Leila Cobo

Leila Cobo

One of the world’s leading experts in Latin music, Leila is known for her in-depth interviews with stars like Shakira, Maluma, Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee, Jennifer Lopez and Rosalía. As Billboard’s VP of Latin music, she is the organizer and host of Billboard's annual Latin Music Week, the largest and longest running gathering of Latin music stars and professionals in the world, and is perhaps the first U.S.-based journalist to prominently cover Latin music on a daily basis. Her writing and coverage across many mediums has been instrumental in transforming the coverage and perception of Latin music in the United States and the world. Leila's latest book, Decoding Despacito: An Oral History of Latin Music (Penguin Random House), isa reflection of her work in music and was featured in the New York Times’ Summer reading list. A former concert pianist who has blended her love for music and writing, Leila is a Fulbright scholar is a native of Cali, Colombia, the setting of her debut novel, "Tell Me Something True." She has degrees in journalism from Bogotá’s Universidad Javeriana and in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music and a master’s in communication management from The Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. Prior to launching her career in journalism, she concertized extensively in her native Colombia, performing with Colombia’s Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica del Valle and Orquesta Sinfónica de Antioquia among others. She has published two award-winning novels with Grand Central Publishing/Hatchette: Tell Me Something True for which she won the National Latino Book Award and The Second Time We Met, which won the Latino Book Award for Best Popular Fiction. Leila’s biography on Jenni Rivera published by Penguin in English and Spanish, was the top-selling Spanish language book in the United States for more than two months. Also on Penguin, Ms. Cobo published Apunta A las Estrellas, a practical and inspirational guide to people who seek a career in the music industry. In 2017, she co-wrote Ednita Nazario’s memoir, Una Vida. Among many accolades, Leila received the 2020 “Wonder Women of Latin Music” award from the LAMC; the “Music Industry Trailblazer” award from the TJ Martell foundation in 2019: and was named an inaugural “Leading Latin Lady” by the Latin Grammys in 2017. Last year, she was one of Hola! Magazine’s 50 Most Influential Women. She was also named Mujer Imagen by Imagen Magazine and one of the top 25 Latin Women in Media by Latina Magazine. She lives in Key Biscayne, Fl. with her husband and children.
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