Photos of Leona Lewis on October 2009 Cover of Cosmopolitan UK

Leona Comes Clean to Cosmopolitan About Clean-Cut Image

Leona Lewis is finally ready to release her new music, and the majority of you love her latest single. She is also the cover girl for Cosmopolitan UK's Women in Music October issue, and chatted with the magazine about her image, female solidarity, and X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, as well as the rumoured rivalry between Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue. She opened up about her long distance relationship and what makes her happy. Here are highlights:

  • On her image: "People are always saying, ‘She’s really sweet’ – and it’s like, I’ve been brought up properly by my parents and I’m respectful to people. So I think, ‘What, is it bad to be a good person?’ I don’t think so. I’m quite quiet and it takes me a while to come out of myself and be comfortable. But just because I’m polite and nice doesn’t mean I can be pushed over … I’m not confrontational, but I will speak my mind."
  • On Cheryl and Dannii: "I find the Cheryl versus Dannii thing on The X Factor funny. My friends will say, ‘Gosh, Cheryl and Dannii – they must really hate each other.’ And I’m like, ‘How do you know this? It’s not true!’"
  • On female solidarity: "This industry is so full of men, especially behind the scenes, so I think it’s important for us to stand united and support each other. Let’s not fight – let’s empower each other instead. In the past, I’ve had it where someone may or may not have said something and it’s been in the press. But I don’t respond, especially not when it’s women being pitted against women. "

To find out what Leona said about Alexandra, her boyfriend and happiness, read more.

  • On Alexandra Burke: "Alex is awesome. She did so well. I know exactly what she went through on the show. Being a female and getting to come out and do your music is such a positive thing."
  • On her long distance relationship: "[LA] is really good … when I first came here I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It’s taken a while because I love being at home with my family and I miss them when they’re not here. Obviously, a long-distance relationship is hard. But, like anything worth having, you make it work. You just have to keep the communication open – we Skype, we chat, we email. And he comes out when he can. I don’t hate LA. There’s a very beautiful side to it – it’s scenic and I can go horse riding."
  • On happiness: "My family [and] my friends [make me happy]. There are five girls who are my best friends. I’m the shoulder to cry on, the one they go to for advice. But then again, my other friend is the mum of the group so I guess I’m like the little sister – the second in command! I’m still getting there [in terms of being totally happy and confident]. I don’t have everything figured out. But as you get older, that comes. I know everything that’s happening to me now isn’t real. Especially being in LA, you can go to parties and there are a lot of people who aren’t genuine so you have to remember that this isn’t real. My family and friends are real … I have to remember my morals and values. That’s what makes me – and keeps me – happy. It’s not that I don’t like the celebrity lifestyle … It’s just that it’s a bit unreal. Some people embrace being papped. I’d rather do normal things."

It certainly sounds like Leona's keeping grounded. The full interview and more pictures appear in the October issue of Cosmopolitan, on sale today. Leona was photographed by Lorenzo Agius, and the images will also be shown in Lorenzo Agius: British Style Icons, part of the 30 Days of Fashion & Beauty 2009 gala party at the Natural History Museum on 21 September.

Photographer credit Lorenzo Agius

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