X Factor boss Simon Cowell has predicted that fans will be "pleasantly surprised" by Joe McElderry's debut album, a report has claimed.
The entertainment mogul has said that he believes the youngster has "grown" since winning last year's talent show.
Cowell said that the Geordie lad has moved on to new musical territory over the last eight months.
Simon gushed: "I'm really pleased. He's grown in confidence.
"Some of the music is quite different to what you heard from him last year on the show and I'm really happy for him."
Joe, who recently hit the headlines when he revealed that he is gay, has been collaborating on the album with guest artists including Rihanna, Pussycat Dolls and Enrique Iglesias.
Sources have said that the release of McElderry's debut album will be scheduled to coincide with his performances on the new series of The X Factor.
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