Syco Music, also known as Syco Records is a British record label founded by British music mogul Simon Cowell. It is a subsidiary of Cowell's umbrella entertainment company Syco Entertainment.


Syco Music has offices in London and Los Angeles and is home to several artists. Syco has the exclusive right to sign winners and finalists of The X Factor and Got Talent. Susan Boyle's debut album, I Dreamed a Dream, has sold over 9 million copies, making it one of the best selling releases of the last decade and Syco's most successful release to date.[1] Between 2004 and 2009, Il Divo achieved four multi-million selling albums and in 2007, Leona Lewis became one of the most successful talent show winners when her second single, "Bleeding Love", propelled the album Spirit to 9 million global sales.[2] They have signed one of the most successful boy bands in the world, One Direction. Syco's original base is in London and it has enjoyed most success in the UK market. From 2004 to date, the label has had 22 UK number-one singles. From 2004 to the end of 2009, the label achieved 13 number-one albums. Factoring in releases under predecessor label S Records, Syco/S achieved 20 number-one albums in the 2000-2009 period, more than any other imprint in the UK, including far larger operations like Columbia Records (17), Warner Bros. Records (16) and Polydor Records (14). Additionally, the label has achieved 7 top 10 U.S. albums since 2006.

In 2010, Syco began diversifying by adding producer/singer-songwriter Labrinth.[3] He also set up his own imprint, Odd Child, in conjunction with Syco. Savan Kotecha, who had been writing for Syco acts for several years, also became an A&R Director and set up a joint venture, Kanani Songs.[4] Syco also began forming closer partnerships with other Sony Music Entertainment UK labels. For the first time, Syco entered into an agreement with Columbia Records that would see them work together to launch the career of a The X Factor winner - Matt Cardle.[5] Similar arrangements were made for Olly Murs, Rebecca Ferguson and Ronan Parke, with Epic Records and Alexandra Burke with RCA Records. Tim Byrne is the Creative Director of Syco Music. David Gray is Senior Vice President, A&R. Simon Jones is PR Consultant.

Theft and copyright

Syco Music and its artists have been the targets of illegal hacking on several separate occasions. In 2009 ahead of the release of Leona Lewis's second album Echo, a number of unfinished demos and leftover songs from the project leaked online. An investigation was launched by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), working with the record label and police to identify those responsible.[6][7] Alexandra Burke was also targeted, having two demo-versions of songs from her debut album Overcome leak before the album's release.[8] At the end of March 2010 it was reported that Syco had suffered once again from computer hackers who managed to obtain 14 of Burke's previously unheard studio recordings as well as 26 from Lewis.[9]

Following the second incident of leaks, Cowell contacted the FBI to track down those responsible. Included in the leaks was a newly recorded version of Burke's "All Night Long" featuring American rapper Pitbull, which was tipped to be the singer's third single in March 2010.[10] According to Burke, the songs were leaked by "Two little boys in Germany on work experience", working for Syco.[11] It was later revealed in 2011 that songs recorded for Echo were targeted by the German hacker, Deniz A., also known as DJ Stolen. In July 2010, the Rasch law firm logged a criminal complaint against DJ Stolen for "constantly placing hacked songs on the internet". Amongst those songs listed in the complaint was one called "Pulse", described at the time as a new recording by Lewis.[12] DJ Stolen was jailed for 18 months in June 2011.[13]

In 2011, Syco found itself being taken to court for plagiarism after it was reported that a new Lewis song "Collide" significantly copied "Fade Into Darkness", a 2010 song by Swedish house music DJ Avicii. The DJ took both artist and label to the British High Court [14] just prior to its release however the case was resolved out of court by releasing the song as a joint single between both artists on 4 September 2011.[15][16][17] In February 2013, it was announced that One Direction would be releasing a cover version of "One Way or Another" and "Teenage Kicks" as the 2013 Comic Relief single. However, an unfinished version of the song leaked online and on 7 February 2013 Syco launched an investigation. A spokesperson told the press "It is very disappointing that the song has been leaked and we are currently investigating the matter."[18]


Some of the artists signed by Cowell such as Westlife and Gareth Gates released through their music for a few years through S Records, another company formed by Cowell whose share he then sold to BMG in 2003.[19] Syco Music started releasing music as a label in 2004.[20]

