Melanie Amaro, the winner of the first season of “The X Factor,” has been signed by Epic Records.
“X Factor” judge Antonio “L.A.” Reid is chairman and CEO of the label, and said in a statement Tuesday, “I joined The X Factor to be able to discover undeniable talent such as Melanie.
“I am pleased that she is now signed to Epic Records because I believe we have only scratched the surface on uncovering her talent and her inevitable journey to super-stardom.”
The deal is part of her “X Factor” prize, which included a $5 million prize and a recording contract with Epic’s parent company Sony Music, and secured her a role in a Pepsi commercial set to air during the Super Bowl in Feb.
The 19-year-old British Virgin Islands native beat Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik for the inaugural title along with some 100,000 hopefuls who auditioned in the spring, and after three months of heated, competition it was her rousing performances that clinched the crown.
Ballads were her signature and season highlights included her version of “Hero,” Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” and her audition and finale number “Listen,” by Beyonce.
Amaro told the Hollywood Reporter why the song encapsulated her journey. “If you listen to the words, you can see why the song means so much,” she said. “It’s like I had this dream in my heart that needs to be heard. And every time I sing that song, I think it’s heard.”