Leona Louise Lewis (born 3 April 1985) is a British singer-songwriter and actress. She was born and raised in the London Borough of Islington, where she attended the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology. Lewis achieved national recognition when she won the third series of The X Factor in 2006, winning a £1 million recording contract with Simon Cowell's record label, Syco Music. Her winners single, a cover of Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This", peaked at number one for four weeks on the UK Singles Chart and it broke a world record for being digitally downloaded more than 50,000 times in 30 minutes. In February 2007, Lewis signed a five-album contract in the United States with Clive Davis's record label, J Records (now RCA Records).
Lewis's success continued with the release of her debut album, Spirit, in 2007; it went 10x platinum in the United Kingdom, while the lead single, "Bleeding Love", spent seven weeks at number one. She achieved international recognition with the album in 2008, when she became the first British female to top the US Billboard 200 album chart in more than 20 years. Spirit has sold more than eight million copies worldwide, and "Bleeding Love" peaked at number one in over 30 countries, becoming the best-selling single of 2008 worldwide. As a result, she was proclaimed 'Top New Artist' by Billboard in 2008. Under the guidance of Cowell and Davis, Lewis released her second UK number one album Echo and recorded the theme song for the film Avatar in 2009, while embarking on her first UK arena tour, The Labyrinth, in 2010.