Who Is Leona Lewis?

If you've been on the internet recently, you might have noticed a web banner advertising Leona Lewis, a brand new British singing sensation. The ad informs that her debut album, Spirit, holds the record for fastest selling debut in UK history and that she is coming to America. Big deal right? I was just sad the Arctic Monkey's couldn't hold onto their record they set for fastest selling debut for two years. Leona Lewis was quickly forgotten until I saw the ad again. And again. And again. It seemed like her promoters were serious but promoters for female British singers are always serious. The UK always has the next big star. Michelle McManus, Charolette Church, Rachel Stevens, they all dissapeared, so why should we take these next ones seriously? Is Amy Winehouse more than a flash in the pan? Is Duffy more than Hilary Duff changing her name and trying to be edgy? And who is Leona Lewis and how did she brake the Arctic Monkeys' record?

After seeing the ad again, I decided to investigate via Wikipedia. Leona Lewis is the winner of the televised talent competition, X Factor. American Idol isn't an American invention, it is actually just our version of the British Pop Idol. Pop Idol caused a stir in the UK for a few seasons and even featured everyone's favorite judge, Simon, but it couldn't last as long as its American counterpart. Enter X Factor. It's basically the same thing, but Simon has more control and makes more money and so it's still around. Leona isn't the first winner, but she seems to be Simon's favorite.

America has a thing for divas. During the 90's, the airwaves were ruled by big voices, from Mariah to Whitney to Celine. The new century has failed to produce any stars as big as those, but Simon Cowell thinks Lewis could do it which is exactly why he is working so hard to break her in the states. For all the talent she has, and for how catchy "Bleeding Love", her debut single is, Leona's hype is still bigger than she is. She was recently paraded on Oprah and it was too much. She told viewers she was singing before she was walking, Simon donated to charity, Oprah let out a stunned "Wow" after the performance, and of course they talked about how Leona is the next Mariah.

For all that she's done, Leona Lewis hasn't earned all this buzz, but it's all part of a plan. Leona's album, Spirit hits US stores April 8, and her team is crafting a self fulfilling prophecy of epic proportions. Lewis is too humble to talk big, so Simon Cowell is doing it for her, but it seems like its the only way "Bleeding Love" can get enough attention to beat out Mariah's new single "Touch My Body" in the charts in the coming weeks. Only time will tell is Lewis justifies all the attention, but until then, enjoy some Oprah.


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