Despite his success in the 1970s, the 59-year-old LeRoy Bell continued to pursue his dream. Back then he worked as a staff writer for the Philadelphia music publishers Mighty Three Music. He penned several songs with them, the most famous of which is Elton John’s recording of “Mama Can’t Buy You Love.” LeRoy then became half of the duo Bell & James, soon working with the likes of Van Morrison, Sheryl Crow, Etta James, Al Green, Erykah Badu, LeAnn Rimes and more. However, he still couldn’t become a household name. Soon, he tried his luck with The X Factor and sang “Lean on Me” by Ben E. King for his audition. He made it past the Judges’ Homes tryouts, where Nicole Scherzinger took him on as one of the Top 17 contestants to participate in the show.

FOX’s The X Factor is a reality competition looking for the next great entertainer. From those who have auditioned, judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid handpick several contestants who might have just what they’re looking for. After a rigorous process, only one will end up with a $4 million recording contract with Epic Records, plus $1 million to spend on their own. The winner will also be starring in their own Pepsi commercial.