Leona Louise Lewis (born 3 April 1985) is a British pop singer. Lewis rose to prominence in 2006 as the winner of the third series of the British television series The X Factor. Lewis has become a multi-platinum selling artist and three time Grammy Award nominee. She was proclaimed ‘Top New Artist’ by Billboard magazine in 2008. Her two albums Spirit and Echo, released in 2007 and 2009 respectively, have collectively sold in excess of 10 million copies worldwide and topped the charts in numerous countries. Lewis’s debut tour, The Labyrinth, took place in 2010. As of December 2012, Lewis has sold 28 million records worldwide. Her third album Glassheart was released 12 October 2012. It was preceded by the single “Collide”, which became her seventh top-five hit in the UK. With the release of Hurt: The EP and “Trouble”, Lewis has had nine top-ten hits in the UK. Lewis’ debut single A Moment Like This became the fastest selling UK single after being downloaded over 50,000 times within thirty minutes of its release. Her second single, Bleeding Love, reached number one positions in over thirty singles charts around the world. In November 2008 she set a record in the UK for the fastest selling download-only release with her cover version of the Snow Patrol song Run which sold 69,244 copies in two days. Lewis’s debut tour, The Labyrinth, started in 2010. Lewis was born in the London Borough of Islington, to Aural Josiah “Joe” Lewis of Afro-Guyanese descent, and Maria Lewis of Welsh, Italian and Irish descent. Her parents enrolled her at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, and from there she attended the Italia Conti Academy and the BRIT School, where she learned to play instruments such as the guitar and piano, in the hope of becoming a singer-songwriter. Lewis wrote her first full-length song at the age of 12. She initially trained in opera, but went on to singing jazz and blues, eventually leading to popular music, citing Minnie Riperton, Eva Cassidy and Stevie Wonder as her main influences. After leaving the BRIT School at 17, she took a number of jobs to fund studio time, recording a demo album called Twilight. The album, almost exclusively comprising her own compositions, was recorded under Spiral Music, a production company based in Fulham. “I tried to secure a record deal by doing things my own way. I worked very hard but I never managed to land a contract”, said Lewis. Other demos were recorded under licence from UEG Entertainment, later included on an album called Best Kept Secret. However, none of Lewis’s demos were released and she considered taking a hiatus from her music career to attend university until her boyfriend persuaded her to enter The X Factor which subsequently severed her connections with UEG. Songfacts says that Collide, the first single from Leona Lewis’s third album finds her taking a more dance pop route than on her previous material. She said, “I’m excited for people to see a different side to my music. I’m a fan of so many different genres and styles. For me this song has all the great ingredients of a summer anthem.” The song got its first play on Scott Mills’ Radio One show on July 15,and will be released on September 4. Lewis’ third studio album, Glassheart, is due for release.
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