Leona Lewis set to top US charts

Leona Lewis: First Brit woman to top US charts in 20 years?

Leona Lewis is set to become the first British woman to top the hard-to-crack US charts for 20 years.

Not since Kim Wilde had everyone rocking to You Keep Me Hangin’ On has a Brit woman enjoyed such commercial success Stateside.

Lewis has risen from a receptionist role in Hackney, via winning talent show The X Factor, to become one of the hottest musical properties around today.

Industry sources say that Lewis’s first US single Bleeding Love, has stopped Madonna in her tracks and bumped R&B singer Usher off the top of the Billboard Hot 100 after a surge in download sales. Of course, it didn’t hurt when TV Queen – and one of America’s most powerful women – Oprah Winfrey endorsed the song on nationwide television.

The new Hot 100 will be revealed today – and Lewis is hotly-tipped to be at the top of it.

Many of Leona’s new download-buying fans are unaware that she shot to fame after winning The X Factor in 2006, and she has Simon Cowell, her savvy manager, to thank for that.

Tough-talking Simon whisked her off to America and negotiated a $5 million album contract with the music mogul Clive Davis, who signed Whitney Houston. She was sent to record with top US producers and a slick video designed for MTV was filmed for Bleeding Love.

The 22-year-old was soon appearing in US entertainment ‘ones to watch’ lists, and her breakthrough came this month with television appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Winfrey’s nationwide chatshow.

After earning a standing ovation, Oprah turned to Lewis and said: ‘You’re the real-deal girl. Talk about a star is born.’ And cue an instant surge in download and mobile phone track sales.

Amy Winehouse has sold 1.5 million copies of her Back to Black album in the states but, despite her five recent Grammy award wins, has not yet topped the singles chart.

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