Happy hols for Damien if his song has 'X Factor'
SINGER-songwriter Damien Rice could be in for a windfall of up to a million euro if the winner of tonight's X Factor final releases his song Cannonball.
The final three of Little Mix, Amelia Lily and Marcus Collins all recorded Cannonball and two other songs in advance.
X Factor bosses will now decide which song tonight's winner will release as a single, which could well be a UK Christmas number one.
Simon Cowell's Syco team will have to pick the song to be released immediately in order to give it two weeks of sales to be the Christmas number one when results come out on Christmas Day.
A top music publisher here revealed: "It's hard to know exactly what it could be worth to Damien. Not only would the single have massive sales and hit number one, but it could also trigger sales of his back catalogue. If it is picked he would certainly be looking at €1m.
"Cannonball certainly has the chance to be as big as Alexandra Burke's reworking of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah three years ago.
"If the song went viral and took off like Hallelujah, then he could earn even more. But then again, Cowell's people could pick one of the other two songs for the winner to release."
Cannonball first entered the UK charts at number 19 in 2004, and re-entered at number 9 last September when it was performed during the X Factor auditions.
The song was taken from Rice's debut album O. The enigmatic singer from Kildare, who shuns stardom, is believed to be working on a new album at the moment.
He features on the U2 tribute album Achtung Baby, performing the band's hit One, and earlier this year also performed on the debut album by French actress Melanie Laurent.
The X Factor show was moved to the 12,000-seater Wembley Arena for this weekend's grand finale.
Earlier this week, X Factor bosses were furious when the HMV music chain posted on its website that "Amelia Lily's winner's single of 2011 (a cover of Cannonball)" was available for pre-sales.
Fans of the show called it "a fix", while X Factor organisers described it as "a stunt".
Meanwhile, three of the judges -- Gary Barlow, Tulisa and Kelly Rowland -- are duetting with their acts on the final show, which will also feature appearances by Westlife and Coldplay. Louis Walsh has no act in the final.