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Leona Lewis - Biography

The singer won The X Factor in 2006 

Leona Lewis
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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Leona Lewis is a British singer who rose to fame after winning the 2006 series of The X Factor, which led to a successful music career. 

Leona Lewis's early life

Leona was born in April 1985 in Islington, London, where she attended the famous Sylvia Young Theatre School, before going onto study at the Italia Conti Academy and the BRIT school. The talented youngster was passionate about music from an early age and learned to play the guitar and piano before turning her hand to songwriting. 

Leona Lewis's music career

By the age of 17, Leona had already begun to write and sing her own songs. After struggling to secure a record contract, she signed up for The X Factor and went on to win the 2006 series. 

Her debut single A Moment Like This, which smashed a world record after it was downloaded an incredible 50,000 times in 30 minutes, made the coveted Christmas number one spot and outsold the rest of the Top 40 singles combined. It was the beginning of a stellar 2007 for the star-in-the-making. Following up her chart success, she signed a £5 million record deal in the States, where she headed to record her debut album Spirit. After months of hard work with top producers and songwriters including Ne-Yo, she dropped her first single Bleeding Love in October. It was a smash – rocketing to the number one spot across the globe, including in the UK, the US, Australia, France and Germany. 

She followed up her first chart smash with singles Footprints In The Sand, Better In Time, Forgive Me and Run, all the while gaining critical acclaim which was cemented by three Grammy nods and four Brit Awards nominations in 2008.

By 2009, it was time to start thinking about the always-tricky second album. Leona headed back to Los Angeles and spent nine months working on new material before releasing Echo in September 2009. The first single, Happy, shot to number two in the UK charts. 

From there, she released three more albums and a number of hit songs, including her Christmas single, One More Sleep, which was released in her fourth album, Christmas, with Love, in 2013. 

Away from music, Leona has also had acting roles in the 2014 musical film Walking on Sunshine, as well as the US crime drama, The Oath. She has also been a judge on the Paramount+ series Queen of the Universe, and a guest on BBC One's I Can See Your Voice Christmas special.

Leona Lewis's personal life

Leona married her long-term fiancé, professional dancer and choreographer Dennis Jauch, in July 2019. The couple welcomed a daughter, Carmel Allegra, in July 2022. 

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