The X Factor catapulted many wannabe entertainers into the spotlight and provided audiences with must-see TV viewing.
While many contestants fell by the wayside and were forgotten by the end of a season, others have gone on to reap the rewards of a successful career as performing artists.
Sadly, the hit series has come to an end but if you’re missing your favourite show, you can still get your fix in our X Factor Bingo Room – check it out! In the meantime, let’s find out which X Factor stars went on to experience high-altitude stardom.
1. One Direction – worth £114 million
As you’ll know when you play bingo or online slots, you don’t always have to win to feel like a champion. One Direction, or 1D to their fans, is a good example. The lads (Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik) didn’t win their series of The X-Factor, but a combination of perseverance and a love of what they were doing proved to be just the recipe for success.
Today, the English/Irish pop band can boast an eye-watering net worth, and all they needed was five albums in six short years to get the ball rolling. In 2014, Billboard awarded the band the “Artist of the Year” honour, and a year later Forbes ranked them as the fourth highest-earning celebrities in the world, and second highest-earning in 2016.
2. Harry Styles – worth £60 million
Like so many major hit products, One Direction produced at least one spin-off that was hugely successful – namely one Harry Styles. Fans of The X Factor will remember his 2010 audition when he delighted audiences with a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s hit Isn’t She Lovely?
With hearts aflutter all over the nation, Styles went on to thrill, first as part of the 1D ensemble, then in a glittering solo career with two albums, the self-titled Harry Styles and Fine Line. His debut album hit the number one spot in both the UK and the US and went on to become one of the world’s top-10 best-selling albums of 2017. That same year, Styles made an appearance in the Christopher Nolan film Dunkirk, then got to work on his second album.
Fine Line, launched in 2019, grossed the biggest first-week sales by an English male artist in history and secured its place in Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” the following year. Its fourth single, the mouth-watering summer hit Watermelon Sugar, topped the US Billboard Hot 100.
While the lad has turned his attention to the silver screen for now, we’re waiting for someone close to the star to suggest a Harry Styles-themed slot game.
3. Little Mix – worth £24 million
Now, we already know that when you find a winning combination, the only way is up. This was the case when slots and online bingo were combined to form the wildly exciting Slingo, and it was a similar alchemy for Little Mix.
They were the first group to win The X Factor and, with the exception of Jesy Nelson, the girls (Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock), have kept on making music together. Their achievements include six studio albums, five UK number one singles and the fastest-selling number one girl group album in 15 years with their fourth studio album Glory Days. In 2021, they’d sold more than 60 million records worldwide, which makes them one of the world’s best-selling girl groups.
4. JLS – worth £18 million
Boy band JLS, made up of Aston Merrygold, Oritsé Williams, Marvin Humes and JB Gill, lost out to X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, but went on to achieve music stardom.
After their near-win on The X Factor in 2008, JLS signed with Epic Records and their first two singles, Beat Again and Everybody in Love, shot to number one on the UK Singles Chart in 2009. They were awarded the honour of British Breakthrough and British Single for Beat Again at the 2010 BRIT Awards. But that was just the beginning. The following year, they won the MOBO Awards for Best UK act and Best Album. In both 2011 and 2012, they won the title of the UK’s hardest-working band.
The band broke up in 2013, but thrilled fans with the announcement of a reunion in 2020. Sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event was postponed.
5. Leona Lewis – worth £75 million
Songbird Leona Lewis won The X Factor in 2006 and has gone on to have a stellar career. Her winner’s single, A Moment Like This (a cover of the Kelly Clarkson hit), went all the way to number one on the UK Singles Chart. It also set a world record for 50,000 digital downloads in 30 minutes. She followed this up in 2007 with her debut studio album Spirit, which was certified 10x platinum in the UK and was the fourth best-selling album of the 2000s and one of the highest-selling albums in UK chart history.
By 2021, she’d sold upwards of 35 million records, received two MOBO Awards, an MTV Europe Music Award and two World Music Awards. There have also been six BRIT Awards and three Grammy Awards. The X Factor star it seems also has a big heart, being an active voice for many charities and animal rights causes, in particular
6. Alexandra Burke – worth £6.5 million
The fifth season of The X Factor in 2008, gave Alexandra Burke the platform to showcase her impressive vocal range.
Following her win, her winner’s single Hallelujah took the European record for the most singles sold in 24 hours (105,000 in a single day). It became the best-selling single in the UK in 2008, and the UK’s Christmas 2008 number one. By the New Year, it had sold more than one million copies in the UK, which was a first for a British female soloist.
In 2009, her debut album, Overcome, was released and soared into the number one spot on the UK Albums Chart. Her West End career started in 2014 when she replaced Beverley Knight in the lead role of Rachel Marron in the musical The Bodyguard. She then toured with the production in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.
We’re looking forward to Burke’s role in a movie based on the life of Tina Turner.
7. Olly Murs – £4.5 million
Olly Murs, runner-up in season six of The X Factor, has made a successful career in both music and television. At present, he is signed with RCA Records and Sony Music UK in the United Kingdom and Columbia Records in the US. He has also worked as a coach on The Voice UK, winning the eighth series with Molly Hocking and the ninth series with Blessing Chitapa.
So far, he has sold more than 13 million records worldwide, including four number-one singles and two number-one albums.
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