Joe McElderry Writes Open Letter To 'X Factor' Winners Little Mix
X Factor elder Joe McElderry has written an open letter published by the Daily Mail to Little Mix on how to deal with instant fame and telling them to stand up to Simon Cowell.
Joe won the sixth series of the juggernaught TV show in 2009 and released one album under Simon Cowell's watch but was dropped from record label Syco in April last year.
He has since gone on to win ITV's Popstar To Operastar, got a new record deal and released an album of classic songs.
In the letter, he says: "Remember this: You're not megastars yet. You've got a long way to go and a lot to prove before you can consider yourself a success. The coming year is crucial - work hard, avoid becoming complacent and be professional."
The singer admits he is a fan of Little Mix and is friends with member Jade Thirlwall after meeting on the club singing circuit.
Joe warned the girls that instant fame could take some getting used to. He said: "Everyone wants to know about your personal life, your relationships, your Facebook status. It is quite weird. I couldn't get my head around the questions about my family.
"Why did they want to know? Now I'm used to it, but back then being asked if I had a girlfriend or who was my first girlfriend seemed strange."
The seasoned celeb warned against the downside of fame: "If people write horrible things about you on online forums and Twitter - as has happened to me - try to ignore their negative comments. I got upset, but then I realised it's pointless dwelling on them."
He added: "When you get negative press just brush it off."
On working with Simon Cowell, Joe said: "You are in control of your own destiny. I know people think Simon Cowell is in control, and yes, sometimes you have to follow what the record company says, but Simon likes people who can stand up to him, who say, 'I don't want this', or, 'I like that song'."
He continued: "Like any job, there are going to be disagreements.
"You've got to be comfortable with everything you do because you're the one who has to sell the product. If you are not comfortable and it means having a bit of a row so long as it's constructive and not a tantrum I think it's fair enough.
"It's important to remember you are the artist, you have to keep creative control. Trust your own decisions."
Who knew little Joe was such an oracle of wisdom!
X FACTOR BIGGEST LOSERS GALLERY
Stacey Solomon, Series 6
Dagenham gal Stacey might not have won the singing comp but she's gone on to become something of a reality star after being crowned Queen of the Jungle on <em>I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! </em> And thanks to Kerry Katona's extra-curricular habits she's also replaced her as the face of 'mum's favourite' Iceland - no surprise then, that she was also voted Mum of the Year. And it looks like singing is back on the agenda too, with an album in the pipeline and live gigs around the country. (Pic: Getty)
One Direction, Series 7
They were thrown together at Bootcamp after they failed to make the grade as solo acts - but for Louis, Harry, Zayn, Niall and Liam it was probably the best thing to ever happen to them. One Direction zoomed straight to the final of the seventh series and while they only finished third, Uncle Simon wasn't going to let them go that easily. Their debut single <em>What Makes You Beautiful</em> shot straight to number one, and their album <em>Up All Night</em> hit number two. Something tells us these lads could be here for a while... (Pic: Rex)
Andy Abraham, Series 2
In the closest ever <em>X Facto</em>r final, bin man Andy was pipped to the post by Shayne Ward by just 1.2% of the vote. It was still enough for him to secure a recording contract and his debut album reached no.2 (beaten to the top spot by fellow <em>X Factor</em> losers Journey South). Other less successful albums followed before Andy was chosen to represent the UK at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. He came last. Despite this, his website describes him as a man 'who has braved and exceeded all expectations over the last 4 years'. Hmmm. (Pic: Getty)
Chico Slimani, Series 2
Proving that a little luck can go a VERY long way, the former stripper made it to the quarter finals of series two and even managed to score a number 1 single (the all-time classic <em>It's Chico Time</em>) before doing the obligatory tour of Butlins. He later went on to sing at Muslim events under his original name of Yousseph Slimani and even re-recorded his first single as It's England Time after having a vision that England won the 2010 World Cup. Oh dear. He is now married to the sister of tennis star Nenad Zimonjic who he is expecting his third child with. (Pics: Rex)
Eoghan Quigg, Series 5
For every JLS there are a dozen Eoghan Quiggs (or Eggnog as he *coughs*affectionately became known). Despite bagging himself a record deal and a support slot on Boyzone's UK tour, things sped downhill quickly for the big-haired Irish lad after his debut album flopped and was declared 'the worst album in the history of recorded sound' by the Guardian. Ouch. He was last seen popping up on <em>Harry Hill's TV Burp</em>. Say no more. (Pic: Redferns)
G4, Series 1
