Leona Louise Lewis is a well-known British songwriter, singer, and animal welfare campaigner. Famous for her hit songs and lyrics, Lewis came into the limelight after her debut album titled Spirit in 2007.
Besides, she also received national recognition when she won the third series of the X Factor in 2006, along with a £1 million recording contract with Syco Music.
Early life and Education
Leona Lewis was born Leona Louise Lewis on April 3, 1985, in Islington, London, England. Born to her Guyanese father, Aural Josiah Lewis, and a Welsh mother, Maria Lewis, she was raised in the London Borough of Islington. She is of mixed ethnicity and holds British nationality.
The 37 years old actress' siblings include a younger brother Kyle, and an older half-brother Bradley. With her colossal devotion to music and singing, her parents transmitted her to Sylvia Young Theatre School.
Lewis later joined Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, the Ravenscourt Theatre School, and finally, the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology.
Lewis wrote her first song at the age of twelve. She originally received her training in opera before moving into blues and jazz and eventually into contemporary popular music.
Everything On Her Career
2001-2005: Struggles and setbacks
At the young age of 17, Lewis decided to leave BRIT School to pursue her music career. By that time, Lewis had already begun to record and write her songs. Lewis worked as a receptionist at a solicitor's office as a waitress for Pizza Hut to pay for her studio sessions.
And at the age of 18, Lewis received a lead role in The Lion King theatre show in Paris. However, she was removed from the position due to her back injury.
Lewis recorded her trial album titled Twilight, collaborating with Spiral Music, a music production company located in Fulham. The album failed to receive a deal with music companies.
Though the album was not released officially, Lewis performed some of the songs live on B.B.C. Radio 1 music station in 2004.
Her other trial album was recorded under the license from U.E.G. Entertainment, titled Best Kep Secret. The album has reported spending £70,000 trying to launch Leona Lewis' album achieving less success.
A single from her album named Private Party became a viral song on the underground urban music video in London. Talking about her hard work to achieve a record contract, she said,
''I tried to secure a record deal by doing things in my own way. I worked very hard, but I never managed to land a contract. That's why I decided to audition for The X Factor. It's programs like these which provide the best place to showcase fresh new talent,''
during an interview. Later, she decided to audition for the British reality show, The X Factor.
2006: The X Factor and debut single
The well-known singer went for an audition for the third series of The X Factor in 2006. She performed the track named Over the Rainbow for judges Sharon Osbourne, Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, and guest judge Paula Abdul.
Lewis was set in the 16-24 category, and Simon Cowell was her mentor. All over the show, Leona Lewis was compared with artists such as Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston, singing songs by all three artists.
Lewis achieved victory over Ray Quinn at the competition on December 16, 2006. Furthermore, she received 60% of the 8 million televotes cast in the Grand Final. After winning the competition, Lewis signed a recording contract with Cowell's record label Syco Music for £1 million. Lewis, upon winning, said:
''I'm just shocked. It's unbelievable. I feel like my dream has come true, the dream I've been dreaming since a little girl, has come true. There were points, I thought. 'You know what, I don't know if this is going to happen.' But with the help from my friends and my family, they all kept telling me to believe in myself and keep on doing it, and I did, and now I'm here and thank you so much to them.''
The X Factor (Uk series 3) winner released a cover song by Kelly Clarkson titled A Moment Like This on December 17, 2006. In the U.K., the cover song broke a world record after it was downloaded more than fifty thousand times digitally in 30 minutes.
The song was also listed as a 2006 U.K. Christmas number-one single, selling more than 571,000 copies in the first week of its release. The song was also charted at number one in Ireland for six weeks.
As of 2014 December, Leona Lewis' version of the song sold more than 900,000 copies in the U.S.
2007-2008 Spirit and international breakthrough
In Feb 2007, The X Factor winner signed a five-album contract in America with Clive Davis' record label J Records. She signed a £5 million record contract and was showcased to many American music executives.
A press explained how Davis and Cowell would collaborate in a 'first-of-its-kind' partnership on both songs and selection of producers for her first album Spirit. She recorded the track for the album in London, New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Miami.