Current roster

  • Olly Murs (Joint UK Deal with Epic Records and joint US with Columbia Records)
  • Rebecca Ferguson (joint UK deal with RCA Records and joint US deal with Columbia Records)
  • One Direction (full UK deal and joint US deal with Columbia Records)
  • Little Mix (full UK deal and joint US deal with Columbia Records)
  • Ella Henderson (full UK deal and joint US deal with Columbia Records)[21]
  • Union J (joint UK deal with Epic Records)
  • Fifth Harmony (joint US deal with Epic Records)
  • Bea Miller (joint US deal with Hollywood Records)[22]
  • Isaac Waddington [23]
  • Alex & Sierra (joint US deal with Columbia Records)[24]
  • Susan Boyle (full UK deal and joint US deal with Columbia Records)
  • Collabro[25]
  • Fleur East (full UK Deal and joint US deal with Columbia Records)
  • Tamera Foster[26]
  • Carly Rose Sonenclar (joint US deal with Columbia Records)[27]
  • Tate Stevens (joint US deal with RCA Nashville)
  • Mayra Verónica (full UK deal and joint US deal with Ultra Music)
  • Diamond White (US)
  • Il Divo
  • Andrew Johnston
  • Labrinth[3]
  • Ryan O'Shaughnessy
  • Molly Rainford
  • Louisa Johnson[28]
  • Reggie 'n' Bollie
  • Bars and Melody

Former artists

  • Steve Brookstein (2004–05)
  • Bianca Ryan (2006–08)
  • George Sampson (2008)
  • Angelis (2006–07)
  • Leon Jackson (2007–09)
  • Same Difference (2007–09)
  • Rhydian (2007–10)
  • Paul Potts (2007–10)
  • Escala (2008–10)
  • Shayne Ward (2005–11)
  • Joe McElderry (2009–11)
  • Westlife (2007–11)
  • Matt Cardle (2010–12)
  • Jackie Evancho (2010–13)
  • Ronan Parke (2011–12)
  • Alexandra Burke (2008–12)
  • Cher Lloyd (2010–14)[29]
  • Loveable Rogues (2012–13)[30]
  • Leona Lewis (2006–14)[31]
  • Jonathan and Charlotte (2012–14)
  • James Arthur (2012–14)[32]
  • Bars and Melody (2014)
  • Sam Bailey (2013–15)[33]
  • Melanie Amaro (2011–13)
  • Forte[34] (2013–14)
  • Rachel Crow (2011–15)
  • Emblem3 (2012–15)
  • Chris Rene (2011–14)
  • Ben Haenow (2014-16)[35]

Number-one singles

Artist Single Year Countries
Steve Brookstein Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) 2004 UK, IRE
Shayne Ward That's My Goal 2005 UK, IRE
Shayne Ward No Promises 2006 IRE
Leona Lewis A Moment Like This UK, IRE
Leona Lewis Bleeding Love 2007 UK, AUS, AUT, CAN, GER, IRE, NZ, SWI, US
Shayne Ward If That's OK with You IRE
Leon Jackson When You Believe UK, IRE
Leona Lewis Run 2008 UK, AUT, IRE
Alexandra Burke Hallelujah UK, IRE, SCO
Alexandra Burke Bad Boys 2009 UK, IRE, SCO
The X Factor Finalists 2009 You Are Not Alone UK, IRE, SCO
Joe McElderry The Climb UK, IRE, SCO
Helping Haiti Everybody Hurts 2010 UK, IRE
Olly Murs Please Don't Let Me Go UK
Alexandra Burke All Night Long IRE
The X Factor Finalists 2010 Heroes UK, IRE, SCO
Alexandra Burke Start Without You UK, SCO
Matt Cardle When We Collide UK, IRE, SCO
Cher Lloyd Swagger Jagger 2011 UK, SCO
Jackie Evancho featuring Barbra Streisand Somewhere US Class
Olly Murs featuring Rizzle Kicks Heart Skips a Beat UK, GER, POL, SWI
One Direction What Makes You Beautiful UK, IRE, USA, MEX, SCO
Olly Murs Dance with Me Tonight UK, SCO
The X Factor Finalists 2011 featuring JLS and One Direction Wishing on a Star UK, IRE, SCO
Little Mix Cannonball UK, IRE, SCO
Chris Rene Young Homie 2012 NZ
Little Mix Wings UK, IRE, SCO
One Direction Live While We're Young IRE, NZ
Olly Murs featuring Flo Rida Troublemaker UK, HUN, SCO
One Direction Little Things UK, SCO
Labrinth featuring Emeli Sandé Beneath Your Beautiful UK, IRE, SCO
James Arthur Impossible UK, IRE, POL, SCO, SPA
One Direction One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks) 2013 UK, DEN, IRE, POL, NL, SCO
Olly Murs Dear Darlin' AUT
One Direction Story of My Life DEN, FIN, IRE, NZ
Sam Bailey Skyscraper UK, IRE, SCO
Ella Henderson Ghost 2014 UK, IRE, SCO
Ben Haenow Something I Need UK, SCO
Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink Worth It 2015 ISR, LBN, MEX
Little Mix Black Magic UK, SCO, EUR
One Direction Drag Me Down UK, SCO, HUN, IRE, NZ, AUT
One Direction Perfect IRE, SCO, SLOV
Fleur East Sax 2016 CRO, HUN
Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign Work from Home NZ, NL, CRO


