9 FEBRUARY 2007
Singing sensation Leona Lewis, who won the 2006 X Factor contest and went on to score the Christmas number one, looks set to make it big in America. The 21-year-old has just signed a £5 million record deal with the music mogul who discovered Whitney Houston.
"I am just overwhelmed. I can't believe everything has happened so fast, from winning the X Factor to coming to LA," Leona said after inking the deal with Clive Davis.
The singer, who is set to record five albums, performed in front of the cream of the US music industry at the Beverly Hilton hotel. An impressed music executive who watched her commented: "It's like hearing the love child of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey," while her manager Simon Cowell - who says she is the greatest talent ever to come out of the reality show - added: "We'll do everything in our power to make her an international star."
The former receptionist is set to move to the States in March, and with her will be her parents, who have both quit their jobs to support the rising star. "Leona is number one and we are a team. We've supported her all her life. We're planning to go out to America to keep an eye on things," says her social worker dad Jo.