Next month marks 15 years since Leona Lewis became one of X Factor’s most famous winners, but only now has she reflected on the toll it took.
The “Bleeding Love” hitmaker triumphed in the 2006 edition of the singing contest and went on to break records after her single “A Moment Like This” was downloaded 50,000 times within just 30 minutes of release.
The track subsequently topped the charts and became the most downloaded song of the year – despite being released mid-December – but Leona insists she struggled with the success.
“It is hard. I feel so much for those girls that came off and were picked apart for their looks,” she tells Britain’s The Sun newspaper. “You never get into this thinking about anything other than, ‘I’m just going to sing and that’s it.’ ”
“I definitely had moments of self-doubt, for sure. When you’re fed these images or have people picking apart your appearance, or ‘Who wore it best?’ – stuff like that – it gets into your head. That did definitely affect me.”
“But because of the kind of music I was doing, it was a little bit different. I don’t think I was expected to be the hottest person alive, I think it was OK.”
“I won’t feed into all that crap which is so unrealistic. It’s about surrounding yourself with positivity and body positivity and real people.”
Leona Lewis hasn’t released a new album since 2015’s.
Today the star is back with a special repack of her 2013 album Christmas, With Love featuring two new tracks including her Ne-Yo collaboration Kiss Me It’s Christmas.