Leslie Hall in 2008
|Birth name||Leslie Merritt Hall|
November 15, 1981 |
Ames, Iowa, United States
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, producer, director, actress|
Leslie Merritt Hall (born November 15, 1981) is an American satirical rap artist and front-woman for the band Leslie and the LY's. She also operates a "gem sweater museum". She is best known for the YouTube hits like How We Go Out and Tight Pants/Body Rolls.
Hall began collecting gem sweaters in 2000 and, with the help of her fans, has since amassed over 400 different sweaters. Hall modeled these sweaters on the website gemsweater.com, garnering significant Internet traffic such that she was asked to appear on one of the final episodes of Unscrewed with Martin Sargent. In her 2004 TechTV interview, she stated that "about 65% of the comments" from the gemsweater.com message boards were related to a particular outfit of hers that included gold pants. She decided to form a band, Leslie and the LY's, with former classmates, capitalizing on the popularity of her gem-laden sweaters and gold pants. In 2005, her band released their first album, Gold Pants.
In 2006, Hall followed up with a second self-released solo record, Door Man's Daughter, and toured the globe in support of it. She was named one of the "40 Greatest Internet Superstars" by VH1. Later in 2006, she appeared with fellow Internet personalities Jay Maynard, also known as "Tron Guy", and Randy Constan, a Peter Pan impersonator, to take a stand in the "battle over Internet freedom" in favor of network neutrality.
In 2007, she teamed up with Dungeon Majesty to create the video "Willow Don't Cry".
In 2008, she appeared with Tay Zonday in a commercial for Firefox web browser, singing a song titled "Firefox Users Against Boredom", a parody of We Are The World. Leslie toured in support of her 2008 album, ceWEBrity. She released a music video (and single) called "Zombie Killer" featuring Elvira, Mistress of the Dark on guest vocals, with cameos by Mark Borchardt and Mike Schank of American Movie fame.
Leslie's newest songs, as of 2009 were "Craft Talk" and "Tight Pants/Body Rolls". The music video for "Tight Pants/Body Rolls" premiered January 17, 2009 at her show in Ames but has since been released alongside "Gravel In My Shoe". Her 2010 album, "Back2Back Palz", features these two singles, as well as 11 country music inspired songs.
On September 27, 2007, Hall appeared on the Nickelodeon children's show Yo Gabba Gabba!, to perform in the "Dancey Dance" segment of an episode titled "Scary". She appeared again on October 21, 2008 in the season two episode titled "Differences". In October 2010, she began making guest appearances with the Yo Gabba Gabba! live touring act.
In 2013, Hall appeared in the episode "Summer Camp!" of The Hub series The Aquabats! Super Show!, a superhero-themed comedy from the creators of Yo Gabba Gabba!, where she played a gem sweater-wearing camp counselor named Jewel, who happens to be a shapeshifting werebeast.
Hall first began displaying herself in "strangely glamorous and unflattering ways" while attending Ames High School in Iowa. During her senior year, she entered the homecoming parade, as part of a prom queen campaign, donning a sparkling pink Goodwill gown, neck brace, and a tiara (worn by her mother who was crowned Miss Auburn, Nebraska in 1970). The next day, her effort made the front page of the local newspaper. Her campaign was a success as she was later crowned queen. After graduating from high school, Hall moved to Boston, Massachusetts to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts for four years and graduated in May 2005. Hall has an older brother who goes by the pseudonym "Arecee" who helps produce some of Leslie's records and does his own hip hop music.
