She’s even wearing dungarees.“In the past I have been reserved,” she says, reflecting on those early years, “you have to remember I was catapulted into this fame that I never thought would happen and it was amazing but then the privacy is just not there, so to compensate I would choose my words really carefully because I needed to save a piece of me for me and on top of that I had people saying ‘make sure you don’t say this in interviews’, ‘don’t do that’.
You’re a 20-year-old and you just think, ‘Oh God I just have to shut my mouth and not say anything’.”After Lewis’s win in 2006, when she’d just turned 20, she was immediately “riding the wave” of success.
Her winner’s single, a cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This”, was released straight after she won the show, peaking at number one in the UK charts and breaking a world record for having 50,000 digital downloads within 30 minutes.
on 5 September last year, a message written on lined A4 pages, torn from a notebook and photographed lying on a brick floor was posted to Twitter and Facebook.
The words evoke a breakup from a lover after a relationship has soured, but Leona Lewis wasn’t talking about her boyfriend when she posted that open letter to her “beautiful fans”, she was talking about her split from Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco. It’s all good, I’ve still got so much love but we’re done.” years, who smiled and wore gorgeous dresses and had an astounding singing voice but didn’t say very much.
It all came to a head when she was asked to make a covers album rather than writing and singing her own material.“Simon Cowell has been incredible but at the end of a day it’s a huge label now. This Leona is happy, relaxed and not so afraid of seeming vulnerable or opinionated.
I felt like at that stage all they were doing was holding me back from fulfilling my potential, to ask me to do a covers album was... Although she’s had her hair and make-up done, her look is very natural.
In 2013 she released Motown-inspired album Christmas, with Love, on which Lewis showed off her classical training with a stunning recording of “Ave Maria”.
The album was made on the condition that her next album would be a studio album, but that didn’t happen.
Instead, when she said no to a covers album she was left with nothing to work on for about a year.
“Like most relationships we had our good times and our bad, I will always be grateful for what we shared and the lessons I learned.
After several years, I thought about leaving over and over again.