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Girl Power spices up Jackie

MIKE ALEXANDER
Last updated 05:00 28/07/2013
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GIRL POWER: X Factor winner Jackie Thomas has a deal with the company that put the Spice Girls on the map.

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The woman who put the Spice Girls on the global map heads the company which really, really wants to help The X Factor NZ winner Jackie Thomas' girlpower reach new heights.

Lorraine Barry was the marketing manager at Virgin Records when Brit pop girls group the Spice Girls rocketed into superstardom in 1996 and has overseen the careers of other smash hit music artists including Massive Attack, The Verve and Chemical Brothers.

Barry and former Sony Music executive Rodney Hewson recently set up a joint company called Leap Entertainment, which Sunday News understands has an exclusive deal with Sony to handle The X Factor NZ artists.

In response to a series of emailed questions, Barry said: "It's a bit early to talk about any of the acts we might be working with."

Having someone with Barry's experience would be a huge boost for Thomas, the 22-year-old crowd favourite from Greymouth.

Barry has been in New Zealand for nearly a decade and, through Lorraine Barry Management, oversees the careers of, among others, Dave Dobbyn, L A Mitchell, Terrible Sons and Mark Vanilau. She also used to be Bic Runga's manager.

Within a day of her X Factor victory on Monday, Thomas' debut single It's Worth It was the No 1 single on iTunes and by Friday had topped the official New Zealand charts.

The song was written by DNA, an Australian group of writers and producers which has written hits for 2011 The X Factor (Australia) winner Reece Mastin, 2009 Australian Idol winner and The X Factor NZ judge Stan Walker and 2006 Australian Idol runner-up Jessica Mauboy.

Thomas' self-titled debut album is released on August 9. On Tuesday she began recording tracks for the album with producer Samuel James at Parachute Studios in Kingsland, Auckland.

Although details of the album have yet to be finalised, Sony Music promotions manager Taryn Kerr confirmed Thomas' X-Factor signature song Skinny Love (by US indie folk band Bon Iver) would be on the album with a mix of originals and covers.

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