Early Life of Leona Lewis:
Leona Louise Lewis was born the middle child of 3 in London April 3, 1985. From a very early age she began training for a musical career attending performing arts academies for her education. Leona Lewis wrote her first song at the age of 12 and won her first talent show at the age of 13. After finishing school, she took a variety of jobs including waitress and receptionist to earn money for time in a recording studio.
Leona Lewis auditioned for the 3rd series of the UK talent show X Factor in 2006. Her mentor on the show was Simon Cowell and she consistently won praise from all 3 judges on the show. By the end of the show's season it was clear that Lewis was the dominant contestant in the competition. She won the final easily with 60% of the vote.
A Moment Like This:
The first single released by Leona Lewis immediately after the completion of X Factor on December 20, 2006, was a version of Kelly Clarkson's first hit "A Moment Like This." Upon its release, "A Moment Like This" sold a stunning 50,000 download copies in 30 minutes. Selling over half a million copies in its first week, the song outsold the rest of the entire top 40 in the UK combined in its debut week.
The Music of Leona Lewis:
Record-Setting UK Pop Star:
Following the success of "A Moment Like This" Leona Lewis retreated from the spotlight to work on her debut album Spirit. For the first time music industry legend Clive Davis and Lewis' mentor Simon Cowell collaborated in selecting songs and producers for the project. Leona Lewis recorded songs for the album in both the UK and the US working with such talents as Stargate, Ne-Yo, and Dallas Austin among many others.
The first single from the project, "Bleeding Love," was released in the UK on October 22, 2007. The song was co-written by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic (the group behind the #1 US hit "Apologize") and Jesse McCartney. Tedder is also the producer. "Bleeding Love" quickly became the biggest selling of 2007 to date in the UK and camped out for a long stay at #1.
The album Spirit was released November 12, 2007 and it broke the record set by the Arctic Monkeys to become the fastest selling debut album ever in the UK. Upon release in the US, "Bleeding Love" headed to #1 and became the biggest selling single of 2008. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
The album Spirit generated another big hit single "Better In Time." In the fall of 2008 her cover version of Snow Patrol's "Run" caused unprecedented demands for hearing the song at BBC Radio 1. In late summer 2009 Leona Lewis released the single "Happy," the eagerly awaited first song from her upcoming album Echo.