Alexandra Burke, born on August 25, 1988, started to sing when she was just five years old. Without any professional vocal training, she began singing on-stage at the age of 9 with her mother Melissa Bell, ex-Soul II Soul's member. Three years later, she participated in a TV show dubbed "Star for a Night" and became the youngest contestant in the show. Unfortunately, she failed to win the competition as Joss Stone grabbed the number one spot.
After graduating from school, Alexandra decided to pursue a career in music. She worked as a singer at clubs in U.K. during the weekend and performed at large venues such as The Royal Albert Hall to tour with "Young Voices", a charity which raises money for children with Leukemia.
When she was seventeen, Alexandra auditioned for "The X Factor" and made it through to the final seven in Louis Walsh's 16-24 category. However, Louis did not choose her for his final four because he felt that she was too young for the competition. Refusing to step back, she had, once again, auditioned for the singing competition in 2008 and was mentored by Girls Aloud's Cheryl Cole. Luckily for her, Cheryl chose her among other contestants to perform at the finals.
In the first live show, Alexandra performed Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody". For the second show, she covered The Jackson Five's "I'll Be There" but unfortunately was criticized by judge Simon Cowell as a "copycat." Learning from each of the show and practicing hard, she finally gained her first standing ovation from audience when she sang Christina Aguilera's song "Candyman" during the Big Band week.
Continuing getting positive responses, Alexandra finally made it through the grand final, joining Irish teenager Eoghan Quigg and JLS. She collaborated with Beyonce Knowles singing "Dreamgirls" soundtrack "Listen" and for the first time performed what would become her debut single "Hallelujah", the track was made famous by Leonard Cohen. When it came to the winner's announcement, she was revealed to be the lucky one collecting 58|percent| of the final vote.