Alexandra Burke (25.8.1988)
Alexandra Burke is an English pop star and the winner of the 2008 series of The X Factor.
Alexandra Burke: Childhood
Alexandra Burke was born to Melissa Bell and David Burke in London. Her mother is formerly of Soul II Soul.
At the age of five, Alexandra took up singing, though she did not have any formal training until she entered The X Factor. Aged 12, Burke appeared on the TV talent show Star For A Night. She was the youngest person in the competition and narrowly missed out to Joss Stone. That year, she also sang down the phone to Stevie Wonder.
After finishing her GCSEs, Alexandra Burke left Islington's Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in order to focus on her schooling.
Alexandra Burke: Music Career
In 2005, Burke auditioned for The X factor for the first time. She made it through to the final seven in Louis Walsh's 16-24 category but Louis did not choose her for his final four. That year's series was won by Shayne Ward.
In 2008, Alexandra Burke auditioned for The X Factor once more, where she was mentored by Cheryl Cole (of Girls Aloud). Her first live performance was a version of Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'. The following week, she performed 'I'll Be There' by the Jackson 5. During the show, she also covered tracks originally made famous by Christina Aguilera, Donna Summer, Mariah Carey, Take That and Joe Cocker.
It wasn't until week eight of the contest that she overtook Diana Vickers as the favourite to become winner of the show with her performances of Britney Spears' 'Toxic' and 'Listen' by Beyonce Knowles turning the tide.
In the final performance of the show, Alexandra Burke was up against Eoghan Quigg and JLS. Her final performance was a version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'. The song went on to become her debut single, released in time to become Christmas number one (despite an internet campaign to send Jeff Buckley's version of the same song to the top spot).
In February 2009, Alexandra Burke reportedly signed a £3.5 million record deal with Epic Records. In October of that year, Burke released her debut album, entitled Overcome. Her next single, after 'Hallelujah' was 'Bad Boys', featuring Flo Rida and became another number one single for her.
In the summer of 2009, Alexandra Burke also signed an endorsement deal with Dolce & Gabbana.
At the start of 2010, Alexandra Burke released 'Broken Heels'. She was also among the artists collaborating for a Haiti Charity single, to raise money for the aid effort following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Other artists on the release include Leona Lewis, Mika, Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart, all performing a cover of 'Everybody Hurts' by R.E.M.