Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Friday, 13 February 2009

Burke signs $3.5m US record deal

Alexandra Burke
Alexandra Burke smashed record sales with Hallelujah

X Factor winner Alexandra Burke is to launch her career in the US after signing a $3.5m (2.4m) record deal.

Burke, 20, who won the fifth series of X Factor in the UK in December, has agreed the deal with the Epic label.

In the UK, she became the first British female solo artist to sell a million singles, with her debut Hallelujah.

She is flying to the US to work with Simon Cowell on her launch. Burke's X Factor predecessor Leona Lewis has enjoyed huge success in the US.

Lewis, who won the talent series in 2007, also signed a huge US deal and has been working with the man who discovered singer Whitney Houston. Clive Davis, 74, also mentored Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake.

In April 2008, Lewis became the first UK female solo artist to go straight to number one in the US album chart.

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