There she worked with various record producers and songwriters, including Walter Afansieff, Steve Mac, Dallas Austin, Ne-Yo, and Stargate.
The album was released in November 2007 and was ranked #1 on both U.K. Albums Chart and Irish Albums Chart. The album also became the fastest-selling debut album in both countries.
In January 2008, two more songs were recorded for the album; Misses Gla s s, produced by Madd Scientist, and Forgive me, produced by Akon. It was released in 2008 in the United States and ranked #1 on the Billboard, making her the first British artist to peak at number with a debut album.
In 2008 August, Leona Lewis performed an all-time hit single by Led Zepplin, Whole Lotta Love, along with the guitarist from the band Jimmy Page at the 2008 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in Beijing.
Lewis also won two awards at the 2008 MOBO Awards: Best Album for her debut album Spirit and Best Video Award for the song Bleeding Love.
2009-2010 Echo and The Labyrinth
Leona Lewis's second album, Echo, was released worldwide in November 2009. The production took the whole of 2009, including her collaboration with Max Martin, Ryan Tedder, Kevin Rudolf, Justin Timberlake, Arnthor Birgissom, and John Shanks. The album was recorded in Los Angeles.
Lewis' first single from the album Echo is Happy. Not to mention, the song was written by her, collaborating with Evan Bogart and Tedder. The song was released on September 15, 2009, and ranked #2 in the U.K. and top 10 in Belgium, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, and Japan.
Apart from that, Lewis also recorded the theme song for Avatar, a science fiction movie directed by James Cameron.
In February 2010, Lewis' second song, I Got You, from the album Echo, was released. The following month, she was featured in a duet titled Inaspettata with Italian singer Biagio Antonacci.
The British singer also signed a book deal in January 2009. She published an illustrated autobiography in October 2009. The book titled Dreams contains pictures taken mainly by famous photographer Dean Freeman. On October 14, 2009, Lewis was a s saulted by a 29-year-old man from south London at a book signing for Dreams.
The man who violated her was arrested at the scene, and she suffered bruising. The a s saulting man was sectioned under Mental Health Act 2009. He was charged with common a s saults as he admitted the a s sault and was hospitalized for some period.
In May 2010, Leona Lewis started her first tour, The Labyrinth, to support her two albums, Spirit and Echo, along with a theme based on the movie Labyrinth. From July to August 2010, she was scheduled to tour North America a s sisting Christina Aguilera's Tour; however, Aguilera canceled the tour.
2011-2013: Hurt, Gla s sheart, and Christmas, with Love
Shortly after completing the Labyrinth tour, Lewis started her work on her third album Gla s sheart. The album was released in October 2012 in the United Kingdom. Lewis described her album as having a darker tone than her previous albums.
Lewis also mentioned Kate Bush, Tracy Chapman, and Tears for Fears as the primary influences for the album.
Lewis collaborated with several producers and writers, including Chuck Harmony, Ammo, Claude Kelly, Jonas Quant, Al Shux, Ryan Tedder, Dallas Austin, Fraser T Smith, Ne-Yo, and Rico Love.
In August 2012, Leona Lewis announced her lead single for the album Gla s sheart would be Trouble, released on October 7, 2012. It was ranked #7 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
On December 2, 2013, Leona Lewis released her fourth album Christmas, with Love. The lead track for the album, 'One More Sleep,' was released on November 5, 2013.
The following year, Lewis set a new record for British female solo artists with most top five tracks in the history of the U.K. Chart and eight top-five singles.
2014-2015: Walking on Sunshine, I Am
On September 23, 2013, it was revealed that Leona Lewis would make her appearance on Holiday!, a musical film. Following year, the movie was renamed Walking on Sunshine and was released on June 27, 2014.
On June 3, Lewis disjoined ways with her record label of seven years, Syco Music, and boss of the label Simon Cowell. Later, she disclosed that her separation from the record label had come after many years of consideration.
Leona also said that when she mentioned her desire to depart from the label, she was threatened by the public being told that she was dropped out of the contract instead of parting with her own decision.
