Alexandra Burke

Background information
Birth name Alexandra Imelda Cecelia Ewan Burke
Born 25 August 1988 (1988-08-25) (age 22)
Islington, London, England
Genres R&B, soul, pop, electro
Occupations Singer, dancer, model
Years active 2005–present
Labels Syco (2008–present)
Epic (2009–present)
Associated acts Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Flo Rida, Cobra Starship

Alexandra Imelda Cecelia Ewan Burke (born 25 August 1988)[1] is a British R&B and pop recording artist who rose to fame after winning the fifth series of British television series The X Factor in 2008.

As the winner of The X Factor, Alexandra released her debut single, “Hallelujah”, originally a Leonard Cohen song, that became the current European record holder for single sales over a period of 24 hours: selling 105,000 copies in one day;[2] but also, the top-selling song of the year in the UK[citation needed] as well as becoming the 2008 Christmas number one single in the UK. By January 2009, sales of Burke’s version of “Hallelujah” had passed one million copies which made her the first British female soloist to sell that amount of copies in the UK.[3]

Her debut album, Overcome, was released in October 2009 and entered the UK Albums Chart at number one. The album’s lead single “Bad Boys” was released a week in advance to the album and debuted at number one selling over 710,000 in the UK: becoming her second consecutive number-one single and first Brit-nominated single.[4] She has sinced followed “Bad Boys” with singles that have consecutively stolen top ten places in the UK Singles Chart. To date, Alexandra has achieved 4 Number one singles across the UK and Ireland: “Hallelujah”, “Bad Boys”, “All Night Long” and “Start Without You”.

Burke has been nominated three times for a Brit Award for Best British Single as a solo artist, with “Hallelujah”, in 2009, “Bad Boys”, in 2010, and “All Night Long” in 2011.[4] and has achieved four solo number one singles: her most recent single “Start Without You” became her third solo UK number one hit; as well as two number one singles as a featured artist in charity singles “Hero” and “Everybody Hurts”. As of December 2010, Burke has sold over 4 million records in the UK alone with combined sales of her singles and her debut album Overcome.[5]


1 Early life
2 Career
2.1 2005, 2008–2009:The X Factor
2.2 2009–2011: Overcome
2.3 2011–present: All Night Long tour and second studio album
3 2KX
4 Personal life
5 Discography
6 Tours
7 Awards and nominations
8 Philanthropy
9 References
10 External links

Early life

Burke started singing when she was five and at nine years old, she sang on stage in Bahrain with her mother.[citation needed] At the age of twelve, Burke entered the TV talent show Star for a Night where she was the youngest person in the competition.[citation needed] She was beaten to the number-one spot by Joss Stone. At age twelve, she sang down the phone to Stevie Wonder.[citation needed] When Burke’s mother asked her to sing to Jean Carne, Carne was so impressed that she asked her to perform at her show the next night.[citation needed]Burke attended Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington, Angel and after her GCSEs she left school to pursue a career in music. Before her X Factor success, she had been working as a singer, gigging at weekends in clubs.[1] She also went on tour with “Young Voices”, a charity that raises money for children with leukemia, where she performed at large venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.


 2005, 2008–2009:The X FactorBurke auditioned for the second series of The X Factor in 2005 (which was eventually won by Shayne Ward). She made it through to the final seven in Louis Walsh’s 16–24 category, effectively the top 21 of the competition; however, Walsh did not choose her for his final four as he felt that she was too young for the competition. Burke however did not give up and went on to seek professional singing lessons over the next three years, proving her dedication and commitment to becoming a popstar.

Alexandra performing during her tour.Burke’s second bid to win The X Factor came in 2008. Falling into the “Girls” category, she was mentored by Girls Aloud’s Cheryl Cole who selected her for the finals—a series of ten weekly live shows in which contestants are progressively eliminated by public vote. On the first live show, Burke performed Whitney Houston’s classic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”. For the second live show she covered “I’ll Be There” by The Jackson 5. In week three, big band week, Burke performed Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman” and received her first standing ovation. For the disco-themed fourth live show, Burke performed Donna Summer’s “On the Radio”. During Mariah Carey week on 8 November, Burke and the other finalists met Carey for individual masterclasses, with Carey complimenting Burke on her voice. Burke performed “Without You” and received a standing ovation from the judges who all gave her positive comments. Cowell commented that “by any standard, that was just outstanding”. Following the show Burke’s performance was also praised by Carey who called her rendition of the song “absolutely amazing”.

