Simon Cowell on Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’ controversy: ‘Give me a break’

X Factor judge says there was no ploy to have song released early

Simon Cowell has spoken about the recent controversy over the X Factor forcing Mark Ronson to release his new single ‘Uptown Funk’ five weeks early, saying “Give me a break”.

Ronson had to rush release his single on iTunes after X Factor contestant Fleur East performed a cover of it on the ITV show last weekend. Her version then shot to Number One on the iTunes chart.

The single, featuring Bruno Mars, is the first offering from Ronson’s forthcoming album ‘Uptown Special’, and was due to be released on January 11.


Cowell denied that East’s performance was a ploy between Sony and his Syco record label to have the song released early. He told reporters: “The other one is nothing to do with me. I mean it’s part Sony, but there was all the nonsense about what was it called? [Industry corruption?] I mean give me a break.”

He also revealed that Ronson himself had been booked to perform the song on the show, along with Bruno Mars, but after they pulled out Cowell decided to use it anyway.

“I didn’t know what label it was on, to be honest with you. All I knew was that we loved the song and then we heard that Mark Ronson and Bruno [Mars] were going to do it on the final, so we stopped doing it with Fleur and then I found out Thursday they weren’t coming so I thought fine, I’ll do it with her.”

Yesterday, Fleur East apologised to Mark Ronson for forcing him to change his plans. The X Factor contestant told BBC Newsbeat: “Yeah, I’m really sorry but all I can say is it’s props to all their creative hard work because it’s an amazing song. I don’t know what they were thinking in their minds. I don’t think anyone expected my performance to be as popular as it was.”

Ronson’s new album, ‘Uptown Special’, is due for release in January 2015.