Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

X Factor's JLS sign record deal

JLS were beaten by Alexandra Burke in the X Factor final

X Factor runners-up JLS have signed a recording contract with Epic, it has been announced.

The foursome came close to being the first group to win the show, but were beaten by Alexandra Burke.

"JLS are the best boy band to emerge from a TV talent show," Nick Raphael of Epic Records said.

JLS, whose name stands for Jack the Lad Swing, features vocalists Marvin Humes, 23, Jonathan "JB" Gill, 21, Ortise Williams, 21 and Aston Merrygold, 20.

Formed in 2007, the group already have a legion of fans and were hailed by X Factor judge Simon Cowell as "brilliant".

They hit the headlines in December after five teenage girls were injured at a free concert at which they were performing in Croydon, south London.

Some 2,000 people had gathered for the show at the 1,500-capacity Fairfield Halls when fans were reportedly pushed forward as children gathered for tickets.

Acts including Scouting for Girls, Shakira, and fellow talent show contestant Lemar are also signed to Epic.

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