UPDATE: Cheryl has CONFIRMED that she’s quit The X Factor to focus on her solo career, admitting that she’s missed making music.
After Olly Murs, Caroline Flack and Nick Grimshaw left the show, Cheryl has announced that she too is moving on, telling MailOnline: “I have had such an amazing experience being a judge on The X Factor. I have learnt so much and enjoyed nurturing talent but I’ve missed making music and am excited to be recording again.
“I want to thank everybody I have worked with along the way, especially Simon who I love to bits. I hope the show continues to produce stars and I wish them all the best.”
Simon Cowell added: “Cheryl and myself spoke about this. I totally understand her commitment to making more records. She has been amazing on the show and in the near future we will be working on other things together.”
A statement was also released, which said the singer ‘loved her time’ and has ‘many special memories from’ the show, but made the ‘difficult decision’ to focus on singing again after putting it all on hold last year.
It read: “She loved her time as a judge last year, especially working with the groups like Reggie and Bollie but music is her passion and she missed that.
“She told Simon over dinner and he understands. She’s a big fan of the show and will watch when it comes back on TV this year. The show has played a big part in her career, there have been many high points and she is grateful for everything the show has done for her.”
PREVIOUS: The ‘Fight For This Love’ singer reportedly told Simon Cowell and friends that she was leaving The X Factor over a Hollywood dinner, with her boss said to be supportive of her decision, despite having already started talks about the new series.
A friend told The Sun: “Cheryl told Simon of her decision at dinner last week in LA. They have had many discussions about the new series but she finally made up her mind.
“Her relationship with Simon is the best it’s ever been and they both are incredibly supportive of each other
“Last year was one of her favourite series, she had a lot of fun mentoring her groups and enjoyed working closely with the production team on the show.”
The friend added that Cheryl could continue in an ‘advisory capacity’ and return to the show with a live performance, with the singer reportedly telling Simon that he can call her for an opinion on anything X Factor-related if he wants to.
The pal said: “Music is her number one passion and she has just started working on a new album which she wants out later this year. She’s having a great time in the US with Liam [Payne] and getting back to her pop roots.
“Simon understands her reasons. He is supportive. X Factor will always be a special show for her as it changed her life.”