In news that is thought to have stunned the music industry, the two X Factor-winning groups have parted ways with the company – a move that is part of Syco’s relationship with Modest! Management being brought to a close. This means James Arthur is the only X Factor champion still working with Syco.
It’s surprising timing, given that we’re just one week away from Little Mix releasing their next album, LM5.
But both the girlband and Rak-Su have found homes elsewhere, courtesty of RCA – which is also under the Sony Music umbrella.
A spokesman for Cowell said in a statement: “Syco Music will no longer work with Modest Management and therefore any artists signed to that management company.
“We do, of course, wish all artists affected by this decision every future success.
“Consequently, LM5, the forthcoming Little Mix album A&R’d and released on Syco Music, is to be serviced by RCA at the request of Syco and Simon Cowell.”
Tensions allegedly began to simmer when the girls asked for a writing credit on their new single Woman Like Me – alongside Steve Mac, Jess Glynne and Ed Sheeran; although they were not seeking any publishing money for their work.
When they eventually took their issues to Cowell in a “strongly-worded email”, things escalated when Modest became involved.
Syco then reportedly terminated their working relationship with Modest.
Little Mix were, by far, Syco’s most successful act after One Direction went on hiatus, although the label has plenty of other big names on its roster.
Their other clients include last year’s X Factor runner-up Grace Davies, plus Susan Boyle, Camila Cabello, Louis Tomlinson and Labrinth.
Little Mix’s LM5 will be released as planned on Friday, and Cowell is thought to be inviting them to perform on the X Factor final as a sign of goodwill.
Several other X Factor stars have left the Syco books this year: Louisa Johnson, the 2015 winner of the ITV talent show, was dumped before she even got to release an album.
Fleur East and Ella Henderson, two hugely successful non-winners from recent series, were also let go.
Meanwhile Matt Terry, who did not sign to Syco but instead went straight to RCA, was also left without a deal when his debut album and its singles flopped.
Rak-Su released their latest single I Want You To Freak last month. It has so far peaked at No39.
The X Factor continues tonight on ITV.