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Nicole Scherzinger headed to Sony Music; New Year's vacation with Lewis Hamilton

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Nicole Scherzinger is leaving Universal Music's Interscope Records and is headed to Sony Music. According to a report published by The Sun on Dec. 31, 2013, Scherzinger will be signing a deal worth £3 million (or $4.9 million in U.S. dollars) that will include the release of her second solo album. Meanwhile, Twitter photos posted in the first few days of January 2014 by Scherzinger and her on-again/off-again boyfriend Lewis Hamilton (a Formula One driver) seem to confirm that they have reunited again, as the photos show that they have been vacationing together.

Scherzinger was a judge on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2011. She parted ways with the show (she was reportedly fired, but she denies it), and joined "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012. There has been ongoing speculation about whether or not she will return to "The X Factor" U.K. in 2014.

Gary Barlow and Sharon Osbourne have already announced that 2013 was their last year as judges on "The X Factor" U.K., while Louis Walsh has said he wants to stay with the show.

There are also numerous reports that Simon Cowell will return to "The X Factor" U.K. judging panel in 2014 to fill the spot vacated by Barlow, who replaced Cowell on the show in 2011.

And British tabloids are always publishing rumors that Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue will return to "The X Factor" U.K. judging panel. Cole was a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. from 2008 to 2010, while Minogue was a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. from 2007 to 2010. Minogue joined "The X Factor" Australia in 2013.

Minogue has made it clear that she wants to remain on "The X Factor" Australia, since she is raising her son Ethan in Australia. Cole (who was notoriously fired by "The X Factor" U.S. in 2011 and replaced by Scherzinger that year) has repeatedly denied that she is going back to being a judge on "The X Factor." Cole has said in many interviews that she has no interest in starring on a TV show because she wants to focus on her music career. She has also said that she does not want to work with Cowell again and that she turned down offers to be a judge on "Britain's Got Talent" and "The X Factor" U.K.

An unnamed source commented to The Sun about Scherzinger: "Nicole was the most popular member of the 'X Factor' panel this year and is the real winner in terms of bankability. She is set to sign with Sony and can't wait to get back to her music, which took a back seat during 'X Factor.' She's torn between the two; she loves the show and loves working on it but is conflicted. She is taking time out at home with her family to decide what move is best to make."

Scherzinger first found fame in the U.S. as the member of the girl's group Eden's Crush, which was formed in 2001 on the U.S. version of Popstars. She then found worldwide fame in 2005 as the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls, which had several hits and platinum records on Interscope Records

Scherzinger's first solo album, "Killer Love," was released in Europe in March 2011, and spawned several Top 10 hits in the U.K., including "Don't Hold Your Breath," which was a No. 1 U.K. hit. Interscope Records never released "Killer Love" in the U.S., where Scherzinger's solo career has stumbled. Her only two solo singles released in the U.S. so far were in 2011: "Right There" (featuring 50 Cent) was a No. 39 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but "Don't Hold Your Breath" peaked at a lowly No. 86 on the chart.

Scherzinger's 2013 single "Boomerang" was released in Europe and was a No. 6 hit in the U.K.

"Boomerang" is supposed to be the first single from Scherzinger's second solo album, whose title and release date are to be announced. She worked extensively with Will.i.am on the album.

As for the Twitter photos of Scherzinger and Hamilton on a seemingly romantic getaway together, although they do not appear together in the photos, the photos show them in the exact same backdrop (somewhere remote with snow), which leave no doubt that they took the photos while on the same trip. Scherzinger and Hamilton have not publicly confirmed that they have rekindled their romance, but the Sunday Mirror reported in December 2013 that she and Hamilton spent the night at his parents'' house in Hertfordshire, England, in celebration of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 28, 2013.

Scherzinger and Hamilton began dating in 2008. They broke up in January 2011, October 2011 and June 2013. Each time they broke up, the tabloids reported it was the for the same reasons: They have a long-distance relationship (her home base in Los Angeles; he is based in Monaco), they spent too much time apart due to their busy careers, and they could not agree on where to live together and when to start a family.

Jan. 4, 2014 update: The Daily Mirror reported that Cowell is prepared to offer Scherzinger £3 million (or $4.9 million in U.S. dollars) to be a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2014. If she accepts this alleged offer, it would make her the highest-paid judge in "The X Factor" U.K. history, after Cowell, who is paid the most because he co-owns the show.

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