The four piece vocal troupe might have been runners-up to series 1 winner Steve Brookstein but actually went on to outsell him - shifting 240,000 copies of their debut album in the first week of release - but eventually split in 2007 due to disagreements within the band. Nothing has been heard from any of them since apart from ickle Jonathan (the blond) who is about to embark on a mammoth eight date 'intimate' tour of the likes of Hartlepool. Aaah, the fickle finger of fame. (Pic: Rex)
Jedward, Series 6
Who'd have thought that Irish twins John and Edward Grimes would go so, so far? Despite no obvious talent the brothers are already both millionaires and can count David Cameron amongst their fans. They've released two albums, been the face of Nintendo DS , Rowntrees Randoms, Travel Supermarket and Shake 'n' Vac and represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest. Heck, they've even performed for President Obama. And then they had a turn in <em>Celebrity Big Brother </em>for a reported £1million. (Pic: Getty)
JLS, Series 5
If ever there was proof that you don't need to win <em>X Factor </em>to go on to have a successful career then JLS are it. The boys' debut album sold over a million copies, they've had five number one singles (the only X Factor act to do so), won two Brits and four MOBOs. And if any further proof were needed that JLS have hit the big time - they also have their own line of condoms. (Pic: Getty)
Lucie Jones, Series 6
Life's been pretty good for Lucy since appearing on the X Factor. She landed a modelling contract (and became the face and body of Wonderbra), performed opposite rumoured love interest Nick Jonas on the London stage, spent a year in Les Mis and is about to give a pop another stab. She was briefly linked to Louis from One Direction and is currently dating Cameron Mackintosh's personal trainer after being introduced by the impresario. Busy gal. (Pic: Film Magic)
Olly Murs, Series 6
Poor old Joe McElderry might have won series six but it was undoubtedly runner-up Olly who ended up victorious. Where Joe's career never really got started, Olly bagged himself a no.1 single with <em>Please Don't Let Me Go</em> and a double platinum debut album. His second album hit the shelves in November and he's currently presenting X Factor spin-off show <em>The Xtra Factor</em>. (Pic: Wire Image)
Ray Quinn, Series 3
If it wasn't for a certain Leona Lewis, Ray would have won the third series of X Factor but had to make do with the runner's up role. He still managed to bag himself a number 1 album though before being unceremoniously dumped by Mr. Cowell. Proving you can't keep a chipmunk-faced crooner down, he went on to star in Grease the Musical before skating off as the winner of <em>Dancing on Ice</em> in 2009. He was last spotted opening a fete but things are looking up again with a panto and another stint in <em>Grease</em> in the pipeline. (Pic: Rex)
Rebecca Ferguson, Series 7
Rebecca kept in the spotlight post-<em>X Factor</em> after hitting the headlines thanks to her relationship with 18-year-old Zayn Malik from One Direction, who is six years her junior. She insisted she was "genuinely in love" with her fellow X Factor finalist but they split in summer 2011. Despite advertising Walkers crisps on the telly she's signed to Epic Records who have help steer Olly Murs and JLS on to chart success. Her album <em>Heaven</em> was released in December. (Pics: Wire Image)
Rhydian Roberts, Series 4
The classically trained Welsh baritone had already been in the biz for a number of years before auditioning for <em>The X Factor</em> and he's continued to do well since. His debut album went platinum, he completed a 27-date solo tour of the UK, performed for Andrew Lloyd Webber's 60th birthday in Hyde Park and was even asked by Prince Charles to become a patron of The Prince's Trust. He's just released his third album and is set to join <em>Grease</em> the Musical on tour as well as reprising his role of Khashoggi in <em>We Will Rock You</em>. (Pic: Rex)
Rowetta Satchell, Series 1
'Barking mad' Rowetta (Simon Cowell's words, not ours) has popped up on <em>The Weakest Link</em>, <em>Celebrity Scissorhands</em> and <em>Footballers' Wives</em> since leaving <em>The X Factor</em> but also continues to sing in musical theatre. She's featured in productions of <em>The Best of Broadway</em>, <em>Christmas on Broadway </em>and the<em> Songs of Sister Act</em> but her biggest recent claim to fame was being sampled on the Black Eyed Peas hit <em>Boom Boom Pow</em>. (Pic: Rex)
Same Difference, Series 4
Love-em-or-hate-em smiley siblings Sean and Sarah left the competition and headed straight into the recording studio thanks to Simon Cowell but despite recording with some of the biggest names in pop - including Pete Waterman - the duo's debut album didn't exactly set the charts alight and they were quickly dropped. Undeterred, they've since released another album independently and were last seen touring Butlins up and down the land. (Pic: Rex)
Cher Lloyd, Series 7
Cher Lloyd was one of the most controversial acts in the seventh series of the show, despite being 'right up Cheryl Cole's street'. While she only finished fourth, the pint-sized popstar was snapped up by Simon and whisked off to LA to record with top American producers. She returned to these shores with her Marmite single <em>Swagger Jagger</em>, which hit the top spot in the summer of 2011. An album soon followed, as did more snarly attitude. (Pic: Rex)