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Leslie Grace: Up Close With the Blazing Hot Bachata Singer
Join us July 16 at 10 a.m. ET for a live Q&A with Grace on our Billboard Latin Facebook page.
Although several up-and-coming acts have attempted to break into Latin tropical music in recent years, none have had the looks and chops of Leslie Grace.
Born in the Bronx to Dominican parents and raised in Davie, Florida, the now 20-year-old Grace began singing in church as a child and recorded one album independently until a family friend handed her CD to Latin producer Sergio George.
Leslie Grace: Vital Info
|Best Performing Album||2013’s Leslie Grace debuted at No. 3 on Top Latin Albums and No. 2 on Tropical Albums.|
|Highest Charting Single||“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” peaked at No. 3 on Hot Latin Songs|
Social Media Highlight
|Grace's “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” video received 11.5 million views on YouTube.|
Fun Fact: Grace was a Christian singer before venturing into bachata.
“It took me like a month to listen to it, and when I finally did, I signed her,” says George.
Grace was only 17 at the time, and George decided to have her sing bachata; not only was the Dominican music all the rage thanks to Aventura and Romeo Santos, but Prince Royce, another act then signed to George, had already had chart success with an R&B-infused bachata version of "Stand By Me." Grace had an edge, thought George: There were no women singing bachata, she was young, she was clean-cut, she was bilingual and she had a killer voice. To cap it all, Grace was tall and beautiful, but still managed to convey sweetness and intelligence. In a world of sexualized young singers, she stood out.
The trick was choosing a single that somehow made sense with all her attributes. They settled on a bilingual, bachata version of the 1961 Shirelles' hit “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.”
Grace’s version of the classic hit, which, accompanied by a black and white video that recalled the original, struck a chord. The song would go on to top the Billboard Tropical Airplay chart and reach No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs, while Grace’s eponymous debut, released on June 25, 2013, peaked at No. 3 on the Top Latin Albums chart.
Now signed to Sony Music U.S. Latin, Grace just released her sophomore set, an EP titled Lloviendo Estrellas that Grace describes as “bachata pop.”
“It’s more focused,” she says. “My first album was more discovery. This one is infused with my roots, which are bachata. But there’s R&B, there’s drums in there, you’ll hear electric guitar -- things you typically don’t hear in bachata. It’s those two worlds I come from.”
Want to get closer to Leslie Grace? Join us on July 16 at 10 a.m. ET for a live Q&A with Grace on our Billboard Latin Facebook page.