In weeks 6 and 7, Burke received positive comments from the judging panel for her performances of “You are so Beautiful” and Dan Hartman’s “Relight My Fire” (the popularity of which in the UK is mostly a result of Take That’s 1993 revival thereof). Week 8 saw her replace Diana Vickers as the bookies’ favourite after performing Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and Beyoncé Knowles’ “Listen”, for which she received yet another standing ovation. In week 9, Burke performed Rihanna’s hit song “Don’t Stop the Music” and again received positive comments, with Louis calling her “the British Beyoncé” and Simon commenting “…We may be seeing the birth of a star here […] you’ve got it all, that was a terrific performance”.

Burke was joined in the grand final by Irish teenager Eoghan Quigg and boyband JLS. She sang “Listen” as a duet with Beyoncé (who later performed her UK number-one single “If I Were a Boy”), and after performing with the American singer she proclaimed: “I have achieved a dream”.

After the elimination of Quigg she sang what became her debut single, a 1984 song by Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah, for the first time. Finally, with over eight million votes cast in total, Burke was revealed as the winner with 58% of the final vote.[6] The single went on to become the Christmas number one of 2008, holding the top spot for three weeks and selling one million copies. There was also a campaign to take Jeff Buckley’s cover of Hallelujah to the top of the Christmas chart to deny Burke the top spot.[7][8] The campaign was fuelled by Jeff Buckley fans’ dislike of The X Factor’s commercialism and the song’s arrangement,[9][10] as well as a desire by this contingent to introduce younger music fans to Buckley’s version.[11] Burke herself was not enamoured of the choice of song, and dismissed the original by remarking “It just didn’t do anything for me”.[10]

As winner, Burke received a recording contract with record label, Syco, which is co-owned by Sony Music Entertainment. The contract has a stated value of £1 million, of which £150,000 is a cash advance and the remainder is allocated to recording and marketing costs.[12]


 On 13 February 2009 it was reported that Burke signed a £3.5 million, five-album US record deal with Epic Records.[13] Burke’s first album was originally scheduled for March 2009, however, Simon Cowell confirmed that her album was scheduled for release later in the year to allow Burke to polish her skills and find the right songs for the album, so that it would not be rushed. The album was released on 19 October 2009 in the UK, titled Overcome.[14]

Burke performing on her first debut tour.Burke’s first commercial single from her debut album is titled “Bad Boys”, which features Flo Rida. The single premiered in the UK on The Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1 on 25 August 2009.[15] On 18 October 2009, Bad Boys topped the UK Singles Chart.[16] After visiting Burke in the studio, Beyoncé spoke of possibly recording a duet with her[17] and also asked for Burke to join her for Beyonce’s second European leg of her I Am… Tour.[18] Bad Boys was certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry on 7 January 2010.

American rapper 50 Cent has expressed an interest in Burke, correctly predicting that she would win The X Factor and invited her to appear in an upcoming music video of his, most likely for a song from his upcoming album Before I Self Destruct.[19] On 19 July 2009, Burke confirmed that she had signed a six figure contract with Italian fashion designers Dolce & Gabbana, to become the face of a new fashion line. She will also model their clothes and accessories in her music videos. Burke performed on the Royal Variety Show on 7 December 2009.[20]

It was confirmed by Burke on 17 November 2009, that “Broken Heels” would be the second commercial single, (third overall), from Overcome.[21] She also confirmed via her Official Twitter page that the video was shot in Los Angeles on 22 and 23 November 2009.[22] On 18 January 2010, Burke began her European Promo Tour in Brussels, Belgium.[23] On 12 March 2010, Burke confirmed on Twitter that “All Night Long” will be her new single, featuring Pitbull. She appeared on Dancing on Ice during the semi-final to perform All Night Long.[24]

On 29 April 2010, Burke entered FHM’s poll for the world’s top 100 sexiest women 2010 at number 75. This is her first appearance on the poll since she rose to fame in 2008.[25] It has been since confirmed that Burke’s next single will be a completely new song, “Start Without You”, which is set to be released on 5 September 2010.[26] The video for “Start Without You” debuted on August 19 through VEVO on later premiered on The BOX.[27] The song was performed at T4 On The Beach on 4 July 2010. Additionally, Burke was announced as the first ever brand ambassador for Sure Women, for which she starred in a television advert.[28] Burke gained her fifth consecutive top ten hit, and her third number one single, after Start Without You stormed to the top of the charts, beating Katy Perry to the top spot.

