Where Leona Lewis is now – baby, Simon Cowell split and their current relationship

Leona Lewis was once working as a Pizza Hut waitress to fund studio sessions before winning a £1million record deal.

The X Factor winner, who is celebrating her 37th birthday today, was struggling to secure a deal after leaving BRIT school so auditioned in front of the judges.

The Hackney-born star was a favourite from the start and won the ITV show by a landslide back in 2006, defeating Ray Quinn in the final, under the mentorship of Simon Cowell.

Her cover of Kelly Clarkson’s A Moment Like This made it to Christmas number one, selling more copies than the rest of that week’s top 40 combined, and she was immediately signed to Simon’s Syco record label.

Since then she’s sold over 35 million records worldwide, been nominated for six BRIT Awards and three Grammys and won two MOBO awards.

Her debut studio album Spirit became the fourth-best selling of the 2000s and lead single Bleeding Love spent seven weeks at UK number one.

Leona Lewis won The X Factor back in 2006

Leona Lewis won The X Factor back in 2006 ( Image: BPM)

Leona won a record deal with Syco

Leona won a record deal with Syco ( Image: Talkback Thames)

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However, she announced her decision to ditch Simon and part ways with Syco in 2014 after falling out of love with the record label,MIGHTY SCOOPSNicole Kidman, 54, Takes Off Makeup, Leaves Us With No WordsHERO WARSBig Boss Of Internet Gamesby TaboolaSponsored Links

“Simon Cowell has been incredible but at the end of a day it’s a huge label now,” she told The Independent at the time.

“I felt like at that stage all they were doing was holding me back from fulfilling my potential, to ask me to do a covers album was… there was no love in it.

“They weren’t giving me any choice. So no, I said, we’re done now. It’s all good, I’ve still got so much love but we’re done.

“Simon probably doesn’t even know what went on in that way, but I felt disrespected and I felt it was a very callous way to act when all I was trying to do was do what I loved. I was in limbo and that’s the worst place to be. You can’t leave me hanging on a string.”

Leona landed a new record deal with Universal and later explained that she was tired of the delays in getting her music made because Simon was always busy.

“There’s no bad blood at all. Simon sent me a really lovely note the other week saying they miss me at the label,” she added.

“There’s nothing but love there. He knew I had to leave. He was upset about it but it was time for something new so I’m excited about moving on and doing something different.”

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