Leila Cobo is a Colombian television show host, a novelist, a pianist, and a journalist. She is noted for her coverage of Latin music and for the past 12 years has been the executive director of Latin content and programming for Billboard. Cobo also contributes frequently to magazines like Latina and Poder and speaks frequently at conferences and universities around the world. Prior to Billboard, she was the pop music critic for the Miami Herald. Cobo has written two novels and is currently working on two books on the Latin music industry for Penguin books.
Cobo was born in Cali, Colombia. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Bogota's Javeriana University. She got her second degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music in New York and concertized extensively for several years in her native country, performing as a soloist with Colombia's Symphony Orchestra (Orquesta Sinfonica de Colombia), Orquesta Sinfonica de Antioquia in Medellin and Orquesta Sinfonica del Valle in Cali. She was also featured multiple times in Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango's concert series, performing as a soloist and in chamber groups. Cobo later obtained a Fulbright Scholarship and obtained a degree in Communication management from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.
Career at Billboard
Cobo serves as Executive Editor for Latin Content and Programming for Billboard in charge of overseeing the brand's Latin music coverage and programming. In her position, she is in charge of programming Billboard’s yearly Latin Music Conference & Awards, one of the Latin Music Industry’s biggest events, and hosts its “Q&A’s” with Latin music's stars. Cobo also coordinates the Billboard Mexican Music Awards and helped launch billboardenespanol.com, the brand's Spanish-language site. As an expert in Latin music, she has been a panelist in numerous conferences, including BAFIM in Buenos Aires, Vina del Mar in Chile, LAMC and the Winter Music conference, among many others.
Cobo published her first novel - Tell Me Something True on Grand Central Publishing (a division of Hatchette Book Group) in 2009. It received generally favorable reviews and Cobo was named a "New Voice" by Ingram Literary Magazine and her novel was named one of the Top 10 Hispanic books of the year by the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio  The novel achieved critical and commercial success. Tell Me Something True has since been released in 2 other languages, Italian and German.
Cobo's second novel titled, "The Second Time We Met," was released Feb. 29, 2012, also on Grand Central, receiving favorable reviews from AP and Reuter's among others. The book was nominated for a Latino Book Award in Best Popular Fiction.
Cobo's third book is a biography of the recently deceased Jenni Rivera. Titled "Jenni Rivera - La Increible Vida de una Mariposa Guerrera", the book was released March 20, 2013 on CA Press/Penguin and was the top-selling Spanish language book in the U.S.—following the Bible—for 10 weeks. It was the top-selling Spanish language biography in the U.S. for five straight weeks, according to Nielsen BookScan. The book was released in its English-language version April 23. In April 16, 2014, Cobo will release "Apunta a Las Estrellas" (Aim For the Stars), an inspirational guide for people seeking a career in music.
Cobo is also an author of the Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, and her work was featured in the book of essays “Quinceañera." 
Cobo has been a part of the Los Angeles Times staff, as well as the pop music critic for the Miami Herald. She also contributes frequently to other publications like Latina Magazine, and has written liner notes for albums by numerous Latin stars, including Ricky Martin, Shakira(Credits of Shakira album), Julio Iglesias and Selena . Cobo is currently working on a book on the Latin music industry that will be published by Penguin Books in 2013. On the social side, Cobo has collaborated with Grammy In The Schools and Teach for America, among other projects. She is also part of celebrity speaker network.
Awards & Honors
In March, 2014, Cobo was named Woman of the Year by Latino Show Magazine in New York. She's also been named one of 12 South Florida HIspanic Women of Distinction (2012) and in 2008 she was recognized as one of the Most Influential People in Latin music by magazines like Gatopardo, and Revista Fuchsia. That same year, Ocean Drive Magazine, named her one of its “Power Brokers”. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Nielsen President’s Award  for Excellence and the journalistic excellence award from Premios Orquidea, which is given to Colombians with an outstanding career abroad.
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