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Leona Lewis discusses motherhood as she appears on Vogue Arabia cover with daughter Carmel

Leona Lewis for Vogue Arabia  (Sam Rawadi )
Leona Lewis for Vogue Arabia (Sam Rawadi )

Leona Lewis has posed for a glossy magazine shoot with her baby daughter for the first time while saying that motherhood has been “one of the most rewarding yet challenging roles in life”.

The X Factor winner, whose iconic album Spirit – which was released 15 years ago – was revealed as the UK’s biggest selling debut album of all time by a female, is the cover star of the latest digital edition of Vogue Arabia.

She appears on the cover with her baby daughter Carmel Allegra, who was born in July 2022.

The star, 37,  who shares Carmel with her choreographer husband Dennis Jauch, said motherhood was “one of the most rewarding yet challenging roles in life. I am in awe of us as women, of all the mothers out there – and myself included.”

Lewis said motherhood had been ‘rewarding yet challenging’ (Sam Rawadi)
Lewis said motherhood had been ‘rewarding yet challenging’ (Sam Rawadi)

Lewis, who won the third series of The X Factor in 2006, also spoke about the difficulties women in the music industry face juggling their careers with being a mother.

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“I’m proud of where women are at today, carving out careers for themselves in music,” she said. “But I feel like behind the scenes, it’s still very unfair, and there’s not a level playing field.”

London-born Lewis was discovered aged 21 after attending the BRIT School in Croydon. Her X Factor 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 that year, and broke a world record by reaching 50,000 digital downloads within 30 minutes.

According to her record company, as of 2021, Lewis has sold over 35 million records worldwide.

She has two MOBO Awards, an MTV Europe Music Award, and two World Music Awards. She is also a six-time BRIT Award and three-time Grammy Award nominee.

Leona Lewis - In pictures

(PA)
(PA)
(Getty Images for IMDb)
(Getty Images for IMDb)
(PA)
(PA)
(Syco)
(Syco)
Leona Lewis attends the 2016 Tony Awards (Getty Images)
Leona Lewis attends the 2016 Tony Awards (Getty Images)
Leona Lewis on The X Factor Final in 2006 (Rex)
Leona Lewis on The X Factor Final in 2006 (Rex)
Leona Lewis performs at the first-ever revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic Cats on Broadway in 2016 (Getty Images)
Leona Lewis performs at the first-ever revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic Cats on Broadway in 2016 (Getty Images)
Leona Lewis on Centre Court at Wimbledon in 2019 (EPA)
Leona Lewis on Centre Court at Wimbledon in 2019 (EPA)
Leona Lewis wearing her engagement ring (@leonalewis)
Leona Lewis wearing her engagement ring (@leonalewis)
Leona Lewis attending the Elton John AIDS Foundation Viewing Party in 2019 (PA)
Leona Lewis attending the Elton John AIDS Foundation Viewing Party in 2019 (PA)
Leona Lewis and Simon Cowell attend a ceremony honoring Cowell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018 (Getty Images)
Leona Lewis and Simon Cowell attend a ceremony honoring Cowell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018 (Getty Images)

She has also enjoyed various acting roles on Broadway – such as playing Grizabella in Cats – in movies including Walking on Sunshine, and in TV’s The Oath.

Speaking about her career, Lewis said she would never have anticipated her success when she was a little girl.

Lewis said: “I think back to the little girl singing in her room, just singing her heart out, rehearsing and practising, having these wild dreams of being a singer, and recording albums.”

“I didn’t know if it was possible, and those dreams became a reality. It’s something I’m so grateful for, because it never would have happened without the support of everyone around me, of all the fans that love the music.”

London-born Lewis is a patron of the famous Hackney Empire venue – a role which she took to help other young people enjoy success like hers.

Lewis’ daughter Carmel was born in July 2022 (Sam Rawadi)
Lewis’ daughter Carmel was born in July 2022 (Sam Rawadi)

“I really want to shine a light on them and the incredibly talented children and teenagers and young adults that are in these areas in the city that are very underserved, but need that light shined on them because we have some of the truest, purest, rawest talents”.

The star, who last released an album in 2015, said she didn’t want to push the creative process and didn’t believe in “[putting out] music out just for the sake of it.

“Anything I do, it comes from a very deep place. It may take me a while to get there, and it may take time, but I think that’s when the most special things come to life because you’re putting that time into creating something so special, and that’s my process anyway, as an artist.”

Read the full interview with Vogue Arabia here.