Irish pop stars Westlife terminated their 13-year contract with Simon Cowell's record label because they felt "unloved" by the music mogul. Cowell signed the band up to Sony BMG before they hit the big time in 1998 and they later moved to work with the reality TV star under his Sony imprint Syco in 2002.
On March 11, bandmember Nicky Byrne confirmed the group had cut ties with Cowell's company and the singer has now blamed "The X Factor" judge's dedication to his reality shows for the breakdown of their working relationship.
Byrne tells Ahlanlive.com, "We signed to Simon back in 1998 and he was brilliant, but then came the development of 'The X Factor' and 'American Idol'. Simon became famous himself and his interests went that way rather than on Westlife."
"We almost felt a little bit unloved with Simon Cowell, if I was to be honest. We had it [full time support] with Simon but he got so busy and would do it at the very last minute and we needed someone who was on it all the time."