It’s true that some people wait a lifetime for A Moment Like This… After years of writing and recording her own music, Leona Lewis found her fame on the X Factor, 2006.

Bold Moves

But, as we all know, musical fame doesn’t often come too easily. Born and raised in Islington, London, Leona Lewis gained a place at the Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology in Croydon. Leona joins an enormous line up of big names who also attended the school, including Amy Winehouse, Adele and Jessie J.

Leona made quite the bold move, and at 17 years old decided she wanted to leave the school to pursue her music career, as she had already started writing and recording her own material. In order to fund herself along this journey, Leona took a job as a receptionist, as well as a waitress job at Pizza Hut!

Eventually, Leona felt that she had nothing to lose by applying for the X Factor. As everyone in the UK (and probably the world) would know, Leona Lewis WON her series, pipping Ray Quinn to the post with 60% of the votes. She was being compared by many to the likes of Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston – that’s quite the compliment!

Leona Lewis had just won a £1 million recording contract with Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco Records – something that she had always dreamed of.

Worldwide

Things continued to go up and up for Leona. Her winning single, a cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This” was the Christmas number one of that year, and stayed there in the top spot for four weeks in the UK Singles Chart. The huge success of this meant that Leona was offered a five-album deal from US label J Records, which she accepted. Upon leaving Syco, Leona said that she was asked to make a record that would not have been true to herself.

Her debut studio album was no disappointment. It sold like hot cakes, and eventually became one of the best-selling albums in UK chart history. One of the tracks is the sensational “Bleeding Love”, a track which has become her most famous ever. The song was the best-selling single of 2007 in the UK, spending seven weeks at number one, as well as becoming the best-selling single of 2008, WORLDWIDE. That’s right, THE biggest song of the year.

“Bleeding Love” was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 51st Grammys, as well as a nomination for Best British Single at the Brits. It has been streamed over 2 billion times, hugely impressive for a song that wasn’t released in the streaming era!

We’re always struck by Leona’s incredible talent as a vocalist, and there’s no song that better demonstrates her skills than this. We think Leona Lewis is a hugely inspirational character with an inspirational voice, which is why you can find “Bleeding Love” on the Rockschool Vocals Grade 7 syllabus.

If you’ve enjoyed learning some more about Leona Lewis, you can find out more about who joins her on the Rockschool Vocals syllabus, including Kings of Leon, Lewis Capaldi and Gregory Porter.