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León, Melina

Born on 12 July, 1973 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, Melina Léon is one of the more popular of the new group of female merengue singers in the Latin music world, joining other notable stars such as Milly Quezada from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Ricans, Olga Tañon, Gisselle and Jessica Cristina.

Her singing career started quite early with ballads and pop music; competing in contests and performing in music festivals. By the time she was 15, she had joined a band Las Cheris and not long after, a female band named Rubí.

But it was not until 1997 when she released her first solo album: Mujeres Liberadas on the Tropix label. The debut recording consisted mostly of merengue tracks, such as “Devuelveme la llave”, “Viaje al cielo” and “Espero”; all high energy dance numbers, but also had a lovely ballad entitled “Te crucifico o te santifico”.

Léon released her second album, Con Los Pies Sobre La Tierra the following year. The recording was not only won a Golden Disc award, but perhaps more importantly, showed more polish and maturity, with a title that reflected on the artist as a person.

But her efforts brought her solid success with her third album, Baño de Luna on the Sony label in 2000. It was a solid hit with great songs such as the title track, Baño de Luna, but featured many other merengue numbers and a couple of ballads, by talented songwriters such as Ernesto Patiño, Omar Alfanno, Marisela Verena and Alejandro Jaen. This recording helped her win the Tu Música award for Best Female Merengue Record that year. She even shared the stage with merengue superstar Millie Quezada during the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Puerto Rico Senate and debuted in the “Romance del Cumbanchero” musical special that was part of extremely popular series by the Banco Popular.

León released Corazon de Mujer in 2001. The album includes several charming, if not beautiful ballads, proving that she is a quality singer and not jusy a niche merengue artist. But the record does not omit the merengue that brought her fame. Her latest release, in 2003, was Romantica y Sensual on the Sony International label.

Discography

Romantica & Sensual (2003)

Serie Azul Tropical (2003)

Corazon de Mujer (2001)

Bano de Luna (2000)

Con los Pies Sobre la Tierra (1998)

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