Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Thursday, 27 March 2008

US chart triumph for Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis
Last year Lewis signed a 5m record deal in the US

Singer Leona Lewis has become the first British woman to top the US pop chart for more than 20 years with her single Bleeding Love.

The track, which was last year's best-selling single in the UK, was released in the US six weeks ago.

Kim Wilde was the last UK female to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with her 1987 cover version of the Supremes hit You Keep Me Hangin' On.

Lewis wrote on her website that it was her "dream" to break America.

'Real honour'

"I'm so excited to be able to spend some time in the US and showcase my music to everyone here," the former receptionist from east London said.

"Its been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I can't wait."

Last year her manager Simon Cowell negotiated a 5m contract with US mogul Clive Davis, the man who discovered Whitney Houston.

Won The X Factor in 2006
Debut single A Moment Like This downloaded 50,000 times in 30 minutes
It was the 2006 UK Christmas number one
Spirit became Britain's fastest-selling debut album ever
Bleeding Love was number one for seven weeks
Signed a 5m US music deal in 2007
Nominated for four Brit Awards in 2008

At the time, Cowell, who also judged the 22-year-old on ITV1 talent show The X Factor, said: "We'll do everything in our power to make her an international star."

Last week the pair appeared on Oprah Winfrey's talk show together to promote the single.

It is thought download and mobile phone track sales soared after her appearance, while the Hot 100 chart also counts radio airplay.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson has denied reports that Lewis is considering undergoing throat surgery to end recurring bouts of tonsillitis.

He said: "She has got a pretty bad throat. She just can't shake it off at the moment but I don't think she needs to have an op."

Lewis is the third UK solo female artist to reach number one in the Hot 100 with her debut hit.

Petula Clark was the first, with her 1965 track Downtown, while Sheena Easton's Morning Train - released in the UK as 9 To 5 - followed in 1981.

Festive double for X Factor stars
23 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
Melua duet ends Lewis's chart run
16 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
Leona remains top of both charts
02 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
Lewis hit song is 2007 top seller
12 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
X Factor winner in US record deal
09 Feb 07 |  Entertainment

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