Louisa Johnson (born 11 January 1998) is an English singer and songwriter from Thurrock, Essex. She was the winner of the twelfth UK series of The X Factor in 2015.[3] Aged 17 at the time of winning, Louisa became the programme's youngest winner ever. She was featured on Clean Bandit's hit single "Tears".

Early life

Louisa was born in 1998 in Essex[4] to David Johnson[5] and Lisa Hawkyard. Her father is a construction worker and her mother a driving instructor.[6] She was raised in Thurrock.


2015–2016: The X Factor

In 2015, Louisa auditioned for the twelfth series of The X Factor, singing The Jackson 5's "Who's Lovin' You". She picked this record because "it is a really really hard song to sing, but I wanted to make a good impression". She received a standing ovation from all four judges and the audience afterwards and progressed through to "bootcamp". At the first challenge at "bootcamp", she sang "Proud Mary" with 4th Impact (formerly known as 4th Power), Sherilyn Hamilton-Shaw, Neneth Lyons, Jasmine Leigh Morris and Andre Batchelor, and was sent through to the next challenge.[8] She sang Sam Smith's "Lay Me Down" in the second challenge and made it through to the six-chair challenge.[9]

Louisa competed in the "girls" category at "bootcamp" and was mentored, at the decision of the public, by Rita Ora. She successfully made it past the six-chair challenge to "judges' houses", singing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" by Jennifer Hudson; when Louisa arrived, all six chairs had been filled, and Ora described the atmosphere as "like a zoo". At judges' houses, she sang "Respect" by Aretha Franklin in front of Ora and Meghan Trainor in Los Angeles; this performance gained media attention, as its televising saw Johnson wearing two separate pairs of shoes, with some viewers inferring some sort of faking.[10] Two weeks after that performance was recorded, she was chosen by Ora for the live shows, along with Lauren Murray and Kiera Weathers; that category's Monica Michael later returned as a wildcard entry.[11]

Following the eliminations of Weathers, Michael and Murray in the second, third and sixth weeks, respectively, Johnson made it to the final along with Reggie 'n' Bollie and Ché Chesterman, in so doing becoming the final female in the competition. On 12 December, she duetted with her mentor, Ora. The following night, she sang her winner's single, a cover of "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan.[12] On 13 December 2015, she won The X Factor, becoming the first winner in the Girls category since Alexandra Burke in 2008, and also the youngest winner ever, overtaking Joe McElderry, who was 18 years old when he won in 2009.[3]

After winning The X Factor, Johnson released "Forever Young". The day after her victory, she plugged the single on The X Factor judge Nick Grimshaw's radio show, Good Morning Britain, Lorraine and This Morning, consecutively. Her version of the song entered the UK Singles Chart on 18 December 2015, at number 9, and became the lowest ever position on entry for a debut single from an X Factor winner. This can be attributed, in part, to the movement of the chart day from Sunday, when she was announced as the winner, to Friday, resulting in her single only receiving four days' sales.[3] The single dropped to number twelve the following week becoming the lowest ranking X Factor winner's song ever on the Christmas Day chart.[21] Overall the single is the lowest charting X Factor winner's single to date as all other winner's singles managed to top the chart or at least reach the top five. On 18 December 2015, Johnson performed "Forever Young" on the 2015 Text Santa broadcast.[22]

2016–present: Debut studio album

There were indications that, unlike most other The X Factor winners, her debut studio album would be released as quickly as possible, maybe as early as February 2016,[23] and would include her debut single "Forever Young". However, the singer later declared: "If I don't like it, no way is it going out. People are going to know me through that album – so it needs to be perfect."[23] She also revealed a song called "Ruin It with a Kiss", which will feature on her debut album.[24]

In May 2016, Louisa released a single with Clean Bandit called "Tears". The song was a commercial success, reaching the top five in Scotland and in the UK, and charting in many other European countries. It was also certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). In June, Louisa performed "Tears" and a new version of the song "Over and Over Again" with Nathan Sykes at the Summertime Ball. She released her second solo single, "So Good", in October 2016.[25] It peaked at number 13 in the UK,[26] and received a gold certification from BPI. Her third single, "Best Behaviour" was released in March 2017, charting at number 48 in the UK,[26] scoring a silver BPI certification.

Personal life

Louisa is a supporter of Premier League football team West Ham United.[28]



As lead artist

TitleYearPeak chart positionsCertificationsAlbum
"Forever Young"2015952TBA
"So Good"201613378
"Best Behaviour"[35]2017487122
(with Olly Murs)
32652024 Hrs
TitleYearPeak chart positionsCertificationsAlbum
(Clean Bandit featuring Louisa Johnson)
"Weak (Stay Strong Mix)"
(AJR featuring Louisa Johnson)
2017Non-album singles
"Bridge over Troubled Water"
(as part of Artists for Grenfell)
  • BPI: Silver
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.


  • The X Factor Live Tour (2016)
Support Act
Opening act


  1. "Tears" did not enter the Ultratop 50 Flanders, but peaked at number 24 on the Ultratip chart.
  2. "Tears" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 10 on the NZ Heatseekers Singles Chart.
  3. "Bridge over Troubled Water" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 4 on the NZ Heatseekers Singles Chart.[44]