Cher Lloyd was encouraged by music bosses to have a fake celebrity boyfriend.

The 26-year-old former 'X Factor' contestant revealed that after she first found fame on the seventh series of the show in 2010, she was encouraged to publicly date another celebrity in order to increase publicity in her career.

She told The Sun newspaper: ''They gave me a few suggestions but it was just a crazy thing to ask.

''Sadly it still happens. That's still happening in this day and age - that it's still OK to try to make a young girl do something like that to boost a career.

''I am never going to be that girl, I was never going to be that girl. It's not my thing to do a publicity stunt, it's messy, I'm not interested. Plus, I was married.

''I'm sorry to big music heads that I didn't marry a very successful celebrity to make money for them.''

Cher tied the knot with hairdresser Craig Monk, 29, in 2013 and the couple have 23-month-old daughter Delilah-Rae together.

The star splashed onto the music scene back in 2011 with her hit single 'Swagger Jagger', followed by 'With Ur Love', featuring Mike Posner later that year. After a string of hits, Cher made a welcome return to the spotlight in 2018 with her single 'None of My Business', waiting 12 months before unveiling new song, 'M.I.A' in 2019.

And she is continuing her comeback with new single 'Lost' which has just been released.