In July 2011, Spraggan was announced as the runner up of the Urban, Pop & Acoustic Category of Live and Unsigned, placing third place overall in the competition. Spraggan's prizes awarded by Live and Unsigned for her progress in the competition consisted of a festival slot at Osfest, and a slot at Australia's Go Connect Festival. When the festival was later cancelled, Live and Unsigned provided Spraggan with a series of replacement prizes, including a string of guest act spots at Live and Unsigned and Open Mic UK shows across the country, a new website, and a music video shoot for her single Last Night, which received over 455,000 views.
On 20 October 2011 Spraggan independently released her album Top Room at the Zoo. In an interview, she said that the majority of her album's lyrics were inspired by a short-lived romance with an older woman of 27 that occurred when Spraggan visited America at the age of 18.
Spraggan performed as a guest act at a large volume of Live and Unsigned and Open Mic UK shows across the country during this time, on Open Mic UK, Spraggan said in an interview: "Open Mic UK is a great way to build your fan base to thousands of new fans whether you are a guest act or a competitor in the show." As a result of performing at these shows, Spraggan was scouted by several festival organisers to perform at their festivals, amongst which included London Summer Jam, Osfest, Strawberry Fields Festival, Whaley Bridge Water Weekend and Cockermouth Rock Festival.
On 13 July 2012, she released the single Tea and Toast. Spraggan auditioned for the ninth series of The X Factor, which was shown on 25 August 2012, singing her own song Last Night from Top Room at the Zoo.
She won herself a place at bootcamp after performing the song, which left the audience at the Manchester auditions chanting for more. Her second song, which was a rendition of Halo by Beyoncé, was shown on The Xtra Factor. Shortly after the audition was screened, the song climbed to Number 70 in the Official UK Singles Chart, and reached Number 2 on iTunes.
However, it was soon removed from iTunes by request of The X Factor producers. On 29 August 2012, Greg James announced that Last Night was at number 5 on the Official Chart Update despite the song being removed from iTunes, her album Top Room at the Zoo was at number 7 on the Official Chart Update as well. On 2 September 2012 Last Night entered the UK Singles Chart at number 11 and Top Room at the Zoo entered the UK Albums Chart at number 22.
Spraggan sang Moves like Jagger by Maroon 5 at boot camp but the performance was described as "awkward" and "messy". She returned to the stage with a mix-up of songs that she really liked and meant a lot to her. Tulisa Contostavlos then said that she wanted to hear one of her tracks so Spraggan decided to sing Tea and Toast, stating that the song was about a real couple. After she performed the song she burst into tears when she received a standing ovation from the audience and the judging panel.
She made it through to the live shows as one of the three female singers selected by mentor Contostavlos. In week 4, Spraggan was ill so she automatically got through to week 5. On 3 November, Spraggan decided to leave the competition because she felt that it wouldn't be fair to get another free pass to the next round, as she was still too ill to compete.
Lucy Spraggan announced her signing to Record Label Columbia Records in March 2013. Her debut studio album Join the Club was released on 7 October.
About the album Spraggan said "I wanted to put my own take on events that happen to everyone by telling these stories. I have been writing this album for as long as I can remember and I hope people will be able to relate." The lead single Lighthouse was released 14 July. About the single Spraggan explains 'Whenever I'd run out of money or get on the wrong bus, I'd see a lighthouse and things would start to getting better'. Spraggan confirmed the second single lifted from the album would be "Last Night (Beer Fear)" was released on 30 September.
Spraggan announced a headline UK and Ireland tour in support of the album which starts at Margate Winter Gardens on 21 October and concludes at The Academy in Dublin on 16 November. November 2014 Spraggan showcased new music she'd been working on since The X Factor.
On 17th January via Facebook, she announced the title of her sophomore album entitled We Are, which was released on 4th May 2015, and the first single "Unsinkable" released on 12th March 2015. Following the album's release, Spraggan embarked on The Unsinkable Tour. In 2015, Spraggan wrote and sang the "catchy" lyrics for the TV advert for online fashion store Simplybeyou. Later in 2015, Spraggan was signed to CTRL Records. On 3rd February 2016, Lucy Spraggan announced, via social media, that her new EP would be called Home and due to be released on February 9th. The EP contained 3 new songs called Home, Yes, This One's For You and Skylights.
It also included a new version of Tea and Toast which explained the story behind the song. On 9th November 2016, Spraggan announced her fourth album I Hope You Don't Mind Me Writing, which was released on 27th January 2017. On December 8th 2016 the video for the first single from the album Modern Day Frankenstein became available to view online with the preorder for the album following December 10th 2016.
Spraggan announced a headline European tour to promote her new album, I Hope You Don't Mind Me Writing, starting at The Waterfront, Norwich on 1 March and concluding at The Gruner Salon, Berlin on 28 March 2017. The tour consisted of 18 dates in total. Summer festival highlights for Spraggan included performances at Hope & Glory (Wonders Of The Age Stage), Isle Of Wight (Big Top Stage) and Glastonbury (Acoustic Stage).
On 19th May 2017, Spraggan announced via her social media pages that she was going to embark on a 31 date UK tour throughout September and October of that year.