Leona Lewis's Biography
Who is Leona Lewis?Leona Lewis, from North London, was 21 when she won the 2006 talent show The X Factor.
It was immediately announced that Leona Lewis's debut single A Moment Like This would be released on 20th December and it became 2006's Christmas number one single.
Leona Lewis gained a £1 million recording deal with Sony BMG and Simon Cowell claimed she was The X Factor's most talented winner yet.
The Daily Mail's Allison Pearson commented about Leona Lewis appearance on The X Factor:
"Even Cowell smiled like a man who has spent all day trapped in an asylum with Girls Aloud wannabes when suddenly Dionne Warwick walks in the room."
Singing has always been a big influence on Leona's life. She went to the Itali Conti and Sylvia Young stage schools and then on to The Brits School in Croydon.
At 13, Leona Lewis won the Lady D under-18 talent show at the Hackney Empire.
Leona Lewis, whose father Joe was a youth offending officer and mother Marie was a social worker, used to work at Pizza Hut and before doing The X Factor she was a receptionist.
Leona said, "Winning The X Factor would be like a dream come true. It would mean the world to me and my family."
She has many fans including Simon Cowell, who said, "I love her control, she's just amazing, only worry is that she's a British girl that wants to sound American."
Even before The X Factor had finished The Sun was reporting how Leona Lewis had secured a spot on the Ellen DeGeneres The X Factor's profile of Leona Lewis revealed that she goes out with Lou, who is the same age as her. They lived on the same street for seven years before they started dating each other.
Leona plays the piano and the guitar and her favourite artists include Whitney Houston and Roberta Flack.
In February 2007, Leona Lewis signed a $9.7 million record deal in the US.
In October 2007, Leona Lewis got to number one in the UK with Bleeding Love off her debut album.
Leona Lewis's album Spirit became the fastest-selling debut album in Britain. It was the UK's third fastest best-selling album.
Spirit sold more than 375,000 copies in seven days and became the fourth fastest-selling album of all time.
In 2007, Leona Lewis topped the Christmas album chart whilst her successor as The X Factor winner, Leon Jackson, had the UK's Christmas number one single.
In March 2008, Leona Lewis with the single Bleeding Love became the first British woman to top the US pop chart for over 20 years.
Bleeding Love was 2007's best-selling single in the UK.
In April 2008, Leona Lewis with her album Spirit became the first British solo artist to go straight to number one in the US album chart.
In August 2008 Leona Lewis was nominated for a special British prize at the MTV Music Video Awards.
In October 2008, the BBC reported that a record label called UEG Music was planning to release an album that Leona Lewis recorded before winning The X Factor, in spite of her being against it.
In November 2008, a BBC article about Leona Lewis's career since The X Factor pointed out: "The star has appeared on Oprah, visited Africa for Comic Relief, played the MTV Asia Awards in Malaysia, and closed the Olympics in Beijing, duetting with Jimmy Page atop a London Routemaster Bus."
In December 2008, Leona Lewis took the number one single spot with Run, which became the fastest-selling digital-only track.
She is a trustee of Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Essex.
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