Simon Cowell has branded Leona Lewis the savior of X Factor.
Speaking via a video message at Sony Music’s company day on Tuesday, Cowell gave special thanks to Nick Gatfield, Edgar Berger and Syco Music’s Sonny Takhar but reserved high praise for Syco singer Leona Lewis.
The talent show boss suggested that Lewis marked the fulfillment of his X Factor aim saying: “When we created X Factor, it was more than a television show. The idea behind it was to discover real stars.
“When I think of our biggest success on X Factor, initially, one person changed the perception of the show worldwide and her name is Leona Lewis,” he added. “You literally saved our show.”
Cowell then introduced Lewis who sang live at the event performing two songs from her upcoming album Glassheart.
Simon Cowell’s message to his Sony Music colleagues can be found in full below:
“I’ve got so many thank yous. Let me start with Nick [Gatfield] who’s been with us for about a year now. Nick, I just want to say you’ve made a massive difference and I want to thank you for everything you’ve done; your support, your guidance, your enthusiasm. It really has been a breathe of fresh air and we’ve really felt the difference.
"I also want to say a huge thank you to Edgar [Berger]. The job you’ve done for our artists internationally has been nothing short of a miracle. It’s made a massive difference to the perception of Syco, of our artists and really is an incredible job. You started running when you started this job, it wasn’t a slow pace. It’s been incredible and we’re all incredibly grateful for everything you’ve done.
"I also have to say a begrudging thank you to Sonny Takhar. Sonny what you’ve done with your team – I think there’s 10 people that work for Syco Music – and seeing the impact of our artists all over the world this year, again, is nothing short of a miracle. The quality of the artists, the care that you’ve put into them, the team that you’ve assembled, the A&R expertise; it’s everything I could have dreamed of, so I’m incredibly grateful to you. It pains me to say this, bearing in mind that, as I do, you are two feet away from me smiling like a Cheshire cat.
"I also want to say a huge thank you to the artists. It’s been a true partnership. It’s exactly what I’ve always wanted from this label and I’m very proud of you.
"Finally, when we created X Factor, it was more than a television show, the idea behind it was to discover real stars. When I think of our biggest success on X Factor initially, one person changed the perception of the show worldwide and her name is Leona Lewis.
"You literally saved our show. I dreamt of finding a superstar. I’ll never forget Leona’s first audition, I’ll never forget the call from Clive Davies when you were on the live shows and you have transformed into a global superstar. It’s been two years since we heard a Leona record, I think this new album is sensational, you’ve never sounded better.”