The re-packaged edition of Overcome is to be released of November 29, 2010.[29] Music Week reports that the deluxe makeover includes three brand new tracks; “Perfect”, “Before the Rain” and “What Happens On the Dancefloor” featuring Cobra Starship; as well as three number one and two Top 10 singles (including “Start Without You”). A DVD accompanies the release featuring seven videos, including an exclusive promo for the track ‘The Silence’. The magazine also confirmed that Burke will promote the record with a performance on The X Factor. A new track on the album was recently revealed to be a duet with “an amazing group”. On October 25 Alex revealed via her twitter that a new version of “The Silence” (song) will be the albums 5th commercial single being released in early December.[30] The official music video for The Silence was released on 27 October 2010, via MSN Videos UK.[31] It was confirmed that there would be no further singles from the album after “The Silence”.[32]


All Night Long tour and second studio albumAlexandra revealed that her next album will get “down and dirty”, promising the record that will take risks.

“It’s got to be sexy. So I’m going to get a lot fiercer and sexier. We’re just getting down and dirty with the next album. I’m going to take a lot more risks and it’s going to be insane.” She also hinted at any collaborations on the LP, “I can’t say too much because my management will kill me if I let loose. But I have a special duet planned. I have the ideas, the collaborations in my mind – it’s all locked up in my head.”[32]
Burke took a break from recording so that she could embark on her first headline concert tour, the All Night Long Tour and said she would continue recording two days after the tour ends.[32] She is working with RedOne for a lot of the album, but will also reunite with Bruno Mars, StarGate, Rico Love, Autumn Rowe and Ne-Yo, among others.[32] Burke became a guest judge during the auditions of English version of So You Think You Can Dance.[33] This made Burke the first ever The X Factor contestant to have a judging role.[34] Burke revealed that she had recorded a duet, with an “amazing” artist. She said, she was working in the studio with songwriter, Autumn Rowe, and met him through him and the duet just sort of “happened”.[35] It was confirmed that Burke had featured on Swizz Beatz new album, on track “Show Off”.[36]

2KXIt was announced that Alexandra Burke and JLS would work together to create a brand new fashion line, titled, 2KX. Burke and JLS stated in an interview, “We are eagerly waiting for the first stocks of the ultra-hyped men’s and women’s underwear range, due very soon.”[37] It was revealed that the Underwear Collection would launch in March 2011, and their Clothing Collection would be released in April 2011.[38] The fashion range will be available to buy in USC stores across the United Kindgom and Ireland.[39] The range with include both men’s and women’s clothes that are designed to be worn causally in the day and dressed up at night. The underwear will sell for £15 – £19.[40] tThey have released a charity t-shirt in aid of Capital FM’s Help a Capital Child. The T-shirt costs £15 and for every t-shirt sold, 2KX will donate £1.50 to Help a Capital Child. The business’ target aims is to raise £10,000 for the charity by 2011.[41]

They revealed what 2KX title meant, the name stands for 2010, the year the group created the label – 2K is the abbreviation for the year 2000 and X is the Roman numeral for 10.[42] The company was founded in 2010 and is based in London, UK.[43]

Personal life

In May 2009, Burke began dating a childhood friend Nicholas Sagar. However, Burke confirmed that the pair were on break in early 2011, after Burke said “At the moment we’re kind of on a break because he lives in LA and it’s long distance. We’re both so busy – I’m on tour and I’m trying to build a new life right now.”[44] It was reported in March 2011 that Burke’s brother, Aaron was a drug dealer and sold the drugs, cocaine to celebrities. Burke revealed that she had no idea that her brother was drug dealling.[45]


Studio albums
Overcome (2009)
Tours2009: The X

Factor Live
2011: All Night Long Tour[46]

