Everyone knows Leona Lewis has killer pipes—witness smash hit “Bleeding Love” and her win in the U.K. talent show The X Factor. But the 23-year-old Brit sat down to share other fun facts with PEOPLE’s Rennie Dyball.
SHE’S GOT RANGE
Opera lessons at age 9 were handy—she’s now being hailed as the next Mariah or Whitney. Says her producer Clive Davis: “She can go from pianissimo to full throttle and raise the hair on your skin.”
TYRA BANKS WOULD LOVE HER
At her New York City photo shoot, Lewis admits her moves are purely America’s Next Top Model. “I’m a bit obsessed with it!” she says.
HER RESUME INCLUDES PIZZA HUT
“I left school [early], and I worked there part-time,” says Lewis, who also worked in retail and as a receptionist.
SHE’S DATING THE BOY NEXT DOOR
Lewis has been with electrician and student Lou Al-Chamaa since she was 17, but they met when she was 10 years old and “grew up on the same street together.”
SIMON COWELL IS A BFF
“He’s bloody hilarious,” Lewis says of the X Factor creator and judge who’s been a mentor. “He can be soft—he’s a genuinely nice guy when you get to know him.”