Alexandra Imelda Cecelia Ewen Burke
(born 25 August 1988) is an English singer and songwriter. Burke was exposed to music from an early age, with her mother, Melissa Bell, being the lead singer of Soul II Soul. Burke rose to fame after winning the fifth series of British television series The X Factor
in 2008, becoming the first of two winners to be mentored by Cheryl Cole and also, the second of two people in the girls category to win the series, the first being Leona Lewis in 2006. Burke currently stands as one of the most successful winners of The X Factor
. She was previously signed to three record labels: Epic Records, RCA Records and Syco Music, until she departed in June 2013 due to creative differences. Burke's net worth is $8,000,000, making her the second highest-earning X Factor
winner, behind Leona Lewis.
After winning The X Factor
, Burke released the winner's single "Hallelujah", which became the European record holder for single sales over a period of 24 hours, selling 105,000 in one day until it was overtaken by her X Factor
mentor Cheryl Cole with her debut solo single "Fight for This Love". The song also became the top-selling single of 2008 in the UK and the UK's Christmas 2008 number one. By January 2009, the single had sold over 1 million copies in the UK alone, a first for a British female soloist. The album also saw the release of UK top 10 hit, "Broken Heels" and "The Silence". In late 2010, Burke released a deluxe version of
Overcome and the six singles released from the album have sold over four million record in the UK alone. "Elephant" was released as Burke's comeback single in February 2012, which became a hit single, with a peak position of number three in the UK. "Let It Go" served as the second single and Burke's second album,
Heartbreak on Hold, was released in June 2012.
Burke is heavily involved with charities and is a known supporter for
No Child Born to Die,
Help for Heroes and
The Royal British Legion and has been involved in two number-one charity singles on the UK and Irish Singles Charts, this includes "Hero" (2008) with her fellow
X Factor Finalists and then again as part of a celebrity super group, Helping Haiti and released "Everybody Hurts" (2010), Burke thought that she was not doing enough for the Haitian people and travelled to Haiti to give them clothes and food.
In June 2014, Burke will replace Beverley Knight in the lead role of Rachel Marron in the West End musical