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Cowell 'wants Matt Cardle to be a rock star'

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Matt Cardle on The X Factor Tour

© Rex Features / McPix Ltd

Simon Cowell is reportedly planning to turn Matt Cardle into a respected rock star.

The X Factor winner, who has signed a joint record deal with Syco and Columbia, will work on his debut album with head of Columbia Mike Smith - responsible for the careers of The Libertines, The White Stripes and Gorillaz.

Cardle will also be at the centre of Columbia's 125th anniversary celebrations alongside the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett and Kings Of Leon.

His transformation will begin when the X Factor tour ends today, according to the News of the World. He will begin an intensive course of writing before recording in LA and New York.

"Now the show is over Matt is going down a very different path to any other X Factor winner," a source said. "He'll have freedom to embrace his rock side and Simon is encouraging that. Matt will be at the forefront of the creative process.

"Matt is going to be hanging out with rock stars and working with really talented musicians. This is the world that he loves.

"But we're also not trying to turn him into Liam Gallagher. The X Factor is where he came from and he'll stay very accessible because that's the sort of guy he is."

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