Leona Lewis is hoping to topple Mariah Carey to become the new queen of Christmas as she plans a huge music comeback.
The 36-year-old star has been out of the spotlight for the past six years since the release of her most recent album, I Am, which was unleashed back in 2015.
But the singer is said to have recorded a string of festive tunes to add to her 2013 album, Christmas, With Love.
Last year saw the album’s lead tune, One More Sleep, re-enter the single’s chart to enter the Top 20 – seven years after it was originally released.
Getty Images for Save The Children)
The success of the new song is said to have inspired Leona to write more festive music in advance of a return to the spotlight – and she’s said to be hoping to muscle in on 52-year-old Mariah’s dominance as the voice of Christmas.
A music source told The Sun: “It might feel early to be discussing Christmas in September, but it has been in the works for well over a year.
“Leona has recorded loads of new songs and there are some real belters in there. There’s real momentum behind her.
“Mariah banks millions every year from her single, its accompanying album Merry Christmas and loads of big-money brand deals like her one with Walkers a few years ago. It’s a really lucrative opportunity for Leona to follow suit.”
Leona’s song One More Sleep reached number 3 when it was released back in 2013 but tends to re-enter the charts annually.
Mariah released her Christmas album, Merry Christmas, back in 1994 – with iconic single All I Want For Christmas Is You finally hitting number one in the UK in 2020 after originally reaching Number 2 in 1994, and again in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The American star released a second album, Merry Christmas II You in 2010.
While she also landed an £8 million deal with Walkers in 2019 to be the face of the brand in a festive campaign.
And last year she won praise for her Christmas TV special, Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special, on Apple TV which saw her perform with fellow singers including Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson and Snoop Dogg.
Leona released her debut Christmas album in 2013 – with the singer and her friends featuring in a festive music video for the single One More Sleep.
She told Metro at the time: “It’s me and my mates. They wanted me to cast a bunch of actors but that wasn’t happening because I wanted it to be realistic. I feel like they are a handsome bunch.
“We are usually worse than that. They were on their best behaviour and still they were a bit mental. They were chucking s*** around the kitchen. My friend has dreads and we were putting flour in his hair as he can’t wash it – he wanted to kill us! He was shouting ‘Don’t touch my hair!’ It was so much fun.”