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On September 12, 2012, the first episode of auditions from the second season of The X Factor USA was aired. Britney Spears joined Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and L. A. Reid on the judge panel. The auditions had been recorded from May - July, and they had no hosts, since they haven't been hired yet at the time. On this first episode we could see clips from the auditions in Austin, San Francisco and Providence.
After 11 years, Simon's Syco Music and Sony Music entertainment are to part ways. Sony Music was Syco's distribution label for X Factor acts like Little Mix, Camila Cabello, Cher Lloyd and countless others. It's not without any controversy as several groups and artists have called Syco on artistic directions such as Cher Lloyd, who butted heads with Simon on the direction of "Sorry I'm Late." She got out of the contract after several delays. The album was quietly released, but Cher, Syco and Sony did no promotion at all. It's rumored Simon prevented Cher from signing to any label. She had to establish an independent record label to find a loop hole for major label distribution. Fifth Harmony's original contracts between management and Syco gave the girls less creative control and money issues. A lawyer through Larry Rudolph saw that the contract basically made them work for free. Little Mix is a little more controversial. They and Modest! Management called out Simon over creative control. Lack of several writing credits, including "Woman Like Me" (the platinum BPI hit with Nicki Minaj). They took him to court. The court ruled in the Girls favor. Little Mix switched LM5 to RCA UK, but because of this, Simon refuses to work with Modest! Management so he let Rak Su go cos of this. They went To RCA. With the 10-year One Direction announcement coming, it seems Syco and Sony separated due to the boys Being with Modest! Management. Sony will own the masters to previous Syco releases, but future Syco issues like Camila, who still owes four more album to Syco, will be independent music releases.