Lewis achieved national recognition when she won the third series of The X Factor in 2006, winning a £1 million recording contract with Simon Cowell's record label, Syco Music.

Her winner's single, a cover of Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This", peaked at number one for four weeks on the UK Singles Chart and it broke a world record for having 50,000 digital downloads within 30 minutes.

By this point, she had already begun to write and record her own material, and worked as a receptionist at a solicitor's office and as a Pizza Hut waitress in order to fund the studio sessions.

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It reached number one in the singles charts of New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria, Canada and the United States.

"Bleeding Love" won The Record of the Year in December 2007.

With this chart entry, Lewis became the first British female solo artist to achieve eight top 5 singles, surpassing Olivia Newton-John's record of seven.

With a career starting in 2006, Lewis is the second best-selling act to have emerged from The X Factor franchise, having sold 20 million records worldwide.

I worked very hard but I never managed to land a contract. It's programmes like these which provide the best place to showcase fresh new talent." Lewis auditioned for the third series of The X Factor in 2006, singing "Over the Rainbow" for judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and guest judge Paula Abdul.

She was placed in the 16-24's category, with Cowell as her mentor. I feel like my dream has come true, the dream I've been dreaming since a little girl has come true.

It was released in November 2007 and entered both the Irish Albums Chart and the UK Albums Chart at number one, becoming the fastest-selling debut album in both countries, and the United Kingdom's fourth fastest selling album of all time.

A special edition of Spirit was re-released in November 2008 in Europe, including the songs "Forgive Me", "Misses Glass" and a cover of the Snow Patrol song "Run".

A track from the album called "Private Party" became a hit on the underground urban music scene in London in 2005.