The first song I remember hearing
Save the Best for Last by Vanessa Williams was used in a series of adverts for Bisto gravy in the 90s, where they poured the gravy in slow motion. For some reason, it was the first song that really had an effect on me.
The first single that I bought
I remember my mum giving me a pound to buy Wannabe by the Spice Girls on cassette from Woolworths in Stoke Newington [north London] when cassette singles only cost 99p!
The song I do at karaoke
I haven’t been to karaoke in a long time, but when I do, I do like singing Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon. When it came out, everyone knew it, and everybody still seems to know the words when you sing it now.
The song I inexplicably know every lyric to
I’ve known every word to Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio featuring LV since I was about 10, which I don’t know is appropriate!
The songs I streamed the most and last
Garage informed so much of my teen years. I would have ice-skating parties to UK garage. The song I stream the most is Flowers by Sweet Female Attitude and the song I streamed last was Lost You by Snoh Aalegra.
The best song to play at a party
My family like to do the electric slide at our parties, so Candy by Cameo always gets everyone dancing.
The song I secretly like but tell everyone I hate
If I don’t like a song, I won’t pretend to like it!
The song I can no longer listen to
I’ve got a baby and when she was six months old, she would just cry in the car all the time. So I would sing The Wheels on the Bus for 20 minutes straight. Now when I hear it, it’s like a recurring nightmare.
The song I wish I had written
Roberta Flack’s version of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face is one of my favourite songs ever. I just absolutely love the lyrics.
The song that changed my life
I performed Over the Rainbow by Eva Cassidy on my audition for The X Factor. It went viral and changed my whole world.
The song that gets me up in the morning
Affirmations by Doggyland, which I play in the morning for the baby. It’s actually by Snoop Dogg. When I was looking for kids’ songs that wouldn’t drive me mental, a friend of mine told me that Snoop Dogg has a children’s channel with albums’ worth of kids’ songs but with really meaningful messages. So I reached out and said: “Thanks for making something that doesn’t drive parents crazy. If you ever want a voice, let me know.” He replied: “Absolutely, let’s do something.” So we ended up doing three kids’ songs together, including It’s Okay, which you can watch on my YouTube channel.
The song I want played at my funeral
Over the Rainbow by Eva Cassidy because I love it so much.
Leona Lewis is touring, 28 November to 15 December; tour starts Nottingham
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