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April 3, 1985
Artistfacts for Leona Lewis
English singer Leona Louise Lewis was in Islington, London, to a Welsh mother and a father of Guyanese descent.
She attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School, whose other famous former pupils include The Spice Girls' Emma Bunton, Amy Winehouse and Rita Ora. Lewis moved onto the Italia Conti Academy, before completing her education at the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology.
Lewis originally trained as an opera singer, then moved into jazz and blues, before eventually settling into pop music.
Leona Lewis beat Ray Quinn in the final of The X Factor
in December 2006. She released as her winner's single a cover of Kelly Clarkson's song "A Moment Like This
." Despite not being released until December 20, it ended the year as the UK's second bestselling single, beaten only by Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy
Her debut UK tour was titled The Labyrinth, inspired by her favorite childhood movie Labyrinth starring David Bowie.
Lewis' debut album Spirit was released in 2007 went straight in at #1 on the Billboard 200, outselling her nearest rival four to one. She was the first British artist to reach the top of the US album chart with a debut LP.
Lewis' first post-X Factor single "Bleeding Love
" was the biggest-selling single in the US in 2008.
Lewis has been a vegetarian since she was 12 and is strongly opposed to the use of animal fur in clothing. She notably turned down an a seven-figure sum to open the Harrods sale in 2008 on the grounds that it sells clothing made from animal fur.
She is a patron of the Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood, Essex, where Lewis keeps 200 rescue animals, including a two-legged llama.