  1. ^"CNY singer lends voice to Susan Boyle's hit holiday album - News Channel 9 WSYR". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  2. ^"BMG - Comprehensive Management of Music Rights for Songwriters and Recording Artists".
  3. ^"Labrinth Signs To Simon Cowell " RWD: The UK's biggest and best youth lifestyle title; fashion, games, events, gadgets, music and more". 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  4. ^"Savan Kotecha". Kanani Songs. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  5. ^"Double deal for Matt Cardle". Heart. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  6. ^"Piracy officers probe Leona leak". BBC News Online. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  7. ^Otto, Sasjkia (19 August 2009). "Unreleased Leona Lewis tracks leaked online". The Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group Limited). Retrieved 24 August 2009.
  8. ^Nissim, Mayer (2009-07-14). "Music - News - Label 'upset by Burke demo leaks'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
  9. ^Catriona, Whiteman (27 March 2010). "40 more lewis and burke tracks leak online". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  10. ^Lu, Anne (22 March 2010). "Simon Cowell Asks FBI's Help In Tracking Down Music Hackers". All Headline News. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  11. ^Love, Ryan (15 June 2010). "Alexandra Burke reveals leak source". London: Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  12. ^Dahlkamp, Jürgen (27 January 2011). "Lady Gaga, Kesha and the German Hacker Heist". Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  13. ^Corner, Lewis (20 June 2011). "Lady GaGa, Leona Lewis hacker jailed for 18 months". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  14. ^Anon. (19 July 2011). "Leona Lewis Accused of Plagiarism on 'Collide'". PopCrush. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  15. ^Anon. (8 August 2011). "Leona Lewis plagiarism row heats up: Singer Lewis headed for High Court over new single which Ministry of Sound producer says copies his track". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  16. ^Sabbagh, Dan (8 August 2011). "X Factor winner faces high court battle to release new single". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  17. ^"Global Singing Superstar Leona Lewis Is Back Record-breaking Songstress Showcases Brand New Sound". Syco Music, RCA Records & Sony Music via 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  18. ^"One Direction single leak to be investigated by Simon Cowell's Syco". Digital Spy.
  19. ^"S Records". Discogs.
  20. ^"Syco Music". Discogs.
  21. ^Hind, Katie (19 January 2013). "I've got the new 'Adella': Simon Cowell wins fight to sign X Factor’s Ella Henderson". Daily Mirror (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  22. ^"‘X Factor’ Tween Star Beatrice Miller Lands Record Deal With Demi Lovato’s Label". Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  23. ^
  24. ^Orlando Sentinel (13 February 2014). "X Factor: Will cancellation hurt Alex & Sierra? - Orlando Sentinel".
  25. ^Walsh, Collette (13 June 2014). "Britain's Got Talent winners Collabro land Syco deal and Simon Cowell is delighted". The MIrror. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  26. ^"'British Rihanna' Tamera Foster signed by Simon Cowell's record label Syco". The Independent. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  27. ^"SYCO picks up Carly Rose Sonenclar's Recording Option!". Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  28. ^"X Factor final: Louisa Johnson wins 2015 contest". Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  29. ^"Cher Lloyd reveals she split from Simon Cowell's label SyCo last year". Mail Online.
  30. ^"Simon Cowell drops 'BGT' stars Loveable Rogues from Syco label". Digital Spy.
  31. ^Corner, Lewis (3 June 2014). "Leona Lewis leaves Simon Cowell label, joins Island Records". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  32. ^"Just to clear things up - I am no longer with Syco". Twitter. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  33. ^Guardian music. "Sam Bailey dropped by Syco 14 months after X Factor win". the Guardian.
  34. ^"Fourth-place finishers to play Las Vegas first". Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  35. ^DigitalSpy. Digitalspy

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