*Melanie Amaro, the winner of the first season of “The X Factor,” has signed her $5 million record deal with Epic Records, part of a grand prize that also includes a role in a Pepsi commercial set to air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.
“X Factor” judge Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who is chairman and CEO of the label, 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 superstardom.”
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.
Rene, meanwhile, is also about to sign with Epic records, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Santa Cruz-based rapper, who was mentored by Reid, was a crowd favorite early on with his story of drug addiction and recovery along with the self-penned original number “Young Homie,” which he sang at his first audition (the Youtube clip has since amassed over 11 million views). According to Reid, Rene is recording a new version of the song which will feature top-notch production.
Fellow X Factor contestant Astro and runner-up Josh Krajcik are also expected to land deals at Sony Music. Says an insider: “The star power is there for a number of them — they’re relevant, contemporary recording artists with great chart and radio potential.”
Of course, none of the finalists will see the sort of payout awarded to Amaro, who’ll pocket $5 million over the next five years. Today’s major label contract can advance between $150,000 on the low end and $500,000 on the high end for a new artist on a multi-album deal, but often much of that money is recoupable by the record company after it’s paid for the record’s production, promotion and a slew of other costs, notes The Hollywood Reporter.