The 22-year-old winner of Britain's The X-Factor
has released the fastest-selling debut in U.K. history, Spirit. The pop CD hits the U.S. in March, with first single "Bleeding Love" due Jan. 14.
ON HER SUCCESS I used to work [as a receptionist]. I entered the show, and when I won it was a real whirlwind. To release something and have it do that well is amazing.
ON X-FACTOR JUDGE SIMON COWELL
He's portrayed as Mr. Nasty, but he's not at all. He's a real gentleman, very caring and very kind. On the show he was my mentor, and he was very involved in creating the album [along with industry honcho Clive Davis, who calls Lewis 'an exciting new talent with a stunning vocal range'].
ON DIVA COMPARISONS It's amazingly flattering [being compared to Mariah Carey
, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston]. They were my inspiration growing up. I can only aspire to be like them someday.