Lewis switches to Island Records

6:22pm Tuesday 3rd June 2014

© Press Association 2014

Singer Leona Lewis has left Simon Cowell's record company after a seven-year association.

The 2006 X Factor winner, who went on to become one of the show's biggest global stars, has now signed a new deal with Island Records, part of rival music giant Universal.

The 29-year-old, whose hits include Bleeding Love and Run, said the move to her new label was "like a dream come true".

Cowell signed her up on the back of her win on the show and until the global success of One Direction - who came third in 2010 - she was the ITV programme's biggest success story.

Lewis - who has released four albums with Cowell's Syco label, part of Sony, including last year's Christmas With Love - has recently worked on her film debut Walking On Sunshine.

Cowell posted a message online to wish her well, which said: "Congratulations Leona. We had seven great years together and now wish you all the best for the future. You put X Factor on the map."

Island is known for championing an array of acts such as Bob Marley And The Wailers and Nick Drake and U2 have recently revived their relationship with the label.

Lewis, an animal rights activist and vegetarian, said: "After seven incredible years at Sony I feel honoured to be given the opportunity to sign to perhaps the most iconic label of all, Island Records.

"To me Island has always been a label where artists can really flourish and are encouraged to express themselves. Island stands for quality music and signing with such a legendary label is really like a dream come true for me. I can't wait to start making music with my new team."

Darcus Beese, the president of Island, said: "We are absolutely delighted to welcome Leona into the Island family. I've watched and admired Miss Lewis from afar, witnessed her grow into one of this country's most formidable female artists; witnessed a girl from Hackney making and breaking records, topping the UK and US charts, earning numerous Brit and Grammy nominations, while remaining true to herself and her principles.

"All the while maintaining a genuine down to earth appeal. Soon as the ink dries, it's on to the most exciting part of all, getting into the studio and making the record we know Leona has in her."

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