Chris Rene, who finished in third place in the first series of U.S. version of The X Factor, has announced that he has signed a record deal with the label Epic Records. Rene will be joining mentor L.A. REID's label, which boasts an impressive roster of artists such as Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

Rene made it to the finals of the first season of the The X Factor USA, along with runner up Josh Krajcik and winner Melanie Amaro. While Amaro won a cushy five million dollar recording contract, it is rumoured by various sources, including The Hollywood Reporter that Rene's contract will be worth between $150,000 and $500,000.

Chris Rene had a successful run on the X Factor, which didn't see him enter the bottom two once. A former garbage man in Santa Cruz, he auditioned for the talent show just seventy days after leaving a rehabilitation centre for his drug problems. Rene also performed two original compositions during his run on the show: Where Do We Go From Here in week seven and his audition song, Young Homie, which he also sang in the finals.

Rene has had experience in music prior to the X Factor; he is the grandson of Leon Rene, who is well known for writing the song Rockin' Robin, which was a hit for Bobby Day and Michael Jackson. At the tender age of twelve, Rene formed a progressive rock band, called Diversion, in 1995. They released a self-titled debut album in 2000 but disbanded in 2002, while working on a second album.