The X Factor winner Leona Lewis will take over the Pussycat Doll’s role as Grizabella in the Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical

Leona Lewis to replace Nicole Scherzinger in Cats musical
Leona Lewis. Photograph: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

The X Factor winner Leona Lewis will replace Nicole Scherzinger as Grizabella in the Broadway revival of Cats.

The singer announced the news on Twitter, saying: “Can’t even believe this. I’m thrilled & honoured to announce I’ll be playing the part of Grizabella in CatsBroadway!”

The part had been played by former Pussycat Doll Scherzinger in London and she was due to return to the theatre for the Broadway version but pulled out just before rehearsals began.

Andrew Lloyd Webber confirmed she dropped out to return to the UK’s X Factor judging panel and admitted he was “furious” about it.

At the time he told The Economist Radio: “I mean, she’s crazy. But the American producers just took a view – ‘Well, fine, we’ll get somebody else,’ because she’s actually not very well known in America, amazingly. She’s much better known here.”

The musical theatre supremo said Scherzinger’s move had made him look foolish.

He said: “I’m furious, because I really believe she’s the most fantastically talented girl, and I went out on a limb to get her for the London Palladium here, and it makes me look like an absolute twot with them all.

“But never mind, there’ll be another girl on Broadway and Nicole will not get her Tony award.”

Lloyd Webber tweeted: “Very excited to welcome @leonalewis to the CatsMusical family in CatsBroadway. #TeamALW.”

Lewis won the third series of The X Factor in 2006 and went on to achieve success with singles including Bleeding Love, Run and Better in Time.

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