Leona Lewis


In “A Moment Like This”, the world fell in love with Leona Lewis. Her “Spirit” soared high. But has it all been “Happy” since…?

Leona Lewis (b.1985) always wanted to be a singer and attended the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology until she was 17, when her family could no longer afford for her to continue. She was working in an office when she auditioned for the third series of The X Factor in 2006, which she went on to win, receiving more than eight million televotes from the British public, with Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This”, the song Clarkson had won the 2002 series of American Idol with.

Lewis’ version went straight to the top of the UK singles chart, where it spent four week and became that year’s Christmas number one, eventually selling over 940,000 copies. Leona was set for a glorious new career and hopes were higher than at any time before for a winner of a reality contest in the UK. After ten months of recording, she emerged in October 2007 with her first single proper, “Bleeding Love”, which was produced by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and went to No.1 in over twenty countries worldwide, including America, where it had sold over 4.5 million copies and more than seven million globally.

Her debut album “Spirit” was released the following month and followed the single to the top of the charts around the world and shifting more than ten million copies, including 3.1 million in the UK, where it became the fastest selling debut album by a female artist ever. Further singles “Better In Time” (UK No.2, US No.11), “Footprints In The Sand” (UK No.2) and “Forgive Me” (UK No.5) followed during 2008, which concluded with her appearance on that year’s X Factor, performing Snow Patrol’s hit “Run” to a stunned audience. The song was released as part of an expanded edition of “Spirit” and went on to top the UK singles chart, becoming much more successful than the original.

Leona was soon back in the studio and in September 2009, she released a new track, “Happy”, which entered the UK chart at No.2 and peaked at No.31 in the US. Her second album “Echo”, followed soon after and followed her debut to the top of the UK chart, receiving a double Platinum certification. It fared less well Stateside, where it stopped at No.13 and sold 200,000 copies. A global total of three million indicated the downsized appeal of this new album, as did the response to the single “I Got You” (UK No.14) which was not released in America.

Leona was back on form in 2011 when she guested on Avicii’s “Collide” which put her back in the UK top five and topped the US dance chart. The following year she released the song “Trouble” with actor, comedian and singer ‘Childish Gambino’ (Donald Glover), which went top ten in the UK and reached No.2 on the US R&B chart. The single was the lead single from her third album “Glassheart”, which peaked at No.3 in the UK, earning a Silver certification.

Christmas songs are always guaranteed to give every year and Leona joined that bus in 2013 when she released a holiday album “Christmas, With Love”. The album centred around the single “One More Sleep”, which reached No.3 in the UK upon release and has charted continually every December since, receiving a Platinum disc for sales of more than 600,000 copies! Leona left Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco, the following year and signed with Def Jam Recordings, releasing her fifth album “I Am” in 2015. The album was preceded by the single “Fire Under My Feet”, which reached No.51 in the UK, with the album peaking at No.12 in the UK and No.38 in America. Two further singles, “Thunder” and the title track were just released digitally.

Leona scored a big hit in 2018 when she performed a new duet version of Calum Scott’s “You Are The Reason” and in 2019 she joined up with Columbian duo Cali y El Dandee and Spanish singer Juan Magán for the song “Solo Quiero” (Somebody To Love), which was co-written and produced by Tedder. Leona has branched out into acting, appearing in the 2014 film ‘Walking On Sunshine’ and in 6 episodes of the TV series The Oath (2019). She married her long-term partner Dennis Jauch in 2019, and they live in Hidden Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles. Leona has recently been signed as a judge on the upcoming series of X Factor – The Band and it has been reported that she is also writing new music!

Leona Lewis 2019

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!