, a 22-year-old London native and winner of the hit TV show The X Factor
, a British talent show, has broken all-time sales records there with Spirit
entering the album chart at Number One and becoming Britain's fastest-selling debut ever. Spirit
has scanned more than a 2 million copies worldwide since its release in November. In addition, Spirit
's lead-off single "Bleeding Love" — co-written and produced by OneRepublic
frontman Ryan "Alias" Tedder — was the U.K.'s best-selling single of 2007, claiming the Number One spot for seven weeks. Ushering in 2008, Leona received four prestigious Brit Award nominations, the U.K. equivalent of the Grammy Awards. A U.S. video for "Bleeding Love," shot by acclaimed video director Jessy Terrero, will premiere on VH-1 February 4th and will be part of their highly coveted "You Oughta Know" campaign. "Bleeding Love" is currently available for purchase on iTunes and will impact radio the first week of February. Simon Cowell
tipped off Clive Davis
to Lewis' talent during The X Factor
competition. "I was immediately knocked out by her range, her versatility, and the pure beauty of her voice," said Davis. "She is an artist who will be a true star for many years to come." For the first time, Davis and Cowell teamed up to sign Lewis to J Records/ SyCo Music (Cowell's joint venture with Sony BMG), and are both actively involved in the recording process for Spirit
. Comments Cowell "In my opinion Leona is one of the most talented singers I have ever heard. I have a feeling America is going to feel the same way about her."
In between international promotion for her album, Leona is currently in the studio recording two brand new tracks for the U.S. release of Spirit
- "Forgive Me" by singer/songwriter superstar Akon
and "Misses Glass" from the cutting edge producer/writers Madd Scientist and Rock City.Spirit
is a mix of fresh pop and R&B, filled with "songs with a contemporary edge," as Lewis puts it, ranging from soulful up-tempo numbers ("I'm You," "The Best You Never Had," and "Whatever It Takes," which Lewis co-wrote) to ballads ("Better in Time," "I Will Be," and "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" — a song that Roberta Flack
made famous). Tracks were written and produced by an array of top-notch hit-makers, including Tedder, singer/songwriters Akon and Ne-Yo
, songwriters Josh Alexander and Billy Steinberg, and songwriter/producers Dallas Austin, Stargate, J.R. Rotem
, and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald — all of whom have worked with some of the biggest names in pop.
"I wanted to make an album that was totally me," says Lewis, who has been performing since the age of 5. "The lyrics reflect things that I'm really passionate about. I have to be able to put myself in the song for it to ring true to me. If it doesn't ring true to me, it's not going to be believable to anyone else."
In addition to gracing the covers of U.K. fashion publications like Harper's Bazaar
, U.S. media are touting Leona as the artist to watch in 2008: People Magazine
labels her "the U.K.'s hottest star in an "Introducing" piece," Vogue
presents her in their "People Are Talking About - The Vogue 25 Cultural Highlights of 2008" and Entertainment Weekly
declares her one of "8 To Watch in 2008."