Leona Lewis Finds Her Own 'Power' After Leaving Behind Simon Cowell's Label and More Insider Scoop

Leona Lewis Essence Black Women In Music 2014
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Leona Lewis attends the 5th annual Essence Black Women In Music event at 1 OAK on January 22, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.

Leona Lewis Shakes  Off Syco
?The Library at The Redbury in Hollywood served as an intimate setting for Leona Lewis to preview several tracks from her first album for Def Jam, I Am, and to drop a few more clues about her 2014 departure from her last label of seven years, Simon Cowell’s Syco Music. The 30-year-old “Bleeding Love” singer said she “felt stifled” there, particularly after she was asked to record an album of cover songs. I Am, which consists of original material, is about “me finding my own power again,” she told the crowd. The lyrics to the title track reportedly allude to Lewis’s exit from Syco. “I am somebody without you/I am free without you/I am stronger without you,” she sings. Among those in attendance: songwriter-producer Toby Gad (co-writer of John Legend’s “All of Me”), who produced the majority of Lewis’ album, which will arrive Sept. 11. “Leona has been at the top of my wish list ever since I saw her on The X Factor,” Gad told Billboard. “But for some reason it took all this time before we could get together.”

Leona Lewis Signs with Island Records

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Diana Ross and son Evan Ross photographed on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. 

Stop, In The Name Of... WTF?
Warwick nightclub owners JT Torregiani and Sylvain Bitton drew Diana Ross, her son Evan Ross, in a top hat, and his very pregnant wife, Ashlee Simpson, to the May 28 unveiling of their new “Capri Nights” decor at the Hollywood club, but they weren’t the only ones turning heads. Guests were greeted by a 12-foot-high full-frontal nude photo of “Blurred Lines” actress Emily Ratajkowski just inside the entrance. With Ratajkowski’s lady parts falling conveniently at eye level, clubgoers snapped many selfies while Mama Ross danced with Evan to his song “How to Live Alone.”

Diana Ross Brings Daughter-in-Law Ashlee Simpson Onstage at Elegant Brooklyn Show: Concert Review

Big Data: He Will, He Will...Hack You
Online privacy weighed heavily on the mind of Warner Bros. Records recording artist Big Data (a.k.a. Alan Wilkis), who released the micro-site Nice2HackYou.com to promote his Facebook-inspired new single "The Business of Emotion" (featuring former M83 vocalist White Sea.) Visitors to the site will have their last three months of browser history "hacked" in an attempt to make personal data (including porn and NSA-risky materials) more transparent. Fans are encouraged to share an automatically generated illustrated infographic of their hacked data in exchange for a free download of a "Business of Emotion" remix and the chance to win a T-shirt. "Facebook knows what you think is a secret, so this empowers you to be more open," he says. So what showed up in Wilkis' own internet searches? "A lot of Kim Kardashian, but in different forms."  

A version of this story originally appeared in the June 13 issue of Billboard.