What’s happened to Leona Lewis?. The answer is to be found in a recording studio in down-town Los Angeles where 26-year-old Leona ” is spending pretty well all my waking hours on the album which is going to be the best thing I’ve ever done.-
Already the album, called Glassheart, has taken over a year to make. Leona’s third studio album, it was scheduled for release last November but has now been rescheduled for this autumn.
“I want to get it absolutely right,- Leona says.- It’s very different from anything I’ve done before. I know there’s a lot riding on it.I can’t afford not to get it right.
“I wanted more dance elements as well as some big ballads. I knew there has been a long delay but I’m certain the finished result will be worth it!-
After splitting from long-time partner Lou Al Chamaa, Leona become a familiar figure on the celeb party circuit. She spent 7,000 pounds on champagne in a Mayfair night-club and was seen partying in Hamburg with 22-year-old dancer Dennis Jauch, who was said to “think the world of her.-
A friend close to Leona said:- Her split from Lou was liberating for her.
She told us she doesn’t know why she waited so long to be single and has no intention of getting into another serious relationship at the moment. But that doesn’t mean she can’t have a good time.-
But now insiders say that they can’t remember when they last saw the pop diva out of the town.
“This new album has taken over her life,- says one.- There is so much riding on it and the long delays have piled on the pressure.
“Leona knows that if Glassheart is a flop it could very seriously damage her career and she’s determined that this won’t happen.-
It’s only six years ago, Leona was a receptionist in a London office and making extra money as a pizza waitress. Now she has a fortune of over $10 million.
Leona attributes most of her pop success to the man who has masterminded her records -” legendary California produce Clive Davis, the man who guided Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys to superstardom, and who has guided her career in the US.
“I knew how successful and famous he was and felt really nervous, but we hit it off from the start,- Leona says.
“He gave me the confidence to rise to the challenge I had been given and although there were times when I thought it was all beyond me and I should go back to my job in an office, it all worked out in the end.-
One of over 4,000 hopefuls who auditioned for the 2006 X Factor, Leona had wanted to sing and dance since she was a toddler.
“I went to a stage school and had been in many talent competitions, but never quite made it,- she remembers.
“This time I was certain I had as good a chance as anyone.-
When she auditioned in London, X Factor judges were astounded by the power and the range of her voice.
Simon Cowell remembered: “Contestants are always told not to sing Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston numbers because they’ll never match them. Leona was the incredible exception.-
“She’s fifty times better than any other contestant who has been on the show,- said Take That star Gary Barlow whose group sang with Leona during the X-Factor final, watched by 10 million viewers.
And pop multimillionaire Simon Cowell, who is now guiding her career, added: “She is one of the most talented singers ever to come out of the UK.-
“My dad taught me to be positive but level-headed about the future, but my mum is more of a dreamer and more emotional like me.