She came to prominence in 2010 when she became the runner-up of the seventh series of The X Factor, losing to the winner that year, Matt Cardle.She subsequently signed a joint record deal with Syco Music and Epic Records in the UK. Ferguson's debut album, Heaven, was released in December 2011 to commercial and critical success.She also revealed that she was "bullied as a kid because my family was poor and I never had the right clothes or toys." Despite having a difficult start in life, the hopeful insisted she wanted people to focus solely on her talent.Ferguson is a qualified legal secretary, having studied at Hugh Baird College, Bootle.She spent the first two years of her life in Huyton. The family then moved to a house on an estate in Woolton Village when her parents separated.Ferguson received her primary education at Woolton Primary School and her secondary and sixth form college education at Gateacre Community Comprehensive School. That was when she became pregnant with her first child Lillie May. Ferguson has said her family supported her ambition to become a professional singer and helped her through two previous X Factor auditions.The lead single "Get Happy" was added to BBC Radio 2's playlist and the album charted at number 7, becoming Ferguson's third consecutive Top Ten charted album in the UK charts.The following year, Ferguson released her fourth studio album "Superwoman".
The album yielded six singles including lead single "Nothing's Real but Love", which enjoyed commercial success throughout much of Europe and Oceania, entering the UK Singles Chart at number 10.In the final, she performed a duet with Christina Aguilera, performing Aguilera's hit single "Beautiful".Ferguson's winner's song was a cover of Duffy's "Distant Dreamer", but she finished as the runner-up to Matt Cardle, making her the first female runner-up on The X Factor.In the fifth live show, Ferguson received a standing ovation from Cowell and Cole following her performance of "Make You Feel My Love".In the following episode, Ferguson received another standing ovation from Dannii Minogue and Cole after singing "Candle in the Wind".