Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has sensationally quit The X Factor in order to focus on her music career. The 32-year-old confirmed the news in a statement to HELLO! Online, revealing that she had recently met with boss Simon Cowell to inform him of her decision.
"I have had such an amazing experience being a judge on The X Factor," the 32-year-old star said. "I have learnt so much and enjoyed nurturing talent but I've missed making music and am excited to be recording again.
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Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has quit The X Factor
"I want to thank everybody I have worked with along the way, especially Simon who I love to bits. I hope the show continues to produce stars and I wish them all the best."
Simon, meanwhile, added: "Cheryl and myself spoke about this. I totally understand her commitment to making more records. She has been amazing on this show and in the near future we will be working on other things together."
Cheryl is currently in LA working on some new material while she spends some quality time with boyfriend Liam Payne.
Cheryl is currently in LA with boyfriend Liam Payne
A source told the Sun: "Music is her number one passion and she has just stared working on a new album which she wants out later this year. She is having a great time in the US with Liam and getting back to her pop roots.
"Simon understands her reasons. He is supportive. X Factor will always be a special show for her as it changed her life."
The star has offered to work in an advisory capacity and will also return for a special live performance. "She said she's always around for him to call if he wants a second opinion on anything to do with the show.
"She's set to be back on the show as a performer with her new music later this year."
The X Factor line-up is facing a big shake-up
Cheryl's decision contributes to one of the biggest shake-ups in X Factor history. Olly Murs and Caroline Flack have been replaced as hosts after just one year, with Dermot O'Leary confirmed to return.
In February Nick Grimshaw quit as a judge and is set to be replaced by Louis Walsh, and it is also been reported that Sharon Osbourne is in talks to return to the panel, following her exit in 2007.