Leona Louise Lewis (born 3 April 1985) is a British singer, songwriter, actress, model, and activist. 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 Syco Music. Her winner's single, a cover of Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This", peaked at number one for four weeks on the UK Singles Chart and broke a world record for reaching 50,000 digital downloads within 30 minutes. In February 2007, Lewis signed a five-album contract in the United States with Clive Davis's record label, J Records.
Lewis's success continued with the release of her debut studio album, Spirit (2007), which was certified 10× platinum in the UK and became the fourth best-selling album of the 2000s and one of the best-selling albums in UK chart history. According to the Official Charts Company, Spirit is officially the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the 21st century. The lead single, "Bleeding Love", spent seven weeks at number one in over 30 countries, including the UK where it became the best-selling single of 2007 and the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming the best-selling single of 2008. Its follow-up single, "Better in Time", was also successful. As a result, Lewis was proclaimed Top New Artist by Billboard in 2008. In 2009, she released her second studio album, Echo, and recorded the theme song, "I See You", for the film Avatar.