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Hailing from Islington, London, UK, Leona Lewis (born April 3rd, 1985) rose to fame after winning the third series of Simon Cowell’s British talent show, “The X Factor,” before forging a successful career in both the UK and the US.
Bearing similarities to the powerful vocals of Whitney Houston, Leona Lewis stormed to victory of “The X Factor” in 2006, subsequently bursting onto the music scene with her debut single, her rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This.” Lewis had been gradually totting up musical successes from a young age, winning a talent competition at the age of 13 and graduating from the prestigious school, Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology. Before entering “The X Factor,” Lewis was working as a receptionist, pizza waitress, as well as writing and performing her on material. But since victory, her music career has blossomed into international success.
Her debut single reached number one in the UK singles chart, achieving the prized ‘Christmas Number One’ that year. Lewis then went on to sign a record deal with Clive Davis’ J Records in the US to begin distributing her music there. Her debut album, “Spirit,” was released in 2007, reaching the top of the charts in the UK, with single, “Bleeding Love,” also reaching the number one spot. Her album was released in the US the following year, peaking at the top of the Billboard 200 charts, establishing her presence in the US music scene. She also received a Grammy Award nomination that year for ‘Best Pop Album.’
In 2009, her second release, “Echo,” again stormed the charts, reaching number one in the UK, selling 161,000 copies in its first week. The album featured collaborations with Ryan Tedder, Xenomania and Timberland. Promoting the album, Lewis embarked on the “Labyrinth Tour,” releasing the live DVD/CD, “The Labyrinth Tour: Live From the O2,” displaying her powerful live performance.
Despite beginning recording for her third album in 2011, it would be a while before Lewis released another record. The electronic dance-oriented album, “Glassheart” finally came out in 2012, with the album failing to live up to the success of her previous releases. After a split with her management, Lewis returned with a Christmas album, titled “Christmas, With Love,” released in 2013.