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Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis

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The first British female artist to top the US Hot 100 in over 20 years, Leona Lewis became The X Factor's biggest solo star thanks to a powerful vocal range which drew comparisons with contemporary divas Whitney, Mariah and Celine. Born in Islington, London in 1985, Lewis attended various performing arts schools including the BRIT School, but after two demo albums failed to progress her music career, she auditioned for the 2006 third series of "The X Factor" (ITV1, 2004-). Under mentor Simon Cowell, Lewis and her octave-spanning voice sailed to victory, polling 60% of the votes in the final against Ray Quinn. A deal with Syco Records followed, as did a cover version of Kelly Clarkson's winner's song "A Moment Like This" which topped the UK charts for four weeks. Having also signed a five-album contract with Clive Davis' J Records in 2007, Lewis then went global with her first proper single, "Bleeding Love," a Ryan Tedder-penned instant classic which reached number one in 35 countries including both sides of the Atlantic. Her first studio effort, Spirit, also conquered the charts across the globe, selling eight million copies and spawning several further hits such as "Better in Time" and a...

The first British female artist to top the US Hot 100 in over 20 years, Leona Lewis became The X Factor's biggest solo star thanks to a powerful vocal range which drew comparisons with contemporary divas Whitney, Mariah and Celine. Born in Islington, London in 1985, Lewis attended various performing arts schools including the BRIT School, but after two demo albums failed to progress her music career, she auditioned for the 2006 third series of "The X Factor" (ITV1, 2004-). Under mentor Simon Cowell, Lewis and her octave-spanning voice sailed to victory, polling 60% of the votes in the final against Ray Quinn. A deal with Syco Records followed, as did a cover version of Kelly Clarkson's winner's song "A Moment Like This" which topped the UK charts for four weeks. Having also signed a five-album contract with Clive Davis' J Records in 2007, Lewis then went global with her first proper single, "Bleeding Love," a Ryan Tedder-penned instant classic which reached number one in 35 countries including both sides of the Atlantic. Her first studio effort, Spirit, also conquered the charts across the globe, selling eight million copies and spawning several further hits such as "Better in Time" and a spellbinding cover of Snow Patrol's "Run." By the end of 2008, Lewis has also performed alongside Jimmy Page at the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony, received three Grammy nominations and been named Billboard's Top New Artist. Lewis' 2009 sophomore, Echo failed to make the same impact but still reached pole position in the UK, while her Golden Globe-nominated theme to box-office phenomenon "Avatar" (2009) maintained her high profile worldwide. Inspired by the classic children's fantasy "Labyrinth" (1986), Lewis embarked on her first headline tour in 2010, and a year later released Hurt, an E.P. featuring covers of songs originally recorded by Nine Inch Nails, Goo Goo Dolls and Counting Crows. Lewis' much-delayed third studio effort, Glassheart, finally arrived in 2012 but its more contemporary dubstep-tinged sound struggled to connect with audiences and failed to even secure a release in the States. Lewis enjoyed more success with her Motown-themed festive album, Christmas, With Love in 2013, and ventured onto the big screen with a supporting role in 80s-themed jukebox musical movie "Walking on Sunshine" (2014) a year later. After parting company with Syco, Lewis signed with Universal with whom she released her highly personal fourth LP, I Am, in 2015.

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