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Pop / Rock 27/01/2009

A Secret No More: Early Leona Lewis Album To Be Released Today

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LOS ANGELES (Top40 Charts/ Great Scott Productions) - Today Leona Lewis is a best-selling global recording artist who has a No 1 debut album, chart-topping singles and is nominated for three Grammy Awards at next month's ceremony. Years before the release of her smash album, Spirit, Lewis recorded a soulful R&B collection in 2005 entitled Best Kept Secret with British producer-songwriter Barry Bee, who developed the gifted vocalist under his UEG Music banner. The eleven-track collection will finally be released in the United States, Canada and Mexico on Tuesday, January 27 by the 4th Sun Entertainment Group, which is distributed by Caroline/EMI Music. The album will be available in traditional record stores and via iTunes and the usual digital outlets.

Best Kept Secret was recorded primarily at Boombee Studios in England. Under Bee's direction, Lewis was a great listener and eager to learn. The exquisite young beauty's star qualities were already in evidence. The album was carefully crafted by Bee, who produced the collection, wrote seven songs, co-penned two more and selected a cover, SWV's hit "I'm So Into U," for Lewis to record. Whereas Spirit showcases Lewis' sterling vocal abilities in a mix of pop gems and dramatic ballads, Best Kept Secret is more of a soul-drenched dance-oriented project.

Opening the album is the dance floor filler "L.O.V.E U." Lewis' agile vocal calisthenics are deployed in abundance throughout the disc, including on "Dip Down," which gets an assist from rapper Loot. "Ready To Get Down" is another up-tempo dance number with a throbbing bottom-end. Originally recorded for Best Kept Secret, "Private Party" served as the title track to a 2005 EP that became an underground club sensation and was followed the same year by a second EP. Lewis riffs freely on the hypnotic dance-pop cut "Joy." The hip-hop flavored "Bad Boy" includes a rap from K2 Family. Buoyant and bright, "I Can't Say Hello" ends up being an invigorating greeting after all. Lewis' version of "I'm So Into U" is a bit more of an aggressive, edgy funk jam than the original. A sensual and sultry mid-tempo groove, "I Wanna Be That Girl" delivers an amorous plea. "Silly Girl" is a pure club banger while a "Private Party" remix closes the collection.

"Leona first came to us when she was 16-years-old. Even then, you could see that given the right opportunity, she could become a global star," said Bee. "I mortgaged my house to make this album possible and want her fans to have the opportunity to listen to the album we worked on so hard together. I'm positive that this album would have put her on the map and now I think it will make her star shine even brighter."

After recording Best Kept Secret, Lewis traveled to the U.S. While there, Bee received an offer to sign her to a major American production company. However, Lewis decided to return to the UK where additional recording sessions were scheduled to fine-tune Best Kept Secret. Before that could happen, she entered X-Factor, the British precursor to American Idol. Lewis won the television competition. Songs from Best Kept Secret were rumored to be included on Spirit, but none of them were. Those early recordings are being made available now for the first time. Released in late 2007, Spirit has sold over 5 million copies worldwide led by "Bleeding Love," the No 1 hit that was the best-selling single last year. Lewis was the best-selling new artist and the fifth best-selling artist in the world last year. In the U.S., "Bleeding Love" spent 39 weeks on Billboard's Hot 100, including four weeks at No 1, which is a new record for a British female solo artist. The album debuted at No 1 on the Billboard Top 200, which marked the first time ever that a British female artist entered the chart in the top spot as well as the first time a British female or male reached the summit with a debut album.
Additional information about Best Kept Secret is available at

The songs contained on Lewis' Best Kept Secret are:
"L.O.V.E U"
"Bad Boy"
"Dip Down"
"I Can't Say Hello"
"Ready To Get Down"
"I'm So Into U"
"Private Party"
"I Wanna Be That Girl"
"Silly Girl"
"Private Party" 'Cella
Dwella Remix

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