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X Factor winner Ben Haenow says being dropped was a "kick in the balls"

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Former X Factor winner Ben Haenow has described being dropped as a "kick in the balls".

Ben won The X Factor in 2014 ahead of Fleur East and was signed by Simon Cowell's Syco record label.

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His self-titled debut album out in 2015 made it to Number 10 in the charts but there was no follow up with Ben dropped by the company.

“It was devastating. You’ve just got a record deal then a year later it’s taken away," Ben recalled this week. “They said the album didn’t sell enough and the chart position wasn’t what they wanted – but it went gold and sold nearly 200,000 copies. They didn’t take into account the way the industry changed."

Speaking to The Sun, Ben continued: "Even records from big names are going in at No12 and 13 in the charts. It was a kick in the balls. I wasn’t given a chance with the album or the right promotion.”

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In an interview last year, Ben insisted he had no grudges despite never hearing from Simon Cowell.

He said: “Obviously I would have loved a text from Simon and I wouldn’t knock it if I got one but I’ve not lost any sleep over it.

“I never thought we’d become best mates, chat on the phone all the time or I’d be going over to his house for dinner. It’s all good though. I have nothing but respect for Simon.”

Since parting ways from Syco, Ben has been going it alone with a successful tour and is now set to put out new music.

His brand new track Alive is out to download and stream from today.