How'd a little girl from east London go from cleaning up half-eaten crusts at Pizza Hut to holding the claim to the biggest-selling UK single of 2007, to earning the Oprah seal of approval? She did it the American way -- by winning a Simon Cowell-helmed reality show.
But even before Leona Lewis won The X Factor (the UK’s Idol equivalent), in 2006, she was being hailed the next great R&B singer to become an icon alongside her own childhood idols – Mariah, Whitney, Alicia. Simon Cowell, who mentored the singer, told USAToday.com, "we were starting to get calls from America from people who wanted to work with her, win or lose."
She's a certifiable superstar in the UK, and after the release of the Ryan Tedder/ Jesse McCartney-penned power ballad, "Bleeding Love," (download it for free here) which went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, her star is rising at a meteoric clip here in the States. But about that album -- when does the U.S. get a piece? Produced by both the legendary Clive Davis and Simon Cowell, Leona's U.S. debut embraces the raw talent that won her both the top spot on X Factor and turned her into a major record breaker when Spirit became the biggest-selling debut in UK history: those powerhouse pipes.
Still, Spirit's U.S. debut is yet a week away. But, we’ve got the entire album for a week for free. (Big-time yay!) Listen to Leona Lewis' debut on The Leak, and watch Leona Lewis tell her story in her own words in an exclusive MTV.com Discover & Download interview.