Earlier this week Leona Lewis returned to the X Factor, but this time she was behind the desk and not auditioning in front of it, joining resident judges Tulisa, Gary Barlow and Louis Walsh.
While Leona Lewis took the guest judge’s seat on X Factor she clearly proved to the doubters that she’s made it, but life wasn’t always so sweet for the star.
While speaking at BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s Academy today, a live question and answer session that mentors young people in Hackney, Leona revealed:
“I was bullied at school, so I used that to channel all my energy into singing and kept my head down.”
People being mean to the pretty star is nothing new, even during the X Factor auditions the public turned on her.
Gary Barlow told the Metro: “People think Leona’s a bit bland but she was great fun, even though she got booed.
“I had to tell her beforehand, `Don’t let the audience sway you `cos they’re a brutal crowd at the auditions’.”
While on home turf in Hackney today omg! witnessed the singer share her experiences in the music industry and also opened up about why we’ve not heard (or seen) much of her of late.
She said: “It’s hard writing an album, it takes a while, you can’t rush it out — so you’re away for a bit. My album will be out at the end of the summer.
“I’ve had to be strong and courageous in what I want. Simon Cowell knew I was an artist not just a singer who’d sing any song.
“And now I have full creative control from the promotion, photo shoots and the video — it’s taken a while to get but I’ve got it now.”
The singer dished out advice to aspiring musicians in East London sitting aside hit music producer, Labrinth as the duo shared their very real experiences.
Leona also opened up about cracking America and meeting her idols.
“Alicia Keys is the most exciting person I’ve met, hers was the first concert I ever went to and it was amazing. When I met Beyonce I couldn’t believe she knew who I was.
“I knew I’d made it in the US when I was in the car on my way to an interview and my song was on the radio and the driver was singing along to it but he didn’t know it was me.”
Despite being the one helping young people break into the music industry it was Leona who admitted she still gets nervous but over time it’s got better.
Aww, she’s no reason to be though, she’s amazing!