She pulls out all the stops in a bid to crack Europe...

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When Cheryl Cole was pictured with swollen lips last week, it sparked speculation that she’d had collagen injections. The singer was snapped arriving in Germany with seemingly plumped-up lips, although her spokesman insisted she had ‘definitely not’ had work.

The photos ensured that Cheryl, 26, got plenty of press coverage for her current promotional tour of Europe.

She has a number of TV and radio appearances lined up in Germany, Spain and Italy, where she’s launching herself as a solo artist before returning to the UK to support The Black Eyed Peas on tour in May.

A friend tells Now: ‘She needs all the publicity she can get there – Girls Aloud never toured outside of the UK and Ireland, so she’s a relative unknown. It’s going to be hard work to win over the European market, especially as singing live isn’t one of her strengths.’

Cheryl headed off to Munich last week – minus husband Ashley, 29 – to perform two songs at the DLD Starnight, the German equivalent of the Brits. She’ll also appear on the German X Factor before heading to Spain and Italy.

Although she missed France’s prestigious NRJ Music Awards in Cannes on 23 January, friends say Cheryl hopes to make an appearance at Paris Fashion Week, which starts on 3 March.

‘She’ll use her fashion contacts to secure front row seats at all the best prêt-à-porter shows and gain entry to the most prestigious parties,’ says our source.

‘This promotional tour of Europe is really important for her because she sees it as a stepping stone to success in the US, which is her dream. Ultimately this is all a dummy run for her American campaign, due to start in LA this summer.’

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See the full story about Cheryl Cole in Now magazine dated 8 February 2010 – out now!