February 27, 2008 / 1:58 PM / 10 years ago

Leona Lewis seeking world domination

LONDON (Billboard) - British talent show winner Leona Lewis’ fast track to global stardom will not detour for a full-scale live outing until after a second album is wrapped next year.

Singer Leona Lewis arrives at the Brit Awards at Earls Court in London February 20, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The pop star’s rise has been nothing short of a phenomenon in the U.K., where her debut album, “Spirit,” has sold more than 1.6 million copies in just 14 weeks.

“We have absolutely no plans for her to tour until 2010,” Lewis’ manager, Richard Griffiths, tells Billboard.com. “We’re going to make (‘Spirit’) the biggest record in the world, then we’ll make another record in 2009, and tour on the back of that.”

“Spirit” arrives April 8 in the United States through Sony BMG’s J Records. Lewis will support the release with a six-week promo trip.

“America is looking extremely positive. J Records is doing an incredible job there,” says Griffiths, a former president of Epic Records. “The initial airplay position is very positive. We’ve got no problems at the moment.”

Lewis took center stage at the February 20 Brit Awards in London, where she performed her hit second single “Bleeding Love,” the best-selling track in Britain last year. Although the singer failed to convert any of her four Brits nominations, Lewis’ spirits remain high.

“We can get over it this year. She’s going to have a long, successful career,” adds Griffiths. “We’ll be back and picking up awards in years to come. She’s had so many great things happen in her life already.”

A former office receptionist, Lewis’ life changed for good when she won Britain’s annual “X-Factor” TV series in December 2006. Her first single, a cover of the Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This,” was rush-released and stayed at No. 1 for four weeks in the U.K. But Lewis proved her enduring star power 10 months later when second single “Bleeding Love” ruled the chart for seven weeks.


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