From topping the charts with her power ballad Bleeding Love to dealing with the dangerous, violent side of fame, Leona Lewis has lived quite a life since winning X Factor UK in 2006! Known as one of the nicest gals in the music industry, the past couple of years have seen Leona making headlines for plastic surgery rumours and wild red carpet outfits – much more Lady Gaga than the Leona we’re used to. Then, her latest studio album, Glassheart, featuring single Collide, missed its end of 2011 release date and was pushed until summer 2012 without explanation.
Hitting a few bumps in what has otherwise been a straight shot to the top, Leona was punched by a mentally ill man during her book signing in London in 2009. At the time she told Ahlan! that it was “a bad thing to have happen, but you just have to get on with it.” That’s the same attitude she took when she ignored plastic surgery rumours. Some say that she did in fact get a nose and boob job, but Leona’s stayed mum on the touchy topic!
A huge fan of touring, we caught up with Leona before she takes the stage at the Dance Arena Festival in Dubai with Ne-Yo, Natasha Bedingfield, Jay Sean, Skylar Grey, Taio Cruz, Edward Maya and Sugababes’ Amelie. Check out our chat with the superstar…
We’re excited you’re headlining Dance Arena with Natasha Bedingfield and other A-listers. Can we expect any off-the-cuff moments?
Along with Natasha, I’ve worked with Ne-Yo and I know Taio and Jay Sean – and I’m always up for a duet or a bit of a surprise!
Can you give us a sneak peek at your set list?
I’m still deciding on my set, but I’ll probably start off with Brave. It’s one of my favorite songs on my second album.
You’re a huge David Bowie fan and have said that you would love to sing a duet with him – what about the girls?
I love Bowie. I think he’s incredible and I really would love to sing with him. I’d also love to collaborate with Alicia Keys!
We hear you want to guest star on Glee – are you interested in doing movies too?
I do like Glee and would love to do TV and film. I did drama and theatre in school.
You should! Rihanna just made her acting debut in Battleship – maybe you’re next.
Yes! Rihanna’s movie looks great. I was watching an interview with her and they were showing a clip from the film – she looks pretty amazing in it. I would definitely do an action movie like that. I bet it would be really fun, really challenging.
Your new album Glassheart, which had its release date bumped a few times, is due this summer. Is it finished?
I’m in the process of arranging it and putting the finishing touches on stuff. I’m really just enjoying the final moments. I would love to go on tour with this album. That’s my favourite part – performing live.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
I really like to listen to Seventies music! A little bit of ABBA or Imagination before I go on is great. I love amping myself up with that.
You’re performing at Cavalli Club after Dance Arena. Are you a fan of Cavalli’s clothes?
I do wear Cavalli. He’s really amazing and lends me a lot of beautiful gowns. The first fashion show I ever went to was his show!
We hear that you sing television jingles in the shower. Care to elaborate?
Ha! I sing television jingles all the time. I’ll bust into a jingle in the shower, in the recording studio and the people I’m working with will be like, ‘what the h*** are you singing?’
You dealt with an incident when a mentally ill man hit you in the face. Did you hear about the break-in at Simon Cowell’s house by a mentally ill woman last week?
I haven’t seen him in a little bit but I heard about it and thought it was fake. You never know, people sometimes make this stuff up.
The X Factor USA judges will be announced soon, who would you like to see on it?
I really liked the last judge lineup. I love Nicole Scherzinger and I thought Paula Abdul was really good too. For new judges, I’d like to see someone like Pink. She would be a really cool addition, a strong female with a different perspective and a different angle.
Do you have a go-to karaoke song?
S** on Fire by Kings of Leon or Teenage Dream by Katy Perry – though that one is much better when I sing with a group of friends!