Real name: Leona Louise Lewis
Leona Louise Lewis (born 3 April 1985) is an English singer-songwriter who was the winner of the third series of the popular television talent show The X Factor.
Her debut single, "A Moment like This", was released on 20 December 2006. The single was also available as a digital download from midnight on 17 December and broke a world record after it was downloaded fifty thousand times in thirty minutes. Her debut album, Spirit, is due for release on 5 November 2007. It is claimed Lewis will be the first winner of a major television talent show in both the UK and U.S. to be given a major global launch with the release of the album.
Lewis was born in the London district of Islington to parents Joe, an Afro-Caribbean youth offending officer, and Marie Lewis, a social worker of Anglo-Welsh descent. She is the middle child of three, with two brothers, Kyle, who is younger, and Bradley, who is older. They grew up in Highbury and went to school at Ambler Primary School in Finsbury Park. Lewis always wanted to get into music and at the age of five her parents sent her to the Sylvia Young Theatre School, despite fearing it would cripple them financially. She also attended performing arts academy Italia Conti in Goswell Road, Islington and the BRIT School.
She recorded a number of songs including a demo album of her own songs called Twilight, but the album was never released. When she was fifteen years old she recorded a version of Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You" with music producer Marley J. Wills, after which Lewis and Wills were invited to the US by Sony. Wills went on to say that "She was young and innocent but very much able. Even then she had a very good voice. We started putting tracks together straight away." … "Leona could hit the notes and I think she did it better than the original."
When her music career seemed to be going nowhere, she decided to give up, until her boyfriend Lou Al-Chamaa persuaded her to enter The X Factor.
A four-track download EP, "It's All for You", that she recorded before entering The X Factor went on sale online on 18 December 2006, however, the single did not chart.
On 2 June 2007, Lewis performed at a special This Is Your Life for Simon Cowell, singing "Somewhere", from West Side Story, with Il Divo.
Lewis appeared in the October 2007 issue Harper's Bazaar UK, modelling dresses from Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Emanuel Ungaro and Vivienne Westwood. The photo shoot was done in Los Angeles and it was reported that severe disruption was caused when a crowd of fans blocked the streets trying to see Lewis.
Lewis's second single, "Bleeding Love", written and produced by Ryan Tedder, will be released on 22 October 2007. Lewis will perform the song on the first live show of the fourth series of The X Factor. The single has been confirmed by Leona's official website along with the release date for her album.
On 24 September 2007, Lewis performed a special album launch party at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge, London, where she performed four tracks from the album.
Although her big passion is singing, Lewis is also a keen dancer and actress, and can play the piano and guitar. She also has a pet Rottweiler named Rome.
- Track listing:
- "Baby Girl"
- "Could You Be the One"
- "How Many Times"
- "I Can't Help It"
- "Learn to Love You"
- "So Deep"