Syco Music

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Syco Music
Syco Music Logo.jpg
Parent company Sony Music Entertainment UK
(as of 2020)
Founder Simon Cowell
Distributor(s) Sony Music Entertainment
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Official website

Syco Music was a division of Syco Entertainment founded by British entrepreneur and record executive Simon Cowell. Originally founded as S Records, the label launched while Cowell was still employed by BMG, the label oversaw music releases by Robson & Jerome, Five, Westlife and Teletubbies. A year later, BMG, now named Sony BMG, bought Cowell's share in both Syco Music and Syco Television. Later in 2010, Cowell and Sony Music entered a joint venture agreement that would see Cowell and Sony each own 50% of the new Syco Entertainment company which encompassed both the previous Syco TV and Syco Music divisions. The brand had multiple well-known acts signed such as Fifth Harmony, Camila Cabello, One Direction and Little Mix. In July 2020, Sony sold the rights to the television formats and assets back to Cowell, effectively divesting all of Syco's non-music divisions. As part of the venture, Syco Music, its current roster and back catalog remains with Sony Music as a wholly owned subsidiary. However, as of September 2020, and according to industry magazine Music Week , the label is now defunct, with staff either leaving or being redeployed elsewhere within the Sony Music group.



Syco Music has offices in London and Los Angeles and is home to several artists. As S Records, the company oversaw music releases by Robson & Jerome, Five, Westlife and Teletubbies. [1] [2] [3]

Later following television franchises, Syco had 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. [4] Between 2004 and 2009, Il Divo achieved four multi-million selling albums[ citation needed ] 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. [5]

In 2010, Syco began diversifying by adding producer/singer-songwriter Labrinth. [6] 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. [7] 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. [8] That same year, Sony Music bought Cowell's share of Syco, for around £27 million. [9] [10]

On 15 July 2020, it was announced that Cowell would buy Sony's stake in Syco Entertainment; Sony Music will retain Syco Music's artists and back catalogue. [11] [12] By September 2020, manage director Tyler Brown and Head of Digital Tom Hoare had left. Music Week reported that label is no longer operational and is now defunct; artist staff have been redeployed elsewhere within Sony Music, including at sister label RCA Records, or have left completely. [13]


Some of the artists signed by Cowell, such as band Westlife, released their music through S Records, another company formed by Cowell whose share he then sold to BMG in 2003. [14] Syco Music started releasing music as a label in 2004. [15]

Artists at time of closure

Former artists

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. [32] [33] Alexandra Burke was also targeted, having two demo versions of songs from her debut album Overcome leak before the album's release. [34] 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. [35]

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. [36] According to Burke, the songs were leaked by "Two little boys in Germany on work experience", working for Syco. [37] 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. [38] DJ Stolen was jailed for 18 months in June 2011. [39]

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 [40] 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. [41] [42] 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". [43]

Number-one singles

Westlife Unbreakable 2002UK, IRE, SCO
Westlife Tonight/Miss You Nights 2002IRE
Westlife Mandy 2003UK, IRE, SCO
Steve Brookstein Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) 2004UK, IRE
Westlife You Raise Me Up 2005UK, IRE, SCO
Shayne Ward That's My Goal 2005UK, IRE
Westlife The Rose 2006UK, IRE, SCO
Shayne Ward No Promises 2006IRE
Leona Lewis A Moment Like This UK, IRE
Leona Lewis Bleeding Love 2007UK, AUS, AUT, CAN, GER, IRE, NZ, SWI, US
Shayne Ward If That's OK with You IRE
Leon Jackson When You Believe UK, IRE, SCO
Leona Lewis Run 2008UK, AUT, IRE
Leon Jackson Don't Call This Love SCO
Alexandra Burke Hallelujah UK, IRE, SCO
Alexandra Burke Bad Boys 2009UK, 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 2010UK, 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 2011UK, 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, 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 2012NZ
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, GRE, LUX, SLO
One Direction One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks) 2013UK, 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 2014UK, IRE, SCO
Ben Haenow Something I Need UK, SCO
Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink Worth It 2015ISR, LBN, MEX
Little Mix Black Magic UK, SCO, EUR
One Direction Drag Me Down UK, SCO, HUN, IRE, NZ, AUT, AUS
One Direction Perfect IRE, SCO, SLOV
Fleur East Sax 2016CRO, HUN
Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign Work from Home NZ, NL, CRO
James Arthur Say You Won't Let Go UK, SCO, IRE, AUS, EUR, SWE, NZ, NL, PHI
Little Mix Shout Out to My Ex UK, SCO, IRE, EUR, PHI
Artists for Grenfell Bridge over Troubled Water 2017UK, SCO
Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug Havana AUS, SCO, UK, IRL, CAN, ISR, SLO, LTV, CZ R, EUR (digital), HUN, US, ECU, FRA, GRE, MEX, PAR, PHI, POL,
Camila Cabello Never Be the Same 2018BEL, CRO
Little Mix feat. Nicki Minaj Woman Like Me 2018ISR
Dalton Harris feat. James Arthur The Power of Love 2018SCO

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