The Bleeding Love hitmaker told fans in an open letter last year (14) that she left Syco after seven years because she was "asked to make a record that would not have been true" to herself, and also revealed she became depressed after walking away.

Lewis later signed with Island Records and Def Jam in June (15) and insisted there was "no bad blood" between her and Cowell, and he has now responded by saying he would happily have her back at Syco.

He tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "I have a real soft spot for Leona for so many reasons. I'd say to her, and I genuinely mean this, that the door will always be left open... Any time she ever thought 'I want to come back to Syco' I'd welcome her with open arms... When you've got a talent as good as this and a voice as good as that, with the right song you can always have a hit."

Addressing their reported feud, he adds, "She was being wound up. That just wasn't her. And I think she now understands that once you say something, it kind of creates your own momentum, but probably not in the right way."

In a new interview, Lewis confirms she holds no grudge over her treatment by Cowell, telling British magazine Stella, "It was a breakdown in communications. As the whole label grew and the roster of new artists with it, they didn't want to clash releases and there was a lot of politics. It was time for me to move on."