The British version of American Idol is no less popular than China's Super Girl or the original American show. Leona Lewis (pictured), 2006 winner of Britain's The X Factor, is discovering that she has an impressive fan base out East, which is testament to the show's range.
The up-and-coming diva recently made her first stop in Asia. Lewis performed in Tokyo early last month to celebrate her album Spirit going platinum in Japan. Widespread coverage of the event and a huge response from her online fan base confirmed the extent of her popularity in Japan.
Although not stopping in China this time around, the new star has hinted that a concert is on the cards. As China continues to develop economically, musical tastes are also changing. It seems that every month sees the debut performance of another well-known Western singing star or pop musician.
This year alone Chinese fans have had the opportunity to see Celine Dion, Bjork, James Blunt and Harry Connick Jr. in concert. Strangely, nobody on the list happens to be of the "Idol" genre. Yet the prospects of Lewis changing all that are looking good.
As the daughter of a Welsh mother and a Guyanese father, Lewis certainly has the cosmopolitan looks that appeal to multicultural audiences. Her sound is obviously just as appealing to Chinese as to Western audiences: Her album shipped gold on the mainland release date and is fast approaching platinum status. Furthermore, her first single reached number one on all major Chinese radio stations. It seems highly appropriate that she should be the first "Idol" to perform live in China.
In response to popular demand, Lewis will soon have her own web page on sina.com. This surely portends not only Lewis' personal success in the Middle Kingdom, but also that of future singers from the Idol stage.
(China Daily June 3, 2008)