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Tamera Foster signs with Syco Music; first album could be released in late 2014

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Former "X Factor" U.K. contestant Tamera Foster has signed with Syco Music, the record company co-owned by Simon Cowell and Sony Music. Syco Music made the announcement via press release. It has not yet been announced when her first single and album will be released, but Foster plans to start working on the album in April 2014, which means that the album could be out before the end of the year.

Foster, 17, commented in the press release: "I am so excited about being given this opportunity. I’m having an amazing time on tour but even more now, because I know straight after I can get into the studio and start to work on some new music for everyone who supports me! I’m very very lucky to have this chance as my first ever job and I’ve got so much to look forward to this year, exciting times ahead!"

Syco Music managing director Sonny Takhar added: "We are thrilled that Tamera has chosen Syco Music as her label home, she is a bonafide star!"

Foster came in fifth place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2013. She and the show's Top 8 contestants from 2013 are on "The X Factor" U.K. tour from Feb. 15 to March 29, 2014. The other former contestants on the tour are Sam Bailey (winner), Nicholas McDonald (second place), Luke Friend (third place), Rough Copy (fourth place), Hannah Barrett (sixth place), Sam Callahan (seventh place) and Abi Alton (eighth place).

The other contestants from this group who are signed to Syco are Bailey, McDonald and Friend.

Foster and Callahan, who were both controversial contestants on "The X Factor" U.K., are currently dating each other.

Just before her "X Factor" audition was televised in September 2013, Foster found herself at the center of controversy when the Daily Mirror published Foster's deleted tweets from 2012, in which she bragged about smoking marijuana, sometimes laced with PCP. She immediately issued a public apology, but that wasn't the last of her previous bad behavior that was exposed by British tabloids.

It was also revealed that in 2012, Foster had assaulted another teenage girl in a bullying incident allegedly instigated by Foster and another girl. And in 2013, shortly after her first "X Factor" audition, Foster was caught shoplifting. Foster was never arrested for these crimes, but she issued more public apologies and insisted that she had turned her life around and changed for the better.

As for her "X Factor" performances, Foster forgot the lyrics in more than one performance, but the judges were very lenient on her for these major flubs, which caused controversy with viewers who felt that Foster was getting special treatment. Indeed, during her first audition in front of "The X Factor" judges, when Foster forgot the lyrics to Whitney Houston's "I Am Nothing," she was allowed to interrupt her audition to go backstage and get help from her entourage in remembering the lyrics. It's one thing for a contestant to be allowed to start over; it's another thing for to get a special privilege that contestants almost never get when they forget lyrics to a song.

When British tabloids revealed that Foster was Cowell's favorite contestant to win on the show, the public backlash against Foster intensified. Foster also got some public criticism for giving the perception that she's a teenage vixen, since she dumped her boyfriend Joshante Amihyia after she found fame on "The X Factor" and reportedly had flings with One Direction's Niall Horan and fellow "X Factor" contestant Callahan. Amihyia told The Sun that when he and Foster got together, she had seduced him, even though she knew that he already had a girlfriend, whom he eventually broke up with to be with Foster.

As for Callahan (who is 20), every year on "The X Factor" U.K., there is a polarizing contestant in the Top 10 whose off-key singing becomes a point of contention. While many people hate that the contestant advances in the competition over more talented singers, fans of the contestant defend his or her popularity by saying that "The X Factor" isn't just about singing talent but is also about personality and charisma. In 2013, that controversial contestant was Callahan.

Callahan, who says he is heterosexual, caused a minor controversy when it was revealed that he posed semi-nude for gay men's magazines. He also got a reputation for being a jerk after tabloids reported that he and Foster broke up because he cheated on her by "sexting" a female model and sending her nude photos of himself. According to the tabloids, this cheating incident was after Callahan told the media that he loves Foster. Callahan and Foster's relationship has been on-again, off-again, but few people think the relationship will last. Callahan is unlikely to get a major record deal, but he seems to be carving out a niche for himself as a model who has a lot of gay male fans.

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