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Tate Stevens wins 'X Factor' and $5 million record deal (+video)

Tate Stevens, the country singer from Belton, Mo., won Season 2 of 'The X Factor.' Tate Stevens beat out Carly Rose Sonneclare and the girl-band 'Fifth Harmony.'

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Tate Stevens, who was mentored by music exec L.A. Reid on the second season of "The X Factor," has won the Fox singing competition.

The 37-year-old country singer from Belton, Mo., beat runner-up Carly Rose Sonenclar, a 13-year-old schoolgirl from Westchester, N.Y., and teenage girl group Fifth Harmony on the finale that aired live Thursday night.

Stevens wins a $5 million recording contract with Epic Records.

For Stevens, a public works department employee, the X Factor was an opportunity to return to his first love. He gave up performing professionally when he and his wife had children.  He auditioned for the show at their urging.

More than 35 million votes were cast by viewers after Wednesday's performance show.

Besides Reid, judges this season included Demi Lovato, Britney Spears and series creator Simon Cowell.

Thursday's show was also the grand finale for Reid. Earlier this month, he said he wouldn't be returning to "The X Factor" next year. No replacement has been announced.

As Reuters reports, Reid, 56, chairman and chief executive of Epic Records, told "Access Hollywood," the television program and website, he has decided to leave the Fox reality singing show to return to the record label full time.

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