X Factor: Simon Cowell originally rejected Sam Bailey 15 years ago

Sam Bailey (X Factor 2013)

X Factor winner Sam Bailey was originally turned down by Simon Cowell when she was a teenager, it's been revealed.

Aged just 15, Sam and her friend Julie Nunney formed a musical duo that caught the eye of record bosses.

The pair even recorded a first single - called Too Late - but were snubbed by Simon Cowell because they weren't on the telly.

Julie told the Daily Mirror newspaper today: “We met aged 15. Sam was an amazing singer and we used to go to the local karaoke bars in South London.

“Cowell listened to the record we made and liked it. But he turned it down, saying he couldn't do anything with it because we weren't on the TV.”

The failed attempt saw the pair split, although they remained friends until their late teens before going their separate ways.

It wasn't the first setback Sam has had either, having also been given a no when she first applied to The X Factor back in 2007.

Meanwhile, Sam herself has revealed that Simon Cowell gave her a warning last week about putting out a "cheesy" album.

“Simon doesn’t want me to go down the cheesy route," she told The Sun newspaper. “We were talking about my future for about 15 minutes and he told me, ‘When you talk about the album, don’t sit there and just say OK. Don’t let them tell you what to do. You need to research and have ideas.’

"I already have ideas about the songs I want to do. A lot of the stuff I’m looking at is close to my heart.

“Singing from the heart is what helped people to connect with me on X Factor in the first place. And there’s no point singing a song if you don’t mean it.”

Sam's debut single Skyscraper is out now, with all profits from the track going to charity.

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