16/12/2011 07:32 GMT

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!