Song: “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis
Reached #1: April 5, 2008 (her first, 4 weeks)
“Bleeding Love” was supposed to be recorded by Jesse McCartney. McCartney’s co-writer on this track, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, didn’t want to work with reality show winners. So how did Leona Lewis get this track?
McCartney’s record label wasn’t convinced about the song (yes, that’s a thread you’ll keep hearing all year)… and Tedder hadn’t heard of X-Factor UK yet. So when Tedder was given a demo of Leona Lewis’ work, he didn’t know she’d gotten her break from a reality show. Tedder and McCartney reworked the song, pitched it to Simon Cowell, and got it on Lewis’ debut album.
It took over a year from Lewis’ X-Factor win for her to break into the US market with “Bleeding Love”. Once she did, we couldn’t get away from the song – it played across multiple radio formats, and it’s still heard frequently today on Top 40 and Classic Hit station.
While we couldn’t get away from the song, we haven’t quite adopted the singer to the same extent. “Bleeding Love” is not only Leona Lewis’ only US #1, it’s her only US Top 10 song. She has only one other Top 20 hit. Part of the problem is that a scheduled 2010 US tour with Christina Aguilera was scrubbed – and part of it, I think, is still the “reality show singer” label that gave Ryan Tedder doubts. We haven’t really warmed to most Idol winners beyond their debut singles – UK Pop Idol and X-Factor winners have had it even tougher.
Lewis is going to try to jumpstart her US career with the album Glassheart this fall.
Tomorrow, a song by a band that (reputedly) had to sing it phonetically, because they didn’t speak English.
Other songs that reached #1 on April 5:
1975 – “Lovin’ You” by Minnie Riperton (her first, 1 week)