“The smooth prose and authentic Colombian settings provide a unique spin to familiar territory.” —Publishers Weekly on Tell Me Something True
A Fulbright scholar from Cali, Colombia, Leila Cobo is a novelist, pianist, TV host and executive Editor for Latin Content and Programming for Billboard Magazine. A charismatic force in the music industry, she has been often described as “the ultimate Latin music insider.” Under her tenure, Billboard has made unprecedented expansions in its coverage of Latin Music. For the first time in its more than 100-year history, the magazine has a complete weekly section dedicated solely to Latin music. Cobo also directs the yearly Billboard Latin Music Conference, the largest gathering of the Latin music industry in the U.S. At the conference, she hosts the exclusive “Q&A’s”, interviews with Latin music’s biggest stars, including Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Don Omar, Chayanne and Enrique Iglesias. Under her leadership, Billboard also launched its Spanish language website, Billboardenespanol.com.
Cobo is a host and executive producer of Estudio Billboard, the acclaimed TV show that airs weekly on the V-Me and internationally on Fox Life. The show features in-depth interviews with artists like Juanes, Maná, Juan Luis Guerra and Gloria Estefan among many others.
Considered one of the country’s leading experts in Latin music, Cobo is regularly interviewed and consulted by news outlets around the world. She was named one of the most influential people in Latin music in publications such as Gatopardo, Revista Fuchsia and Ocean Drive Magazine, which named her one of its “Power Brokers” in 2008. She also won the Nielsen President’s Award for Excellence, and in 2007, she was the recipient of the journalistic excellence award from Premios Orquidea, which honors Colombians abroad.
Cobo’s first novel, the critically acclaimed Tell Me Something True, is now in its third printing and has been published in Italian and German. Cobo’s second novel, The Second Time We Met, will be published in 2011. She is also one of the authors of the Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music and a guest writer on the anthology “Quinceañera.”
Prior to Billboard, Cobo wrote for the Los Angeles Times and was later the pop music critic at the Miami Herald. She has written liner notes for Ricky Martin, Shakira, Julio Iglesias and Selena among others, and collaborates closely with the projects Grammys in the Schools and Teach for America.
Cobo is genuinely a bilingual, bicultural success story, equally proficient in two languages and two worlds. She holds dual bachelor degrees in journalism (from Bogota’s Universidad Javeriana) and in piano performance (from Manhattan School of Music in New York). She performed extensively before getting her master’s degree in Communication management from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California.