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Result
2009 “Hallelujah” BRIT Award for Best British Single[47] Nominated
“Hero” Third
Alexandra Burke MOBO Award for Best UK Newcomer[48] Fifth
2010 “Bad Boys” BRIT Award for Best British Single[49] Nominated
Alexandra Burke Glamour Women of the Year Awards for Best Newcomer[50] Won
Overcome Urban Music Award for Best Album 2010 Nominated
“All Night Long” Urban Music Award for Best Collaboration (with Pitbull) Nominated
Urban Music Award for Best Music Video Nominated
Alexandra Burke BT Digital Music Awards for Best Female Artist Nominated
“Bad Boys” BT Digital Music Awards for Best Song Nominated
BT Digital Music Awards for Best Video Nominated
The 2010 Popjustice £20 Music Prize Nominated
Alexandra Burke MOBO Award for Best UK Act Nominated
Cosmopolitan for Ultimate UK Music Star Won
MTV Europe Music Award for Best Push Act Nominated
XS AWARDS for Best British Star Won
WSC Gala Awards 2010 for Best Female Artist[51] Nominated
2011 All Night Long BRIT Award for Best British Single[52] Nominated
Alexandra Burke Glamour Women of the Year Awards for Best UK Musician/Solo Artist[53] Pending


Before her X Factor appearance and success, Burke went on tour with “Young Voices”, a charity that helps to raise money for children with leukemia, where she performed many times at large venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.

Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, many celebrities, including Burke, wanted to help the suffering people of the country. She was confirmed for the Haiti Charity single, Everybody Hurts, commenting “I hope the single raises lots of money. It’s great that we can come together and do this. It’s a very special song.” Soon after, Burke revealed she would be travelling to Haiti so she can physically help the people out there, saying “For me, singing two lines on a single doesn’t mean I have really helped. I wanted to go out and physically help the kids. I’m not a doctor, but I can give clothes, food and love. At least I’ll be able to make a couple of kids smile.” Burke visited and helped in the week beginning 8 February 2010, and posted two video blogs about her visit on YouTube.[54] She later returned six months later to check the progress of the country after being a huge part in the Save the Children charity campaign.[55]

Alexandra was confirmed to join various female celebrities to join the Peru Inka Trail Hike for Breast Cancer Care, along with Fearne Cotton, Denise Van Outen, and Holly Willoughby.[56]

In January 2011, Alexandra helped to launch Save the Children UK’s No Child Born To Die campaign. The campaign aims to reduce child mortality over the next five years.[57]


1.^ a b “Alexandra – All you need to know!”. ITV. 29 November 2008.
2.^ Schmidt, Veronica (16 December 2008). “X Factor’s Alexandra Burke breaks Leona Lewis record”. London: The Times. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
3.^ “Alexandra is first million-seller”. BBC News. 9 January 2009.
4.^ a b Todd, Ben (19 January 2010). “Girl power as Lily Allen, Pixie Lott, Florence + the Machine and Lady Gaga go head to head for Brit Awards”. London: Mail Online.
5.^ Daniels, Colin (5 December 2010). “Alexandra Burke celebrates 4m sales”. London: Mail Online.
6.^ “Alexandra Burke wins ‘The X Factor'”. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
7.^ Jeff Buckley, Leonard Cohen fans unite on Facebook to keep reality show version of ‘Hallelujah’ off British chart National Post
8.^ Hallelujah! You Buck the trend The Sun
9.^ The fight for a Hallelujah Christmas victory The Times, 18 December 2008
10.^ a b Hallelujah hits number one and two slots in Christmas charts The Times, 22 December 2008
11.^ Mark Lawson: Warring Hallelujahs, The Guardian, 19 December 2008
12.^ Hallelujah: how Leonard Cohen became an X Factor winner without trying The Times, 13 December 2008
13.^ Alexandra Burke ‘gets £3m US deal’ Digital Spy, 13 February 2009
14.^ Overcome Alexandra Burke Official Website
15.^ Alexandra Burke’s ‘Bad Boys’: 30 plays later Digital Spy, 25 August 2009
16.^ “Alexandra Burke steams past Robbie Williams to top UK charts”. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
17.^ Burke, Beyoncé planning to collaborate? Digital Spy, 13 April 2009
18.^ Alexandra Burke to join Beyonce on tour STV Entertainment, 15 June 2009
19.^ 50 Cent after X Factor winner Mirror Celebs
20.^ X Factor winner signs major deal with Dolce & Gabbana STV Entertainment, 19 July 2009
21.^ Diary Blog – Tuesday 17 November 2009 Alexandra Burke Official Website
22.^ Alexandra Burke on Twitter
23.^ European Promo Tour Alexandra Burke Official Website, 14 January 2010
24.^ Dancing on Ice ITV Guide
25.^ Full list of FHM’s top 100 world’s sexiest women 2010 Metro, 29 April 2010
26.^ [1]
32.^ a b c d
34.^ First X Factor Contestant to become a judge
47.^ BRIT Awards 2009 Nominations Brit Music Scene
48.^ MOBO Awards 2009 Nominations Daily Telegraph
49.^ BRIT Awards 2010 Nominations Daily Telegraph
50.^ Cheryl Cole named Woman of the Year
51.^ [2]
52.^ [3]
53.^ Glamour Women of the Year Awards 2011
54.^ Alexandra Burke Haiti Visit Digital Spy
55.^ Alexandra Burke returns to Haiti
56.^ Alexandra Burke joins Breast Cancer Care Hike
57.^ No Child Born to Die vaccine push aims to save millions The Scotsman

