Leona Lewis

  • British pop singer and songwriter born in 1985 in London England.
  • Lewis showed talent as a singer at an early age, and her parents enrolled her in various art schools so that she could concentrate on developing her vocal skills. By the time she was 17, she had written and recorded several songs, and she decided to leave school to start a professional career in music.
  • She auditioned for a leading role in a production of the musical theater piece Lion King, but she had to withdraw after injuring her back. After recovering, she recorded a demo album titled Twilight with an independent label in London, but no major label showed interest, and it was never released. A second demo album, Best Kept Secret, followed, but it too failed to generate any interest from the industry.
  • Frustrated by her lack of success, she auditioned for the third season of the British television music competition The X Factor in 2006. She was chosen to participate in the show, with Simon Cowell as her mentor. She sang songs by other famous women vocalists like Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, and the judges favorably compared her to those divas. Eventually, Lewis won the competition in December 2006, receiving a  £1 million recording contract with Cowell’s record label. Her coronation song was a cover of Kelly Clarkson’s A Moment Like This, which was immediately released as a single and it became the second biggest selling single of 2006 in the UK, even though it was released until December 17.
  • Early in 2007, Lewis signed a £5 million contract for albums to be released in the U.S. and internationally. Her debut album, Spirit, was released that year. It debuted at #1 in 9 countries, including the US and the UK – Lewis was the first UK solo artist ever with a debut album that topped the Billboard album chart in its first week of release in the U.S. The first single from the album, Bleeding Love, became her signature hit – it topped charts in 16 countries, including the Hot 100 in the U.S. Four other singles from the album were hits in the UK – Better In Time peaked at #2 in the UK and at #11 in the U.S., and while other singles weren’t as popular in the U.S., Run topped the UK chart, Footprints In the Sand peaked at #2 and Forgive Me reached #5 in the UK.
  • Her second album, Echo, was released in 2009. Lewis had co-writer credit on only 2 songs on her debut album – for Echo, she co-wrote 8 of the songs. The album was less successful – it reached #1 in the UK, but only #13 in the U.S. Still, worldwide sales were over 3 million copies, with the single Happy reaching #2 in the UK and #31 on the Hot 100. That same year, she recorded the theme song for the film Avatar I See You was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Song.
  • In 2011, Lewis collaborated with Avicii on the dance-pop techno song Collide. It topped the Dance Club Songs chart in the U.S. In the fall of 2012, after several delays and changes in production, her third studio album was released in European markets – Glassheart. The record label chose not to release the album or singles in North America, to the disappointment of Lewis. Their decision was based on relatively poor sales in Europe.
  • A Christmas album released in 2013 contained both traditional and original Christmas songs. Critics generally praised the album, but sales were soft. One original single, One More Sleep, reached #3 in the UK, giving Lewis 9 singles that reached the top 10 of the UK Singles chart.
  • 2015’s I Am album was her most recent studio album release. She co-wrote all but one song on the album. Singles from the album included 2 that charted on the Dance Club Songs chart – Fire Under My Feet and Thunder. Since then, she collaborated with singles from several other artists, and began acting and modeling work.
  • Lewis is a mezzo-soprano who can sing over 4 octaves. Her powerful voice has earned her the comparisons to some of the greatest woman vocalists ever. Here’s the video to her mega-hit, Bleeding Love.

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