Leona Lewis replaces Nicole Scherzinger in Cats
Leona Lewis has replaced Nicole Scherzinger in ‘Cats’ on Broadway.
The 31-year-old singer has been cast as Grizabella in the first-ever Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical after Nicole pulled out in star as a judge on the upcoming series of ‘The X Factor’.
Leona said: "It is an incredible honor to be asked by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to join the ‘Cats’ family. I will never forget seeing the show as a little girl and how blown away I was by the magical experience of it. I am beyond thrilled for my Broadway debut to be in such an iconic show. To work with a team as legendary as those on ‘Cats’ is an experience I will cherish every moment of. I cannot wait to see the audiences out in NYC!"
Lloyd Webber added: "Leona has one of the greatest voices of her generation. We are all hugely excited about working with her."
The 68-year-old composer previously launched a blistering rant against Nicole, 37, claiming she opted out of the musical one week before Broadway rehearsals began, in order to return to ‘The X Factor’ and fumed that he was furious with her.
He said: "A week before we were due to go into rehearsals with ‘Cats’, which luckily I’m not producing I have to say, she calls me and says she’s decided to do ‘X Factor’, having agreed to it.
"She’s crazy, but the American producers took a view of, ‘Oh fine, we’ll get someone else.’ She’s actually not that well known in America. She’s better known here.
"I’m furious because I really believe she’s the most fantastically brilliant girl and I went out on a limb to get her at the Palladium and now I look like an absolute t**t with them all.
"Nevermind, there will be another girl on Broadway and Nicole will not get her Tony Award."
While Nicole didn’t confirm if she is returning ‘The X Factor’ or not, she insisted that she is still a huge fan of Lord Lloyd Webber and felt blessed to have worked on the West End version of the musical.
She said: "I am incredibly blessed to be given so many amazing opportunities, including ‘Cats’, but unfortunately we weren’t able to make it work this time around.
"I adore and respect Andrew, I’m so grateful for our friendship and can’t wait for the opportunity to create more magic together."
A source added: Being on Broadway is a dream for Nicole but the commitment the show required made her rethink accepting the offer. Nicole also has a music and acting career so needs to find time for that as well."