- Gold Pants (2005)
- includes: Ring A Ding-Ding, Gold Pants, Tune in Tokyo, Danger Puss, Dream a Dream, Danga Stranga, Master of the Mic, Rolling With the Homies, Beware of beats, UFO Jams, Gem Sweater, Rapper's Destiny, Beat Box Radio, Beef Humper's Sweater Girl
- Door Man's Daughter (2006)
- includes: Meet The Keeper Intro, Strike Gold, Zombie Killer, Shazam I'm Glamorous, Gem Sweater Revisited, Can't Stop The Gems (Jams), Take Yo Picture, Shake Your Hips, Hard & Funky, Beat-Dazzler, Holla Back Ames, Mother Gem Lullaby featuring Arecee
- ceWEBrity (2008)
- includes: How We Go Out, Drop A Gem, Blame The Booty, Test 10 Guys, Spider Eyes, Keep It Real, Zombie Killer featuring Elvira, Midwest Diva, Party Dip, Real Gold and Glamorous
- Back 2 Back Palz (2010):
- includes: Craft Talk, Tight Pants / Body Rolls, Crystal Diamond Women Flow, Gravel In My Shoe, Sew What, Cat Dancer, Braid My Hair, Churn The Butter, Rebuilt My House, Dust Lover, Chop Chop Chop, Man-Illa Envelope, Moving Out of Iowa, Blame the Booty Acoustic, Water Water Water-World
- Destination Friendship (2011):
- includes: Hydrate Jirate, Power Cuddle, Crazy Now, Your Not Taken?, Here To Win, Lonely Waltz, What We're Eating, No Pants Policy, Purchase One, Tight Pants / Body Rolls Utopia Park Remix, Blame the Booty Titus Jones Remix
- "Songs In The Key of Gold [Remix Album with Titus Jones]" (2013)
- includes: Gold Pants, Blame the Booty, Tight Pants/Body Rolls, Neon Blood [New Song], Shazam, I'm Glamorous, Craft Talk, How We Go Out, No Pants Policy, Number 1 Cat In America [New Song], Hydrate Jirate, Happy Birthday [New Song], You're Not Taken?, Power Cuddle, Gem Sweater, Shake Your Hips, Zombie Killer, Of Course You Wear Glasses [New Song], Gem Sweater Lullaby
- Gold Pants - Split 45 (2005)
- Gold Pants/Door Man's Daughter - Double Album (2008)
- Zombie Killer - 45 (2008)
- Erbentraut, Joe (August 17, 2011). "My Chicago: Leslie Hall, Iowa's Own Midwest Diva". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Wortham, Jenna (November 30, 2007). "YouTube Gem Leslie Hall Bedazzles the Masses". Wired.com. Archived from the original on April 18, 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Andres, Tommy (September 18, 2009). "Quirky Iowa rapper gaining ce-Web-rity status". CNN Entertainment. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Claire (June 15, 2011). "Leslie Hall – patron rock star of the crafters". Absolutely Small. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Cohen, Alex (March 13, 2008). "Taking Over the World One Sweater at a Time". NPR Music. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- "Leslie & The LY's: Gold Pants". cdbaby.com. Retrieved 2006-08-21.
- Mike A. (February 20, 2010). "The Art of Being Glamorous With: Leslie Hall". BrightestYoungThings. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- "Fighting for Net Neutrality". wearetheweb.org. Retrieved 2006-08-27.
- Riley, Duncan (January 7, 2008). "Exclusive: Mozilla Secretly Launches A Viral Campaign For Firefox". TechCrunch.
- Hall, Leslie (February 16, 2008). "Zombie Killer, featuring guest vocals from Elvira". YouTube.
- Hall, Leslie (March 3, 2009). "Craft Talk". YouTube.
- Hall, Leslie (February 1, 2010). "Tight Pants / Body Rolls". YouTube.
- Hall, Leslie (February 1, 2010). "Gravel In My Shoe - BACK 2 BACK PALZ". YouTube.
- "Total Request Live episode dated 25 April 2007". IMDB. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
- "Yo Gabba Gabba! Scary (TV episode 2007)". IMDB. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
- "Yo Gabba Gabba! Differences (TV episode 2008)". IMDB. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
- Chase, Katie Johnson (May 24, 2005). "Bedazzled! Leslie Hall's collection of glittery sweaters is bold and bizarre -- just like the artist herself". Boston.com. Archived from the original on May 28, 2005. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Dittmer, Ryne (January 14, 2009). "Gem Jammin'". IowaStateDaily.com. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Hefty Hideaway Archived November 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Leslie Hall, gemsweater.com", Unscrewed with Martin Sargent, TechTV. 2004.
- Sellards, Jason. "Beautiful People 2006: Leslie Hall". Papermag. April 4, 2006.[dead link]
- Marusa, Danielle. "Do the right bling: Leslie Hall's gem sweaters are truly outrageous". Bust Magazine. February–March 2006. (scan)
- Riggs, Jonathan. "Beat Dazzler". Instinct Magazine. January 2006. (scan)
- Chase, Katie Johnston. "Bedazzled! Leslie Hall's collection of glittery sweaters is bold and bizarre -- just like the artist herself". The Boston Globe. May 24, 2005.
- Babayan, Siran. "Shine On You Crazy, Gem Sweater". LA Weekly. September 13, 2006.
- VH1 Television Show. ""40 Greatest Internet Superstars - #20 Leslie Hall". VH1. March 2007.
- Hoff, A. Ashley. "Leslie Hall & The World of Internet Camp". The Advocate. March 19, 2007.
- Cohen, Alex. "Taking Over The World One Sweater At A Time". NPR. March 13, 2008.