Leann Rimes has stepped closer to a job on 'The X Factor' judging panel.

The 'Can't Fight The Moonlight' hitmaker - who is believed to be filling one of the spots left vacant by axed judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger - reportedly spent all day yesterday (07.03.12) locked in a secret meeting with show chief Nigel Lythgoe.

While fellow 'X Factor' boss Simon Cowell was not present, it was said to be a ''great meeting'', X17online.com reports.

In addition to her 18 years in the music business, LeAnn brings with her the accolade of being the younger Grammy winner in history at the age of just 14.

While the 29-year-old singer will find out whether she has landed the lucrative gig in the next three weeks, it is also thought troubled star Britney Spears is being lined up to join the panel.

An 'X Factor' insider recently said: ''Britney has had a tough few years but this would put her back at the very top. She would be great for the show and it could be great for her.

''In terms of excitement and intrigue Britney would top them all.''