External links

Official website
Alexandra Burke at
Preceded by
Leon Jackson Winner of The X Factor
2008 Succeeded by
Joe McElderry
v · d · eAlexandra Burke


Studio albums Overcome (2009)

Singles “Hallelujah” · “Bad Boys” · “Broken Heels” · “All Night Long” · “Start Without You” · “The Silence”

Featured singles “Hero” · “Everybody Hurts”

Concert tours All Night Long Tour (2011)

Related articles The X Factor (series 5 · series 5 finalists) · Melissa Bell · Syco Music

v · d · eThe X Factor (UK)

Series Main: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7
Celebrity: Battle of the Stars

Presenters Current: Dermot O’Leary
Former: Fearne Cotton · Konnie Huq · Ben Shephard · Kate Thornton · Holly Willoughby

Judges Current: Louis Walsh · Dannii Minogue
Former: Simon Cowell · Sharon Osbourne · Brian Friedman · Cheryl Cole
Guest: Paula Abdul · Geri Halliwell · Natalie Imbruglia · Pixie Lott · Katy Perry · Nicole Scherzinger

Winners Main series: Steve Brookstein · Shayne Ward · Leona Lewis · Leon Jackson · Alexandra Burke · Joe McElderry · Matt Cardle
Celebrity series: Lucy Benjamin

Related singles Winner’s singles: “Against All Odds” · “That’s My Goal” · “A Moment Like This” · “When You Believe” · “Hallelujah” · “The Climb” · “When We Collide”
Charity singles: “Hero” · “You Are Not Alone” · “Heroes”

Related articles List of finalists (series 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7) · List of music releases · Controversy and criticism · Syco TV · Fremantlemedia · talkbackTHAMES · ITV

v · d · eNotable contestants of The X Factor (UK)

Series one Steve Brookstein · G4 · Tabby Callaghan · Rowetta

Series two Shayne Ward · Andy Abraham · Journey South · Brenda Edwards · Chico Slimani · The Conway Sisters · Maria Lawson

Series three Leona Lewis · Ray Quinn · Ben Mills · The MacDonald Brothers · Kerry McGregor · Avenue · Dolly Rockers

Series four Leon Jackson · Rhydian · Same Difference · Niki Evans · Daniel DeBourg

Series five Alexandra Burke · JLS · Eoghan Quigg · Diana Vickers · Ruth Lorenzo · Laura White

Series six Joe McElderry · Olly Murs · Stacey Solomon · Jedward · Stacey McClean · Daniel Pearce

Series seven Matt Cardle · Mary Byrne · John Adeleye

v · d · eSyco

Directors/management Simon Cowell · Sir Philip Green

Syco TV American Inventor · Celebrity Duets · Got Talent · The X Factor

Syco Music Susan Boyle · Alexandra Burke · Matt Cardle · Rebecca Ferguson · Il Divo · Shaheen Jafargholi · Andrew Johnston · Labrinth · Leona Lewis · Cher Lloyd · Sinitta
Formerly: Angelis · Steve Brookstein · Escala · Gareth Gates · Leon Jackson · Joe McElderry · Paul Potts · Rhydian · Bianca Ryan · Same Difference · George Sampson · Shayne Ward · Westlife

Partners Sony Music Entertainment · Sony Pictures Entertainment · Arcadia Group · Epic Records · Columbia Records · Talkback Thames · FremantleMedia · J Records · RCA Records · ITV · Fox Television

v · d · eSo You Think You Can Dance (UK)