X Factor winner Leona Lewis is set to record five albums in the US after signing a $9.7 million (£5 million) contract with the man who first mentored Whitney Houston.

The 21-year-old, who has been described as the "lovechild" of Houston and fellow diva Mariah Carey, will relocate stateside next month to record the albums with Clive Davis.

Leona admits she is "overwhelmed" to be joining a musical family that also includes Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys.

"I can't believe everything has happened so fast, from winning the X Factor to coming to LA," she said.

Both the singer's parents have quit their jobs to support their daughter's career full-time, and manager Simon Cowell claims that everyone close to Leona will be doing "everything in our power to make her an international star".

He claimed: "I've always said that she is the next Whitney Houston, and I believe it."

Leona is up for best single at this month's Brit Awards for A Moment Like This, which was a more-than-comfortable Christmas number one after being downloaded 100,000 times two days after going on release.

09/02/2007 17:17:43