Simon Cowell On the Right Sony Label for 'X Factor': 'I Want to be Fair to the Artist'

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The music mogul tells THR he will employ the same tactic he used when selecting the recording home for the U.K. version of the show's 2006 winner, Leona Lewis.

Following his announcement on Monday that the winner of The X Factor will receive a whopping $5 million Sony Music record deal, Simon Cowell told The Hollywood Reporter that he will use the same approach he employed when selecting the recording home of global pop star Leona Lewis, who won the U.K. version of the show in 2006.

"There is a range of labels for different kinds of music," said Cowell. "I remember when we did X Factor with Leona Lewis, Clive Davis called me -- she hadn't won yet -- and said, 'I want to get behind this girl. [His Sony label J records] was the natural choice."

Cowell said that most importantly he "wants to be fair to the artist" and to whatever genre of music in which he or she happens to be fluent. "And then choose whichever division of Sony makes sense (for the artist)."

Cowell also addressed rumors that his erstwhile American Idol colleague Paula Abdul may appear as a judge on X Factor, for which auditions begin March 27 in Los Angeles.

While they are still "talking to a number of people" to fill judge slots, Cowell admitted: "I'm a massive fan of Paula. We were friends 80% of the time on Idol."