Leona Lewis (DOB 3rd April 1985) is a singer and winner of the third series of The X Factor television talent show.
Her UK debut single, 'A Moment like This', was released in December 2006, breaking a world record after it was downloaded over 50,000 times within 30 minutes.
Her second single, 'Bleeding Love', was the biggest-selling single of 2007 in the United Kingdom, topped over thirty national singles charts.
Her debut album, Spirit, was released in Europe in November 2007, and became the fastest-selling debut album ever in both the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Released in North America in April 2008, Spirit debuted at number one in the US Billboard 200 chart and made Lewis the first British artist to top the chart with a debut album.
With her album reaching number one in at least three continents and nine countries, Lewis has had the most successful launch of any television talent show contestant ever.
Lewis wrote her first song at the age of twelve, and won a number of talent competitions. After leaving school, Lewis took a number of jobs to pay to get into a recording studio, including waitressing and several receptionist jobs.
She wrote and recorded a number of songs including a demo album of her own songs called Twilight, but the album was never released.
When her career seemed to be going nowhere, she was considering quitting the music industry until her boyfriend persuaded her to enter The X Factor.
The X Factor
In 2006, Lewis auditioned for the third series of The X Factor, singing 'Over the Rainbow' made famous by the film 'The Wizard of Oz'.
She made it through to the final stages and was announced the winner and received a £1 million recording contract.
Life after The X Factor
One-million copies of the winner's single, a cover of Kelly Clarkson's first single 'A Moment like This', were pre-ordered by stores, although at the time, the winner of the show had not been announced and it was unknown who would be releasing the single. 'A Moment like This' was released on 20 December 2006, and was available as a digital download. It broke a world record after it was downloaded fifty-thousand times in thirty minutes.
On Christmas Eve 2006, 'A Moment like This' was crowned Christmas number-one single, having sold 571,253 copies, beating Take That's single 'Patience', and outselling the rest of the Top 40's sales combined.
The single became the biggest-downloaded song in 2006, beating Gnarls Barkley's 'Crazy'. The single stayed at number one for four weeks and went on to sell in the region of 1,000,000 copies.
In February 2007, Lewis signed a £5 million ($9.7 million) five album contract in the United States with the record label, J Records.
On 16 January 2007, 'A Moment like This' was short listed for the British Single award at the 2007 BRIT Awards. It made it to the second round but was eliminated and did not make it to the final selection. In May, it was awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Best Selling British Single.
Her album 'Spirit' was released on the 12th of November 2007 in the UK, where it entered the UK Albums Chart at number one, also becoming the UK's fastest selling debut album and also the fourth fastest selling album of all time.
'Spirit' was released in the United States on 8 April 2008, and entered the Billboard 200 at number one.
Lewis' second single, 'Bleeding Love', the single sold 66,000 copies on its first day of release and went on to sell 218,805 copies in its first week, giving it the biggest first-week sales of 2007.
On 16 December 2007, 'Bleeding Love' won The Record of the Year 2007 award.
On 14 January 2008, Lewis was nominated for four BRIT Awards, in the categories British Female Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act, British Album for Spirit, and British Single for 'Bleeding Love'.
Despite being the favourite to win the most awards, she received none.
In February 2008, Lewis broke the major American charts as 'Bleeding Love' peaked at number one becoming the first track by a UK female to hit number one since Kim Wilde in 1987.
More interestingly 'Bleeding Love' is only the second single to ever fall out and return to the number one position on the Hot 100 twice, the first was Le Freak by Chic in 1978 and 1979.
Lewis' third single, a double A-side featuring 'Better in Time' and 'Footprints in the Sand', was released in the UK in March 2008, in aid of the charity Sport Relief, the songs reached a peak of number 2 in the UK singles chart and sold over 70 000 copies.
As a part of Sport Relief, Lewis has set up a website, Yougivemestrength.com, for people to share their inspirational stories.
With a second album slated for release in 2009 and a reported £15 million world tour in 2010, Leona is looking to build on what will have to go down as one of the greatest debuts by a solo artist ever.
Lewis has been a vegetarian since she was 12.