a deal with Syco, a division of Sony BMG.
But, according to the Daily Mail, his contract will not be renewed when it runs out in about a month.
The singer has also reportedly left his upmarket apartment in west London and moved back in with his mum.
"Joe is devastated," a friend told the newspaper. "He believed he could have a great music career."
Meanwhile, a source at Syco said: "Simon gave Joe the best chance possible of success by making sure he worked with some of the world's top producers.
"Joe's a lovely boy and it is a pity it did not work out, but no one can say Simon and his staff didn’t try to make it work."
The South Shields star became the first winner not to top the Christmas chart when his debut single was targeted by a campaign aimed at stopping the X Factor claiming the festive title.
Photo: © Rex
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