Christmas: Leona Lewis loved celebrating in Wales

Leona Lewis singing with two back-up singers and a Christmas tree behind her
Image caption,Leona Lewis’s One More Sleep has become a Christmas classic since its release in 2013

Pop star Leona Lewis says she fondly remembers spending Christmas in Wales as a child.

The X Factor winner, whose mother is from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, said it was like a “second home” for her.

She said: “I always love playing Cardiff… I have a lot of family in Wales so they get to come and see the show.”

The Los Angeles-based singer, 38, is celebrating a decade since the release of her Christmas hit One More Sleep.

Her Christmas With Love tour visited venues across the UK this year, including a show in Cardiff on 1 December.

“A lot of my Christmases I’ve spent in Wales with my family, so it’s like a second home and it’s like coming home again,” she told BBC Radio Wales.

“It’s always nice because not a lot of people know that, so when I do play in Wales and I tell the audience that I spent a lot of time growing up here, they’re always really surprised and even more supportive.

“I feel the love a lot.”

Lewis, who was born in Islington, London, added that Christmas was “literally one of my favourite times of year”, especially now she has one-year-old daughter Carmel.

She previously told Wales Online she spent many weekends in Wales, “hanging out” at her family’s business, Hawkins Antiques in Barry.

Leona Lewis
Image caption,Leona Lewis says she spent many Christmases in Wales with family growing up

One More Sleep was released in 2013 and is one of the most-streamed Christmas singles, with more than 276 million worldwide.

“It’s crazy, it’s growing year-on-year and it’s kind of becoming part of people’s Christmases, which I just love,” she said.

“I knew that I really loved it, I loved singing it. When I was doing the album I knew I wanted a soulful, Motown kind of feel, like the albums I used to listen to when I was growing up. That’s the feel that this song gave me.

“It took a while to grow and that’s the thing about Christmas songs. It’s a catchy one, for sure.”

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