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LONDON (Reuters) - Talent show winner Leona Lewis became the first British female solo artist in over 20 years to top the U.S. pop ratings on Thursday when her single "Bleeding Love" hit number one in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The 22-year-old Londoner, who shot to fame in Britain after winning "The X Factor" in 2006, appeared on Oprah Winfrey's talk show this month, helping to boost the number of downloads of her song on the Internet and mobile phones, media reported.
Kim Wilde was the last British female solo singer to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her 1987 song "You Keep Me Hangin' On," a cover of The Supremes song.
Lewis, who Billboard compared to a young Whitney Houston in its biography, had already topped the charts in 10 countries with "Bleeding Love," which was Britain's biggest selling single in 2007.
Her debut album "Spirit," due for U.S. release on April 8, has sold over two million copies so far, according to a statement from Lewis's record label SyCo Music, promoter and television star Simon Cowell's division of Sony BMG.
Editing by Paul Casciato