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Last Updated: Thursday December 04 2008 17:11 GMT

Leona's amazing rise to fame

Leona Lewis, who's new single is the fastest downloaded ever

Leona Lewis' new single, Run, has become the fastest-selling digital release ever.

A massive 69,244 copies were downloaded in the first two days it was available.

It's been a great week for Leona. She's also got three Grammy nominations (huge awards in America), including record of the year for Bleeding Love.

But what is it about Leona that has made her SO hugely successful? Especially as some other talent show winners haven't done so well...

It's two years since Leona shot to fame after winning the X Factor and she's now one of Britain's biggest stars.

But previous winners of reality TV talent shows include Steve Brookstein, Michelle McManus and Shayne Ward, who haven't enjoyed anything like the level of success that Leona has.

So how's Leona done it?

Sam and Mark chat about Leona's success

TMi presenters and former Pop Idol contestants Sam and Mark reckon Leona did the best thing possible when she disappeared for a year after winning X Factor.

"She went away, she wrote some great songs with some great writers and she had an amazing song to come back with," said Sam.

"And she's got a great voice to back it up as well."


Last year Leona's debut album Spirit went straight to number one and is the fastest-selling debut album in the UK ever.

Leona has had an amazing year

Girls Aloud, who were formed on a reality TV show, sold 37,000 copies of their first album in its first week. And Pop Idol winner Will Young sold 187,000 copies of his debut album, but even that's been eclipsed by Leona's massive record sales.

Leona was also picked to sing at the closing ceremony at the Olympics in Beijing in August - which is a big honour for such a young, new star.

Success in America

One of her biggest achievements so far is to make it big in America. In March, Bleeding Love got to number one in the US singles charts - she's the first British woman in more than 20 years to do that.

A second album is planned for late next year. So 2009 already looks set to be another year massive for Leona.

As music expert Paul Stokes, from NME magazine, said: "The rest of the world tends to copy America, so if you can make it there - to use an old cliche - you can make it anywhere!"