Of her departure, Lewis said,
''I was asked to make a record that would not have been true to myself. By all means, as an artist in this climate, I was even thankful to get the chance to make another record. But I cannot make music that does not speak to my soul, and as scary as it seemed, I could no longer compromise myself, and so I decided to leave.''
On December 27, 2013, Lewis signed a contract with Digital Spy and would start her recording session in Jan 2014, after completing the promotion of Christmas, with Love.
On September 11, 2015, following the release of the album, Lewis announced her third live tour, with an initial leg of fourteen U.K. dates. During the tour, Lewis visited cities including Glasglow, Cardiff, Birmingham, and London.
2016-present: Broadway debut
On March 18, 2016, Lewis headlined Cirque du Soleil's One Night for One Drop performance in Las Vegas. On May 26, 2016, it was disclosed that Lewis would make her Broadway debut as Grizabella.
Personal life: Insights On Her Love Life
Lewis lives in Hackney, East London. She has learned cla s sical and has a mezzo-soprano vocal range that spans four octaves. She has stated that she also practices operatic scales every week.
Leona Lewis was in a relationship with her boyfriend, Lou Al -Chamaa, who worked as an A&R scout for Sony Music Entertainment. The couple separated in June 2010. They had lived together and known each other since she was ten years old.
Lewis has been a vegetarian for 20 years and vegan since September 2012. She has also become the winner of P.E.T.A.'s Sexiest Vegetarian, along with Anthony Kiedis, frontman of Red Hot Chilli Peppers in 2008. She won Europe's Sexiest Vegetarian along with actor Scott Maslen in 2009.
In September 2014, in an open letter to her fans, she disclosed that she felt depressed around the time of her separation from Syco. She also credited Simon Cowell and her training in meditation with helping her ''still the madness''.
Lewis has been married to Dennis Jauch for a long time. They have had an up and down relationship in the past. The pair were spotted kissing in the Sapporo Restaurant in Liverpool in June 2015.
But in recent times, the pair have been very open about their love life. In addition, they got married in July 2019 in Tuscany, Italy, at Sting's 16th century, 865-acre Il Palagio estate. And on March 20, 2022, the happy couple announced that they were expecting their first child.
Lewis opened a Harrods sale turning down a seven-figure sum from Mohamed Al-Fayed. She was announced as the new brand activist for The Body Shop in March 2013.
Lewis has also shown active support for Little Kids Rock. Little Kids Rock is a nonprofit organization that works to restore and revitalize music education in disadvantaged U.S. public schools by donating items for an auction to raise money for the organization.
In 2017, Lewis attended and supported the annual H.E.A.R.T. Organization, a violence intervention program.
How Much Is Her Net Worth In 2022?
Lewis earns a heavy amount of money from her career as a singer and songwriter. With over several albums and numerous hit singles, Lewis' total net worth is estimated to be $30 million, according to Wealthy Person.
But various sources have mentioned different figures. Her net worth as per muzul is £22 million. Her wealth was £12 million ($19million approx.) in 2012, as per the source by the richest.
In 2006, Lewis acquired her first recording contract worth $1,600,000 with her mentor Simon Cowell after defeating The X Factor. The same year Lewis signed a Five-Album deal with Cowell's record label worth $7,940,000.
The following year, she earned $9,700,000 from receiving a Five-Album contract with Clive Davis's record label known as J Records. Later, she made $7,500,00 from her debut album Spirit selling 7 million copies.
Lewis generated $165,000 from her second album, Echo, in 2009. She made $5,600,000 from her first tour, The Labyrinth, in 2010.
In 2011, she sold her Hollywood Hills home worth $2,500,000. She made $550,000 from her fourth album Gla s sheart in 2012.
Lewis earned a £1 million contract with Syco Music, winning the reality show, The X Factor.
After winning The X Factor, Lewis sold her flat in Hackney for $120,000 and bought a home in Hollywood for £1,5 million. Later she sold the house for $2,500,000. In addition to that, the stunning singer makes money from sponsorship, and she charges around $2,179.5 - $3,632.5 from a single sponsored post on Instagram.
by admin, 25 Jan, 2018