Working on building sites and in plastic factories, scratching around in failed indie rock bands, life wasn't going exactly to plan for Matt Cardle when he auditioned for the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010. But the judges were impressed by his rendition of Amy Winehouse's You Know I'm No Good and, mentored by Dannii Minogue, he made it to the final, where he duetted with Rhianna and was crowned champion with 44.61% of the vote. Rewarded with a £1 million recording contract with Simon Cowell's label Syco Music, Cardle's debut When We Collide went on to become the Christmas Number 1, selling 815,000 copies and earning a BRIT Award nomination for Best British Single. Full of soft rock crooning and heart-on-sleeve ballads, he teamed up with songwriters David Sneddon, Eg White and James Walsh (formerly of Starsailor) for his album Letters (2011). It reached Number 2 in the UK and produced the Top 10 single Run For Your Life (written by Gary Barlow) as Cardle sought to convert himself into a more mature, credible, artist than your average talent show star.