Union J dumps Alpha Dog Management for 'X Factor' U.K. mentor Louis Walsh!
Union J, the boy band that came in fourth place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012, has dumped Alpha Dog Management to be managed by "The X Factor" U.K. judge Louis Walsh, who was Union J's "X Factor" mentor on the show.
Mr. Celeb UK tweeted on December 11, 2012: "CONFIRMED: @unionjworld have left their old manager @blair & have signed a record deal with new manager @TheXFactor's Louis Walsh! #xfactor."
The move isn't too surprising, since Walsh made his fortune from being a personal manager, he has had extensive experience managing pop artists, and he repeatedly said on "The X Factor" U.K. that Union J is "the next big boy band." Walsh's most famous clients were boy bands Westlife (which amicably disbanded in 2012) and Boyzone, which parted ways with Walsh in 2011. His former clients also include Girls Aloud, Samantha Mumba and "X Factor" U.K. 2005 winner Shayne Ward.
Union J will likely sign a record deal with Sony Music, the record-company partner of "The X Factor." The deal should be announced in 2013. The group has already gotten compared to "The X Factor's" most successful act: boy band One Direction, which came in third place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2010. One Direction has had No. 1 hits and sold-out arena tours in several countries, and the group makes millions from merchandising.Walsh also desperately needs a new act to become an international success, because after Westlife broke up, his client roster was reduced to former Westlife singer Shane Filan, identical twin brothers Jedward (a former "X Factor" U.K. act with declining music sales) and girl group Wonderland, which hasn't hit it big.
The members of Union J are 19-year-old George Shelley, 22-year-old Jaymi Hensley, 20-year-old Josh Cuthbert and 24-year-old Jamie "JJ" Hamblett. The group was originally a trio named Triple J, consisting of Hensley, Cuthbert and Hamblett, but Shelley (who auditioned for "The X Factor" as a guitar-playing solo artist) was added to the group by Walsh, and the group's name was changed to Union J.
Hensley, who is considered by many to be Union J's best singer, came out as gay in November 2012. He has been dating his boyfriend Olly Marmon since 2009. The other three members of Union J say that they are all straight and unattached. Ella Henderson, who came in sixth place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012, admitted to Look magazine that she's interested in dating Cuthbert.
Union J is among the former "X Factor" U.K. 2012 contestants who are part of of "The X Factor" U.K. 2013 tour, which will go from January to February. Other acts on the tour will include Henderson, James Arthur (winner), Jahmene Douglas (second place), Rylan Clark (fifth place) and District3 (seventh place).
There are rumors that Christopher Maloney (third place) may be dropped from the tour, due to his backstage outburst on December 9, 2012, when he allegedly verbally abused former "X Factor" contestant Carolyne Poole (13th place) and "X Factor" staffers. Kye Sones (eighth place) is rumored to be the top choice if Maloney is going to be replaced on the tour.
A source told The Sun: “The other contestants have made no bones about the fact Kye was one of their best friends on the show and they would love him to tour. Nobody got on with Chris and after his outburst against Carolynne on Sunday, everyone is furious with him. They can’t bear the thought of having to tour with Chris while Kye misses out.”
Meanwhile, Union J has already started headlining concerts in Scotland and have named the tour "The Christmas Scottish Tour." The group launched the tour at The Garage in Aberdeen, Scotland, on December 11, 2012. Union J tweeted afterward: "We love you Aberdeen!!!!! What a wicked night....tweet us If you were in the audience!! Josh, JJ, jaymi, George!"
Shelley tweeted: "Nu'night everyone! Tonight made me realise how lucky we are to have so many people who support us! Love you all! George X The lights were blinding! Loved every second of it! George X." Hamblett tweeted: "At aberdeen airport... loved the gig last night the crowd was amazing.. woop woop JJx"
X Factor 2012: Simon Cowell to sign Union J, Ella Henderson & Jahmene Douglas to SYCO as well as James Arthur!
Simon Cowell is reportedly planning to sign a whopping four acts from this year’s X Factor series.
The music mogul automatically picked up James Arthur after he won the show on Sunday and he must be rubbing his hands together in glee, after the 23 year old broke all previous sales records set by X Factor winnersand is outselling all debut singles as released by the show champions.
Simon won’t get any cash from this record of course, as all proceeds will be donated to children’s charity ‘Together For Shorts Lives’ but it’s a good sign and hopefully a positive indication of how James’ music and albums will sell down the line.
As show boss, Simon Cowell also has the option to sign any other singers from the series that he wants to work with and as he has first dibs on the final 13 acts, it’s said he is planning to offer deals to Union J, Ella Hendersonand Jahmene Douglas.
The Sun claims that SYCO is drawing up ‘lavish’ deals for the performers and that the contracts should be penned within the coming weeks.
Tulisa has already revealed that Ella Henderson has been inundated with record deal offers, telling The Mirror:
“She’s been getting record deals thrown at her left, right and centre.”
However, it seems that Simon Cowell won’t be letting her go with any of his rivals.
The newspaper also reports that Mr Beyonce (Jay Z) is so keen to work with winner Jay Z that he is considering spending millions of pounds buying him out of his contract with SYCO.
Whatever happens it sounds like Cowell will be quids in!
He tweeted James yesterday praising him on the fantastic sales of his single ‘Impossible’ and wrote:
“Looks like James Arthur is going to have a massive hit this week. Congratulations.”
Would you buy records from James, Jahmene, Ella or Union J? Leave your comments below…
X Factor 2012: Union J & Jahmene Douglas are missing each other! Awww
Union J have admitted that they are missing their X Factor pals and Jahmene Douglas in particular.
The X Factor boyband were eliminated from the show in the semi finals ten days ago and saw all the contestants and crew at the weekend when they reunited for the two final shows.
However for the last few days they’ve been travelling the length and breadth of the UK and it seems they are missing the X Factor bubble.
George Shelley shared this picture on Twitter, with the caption:
“I do miss my buddie @jahmenedouglas x”
“Xfactor has been amazing..had a whale of a time. Thankyou to every1 and so happy for James and jahmene. Thanku to everyone who voted. Josh x”
Jahmene is feeling a little lonely too it seemed and he tweeted the lads last night, replying:
“@UnionJworld Miss you too ! x keeeeep smiling and in other news … It’s mighty cold outside x”
It feels strange for the 21 year old star not to be in a constant loop of rehearsals and interviews and he added:
“Feels so odd having nothing to do :-/”
Thankfully the quiet period won’t last for long as Jahmene, James, Union J, District 3, Ella Henderson and Rylan Clark will all have a reunion in the new year when they start the X Factor 2013 tour.
Christopher Maloney is also on the lineup but it’s thought he may bedropped due to his recent behaviour.
Some of the contestants could soon be working with the same record label too as it was reported today that Simon Cowell plans to sign Douglas, Union J and Ella to his SYCO label very soon.
Sources: 1, 2, 3
All I want for Christmas is a record deal for my boys