Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis is the first British woman to top the US pop chart for more than 20 years.

Already a chart-topper in her native U.K., Leona Lewis scores her first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 this week with “Bleeding Love.”

She’s the first female to take her inaugural single to the top of this chart since Fergie’s “London Bridge” in 2006.

When bleeding Love was the biggest-selling British single last year, Simon Cowell, Lewis’s manager, took her to the US 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.

After earning a standing ovation with her Oprah performance, the host told Lewis: “You’re the real-deal girl. Talk about a star is born.” After that download and mobile phone track sales soared.

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