Nikki Leonti

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Nikki Leonti
Also known as Nikki Leonti Edgar
Born (1981-08-20) August 20, 1981 (age 37)
Origin California, United States
Genres Contemporary Christian, urban, R&B
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Instruments Voice
Years active 1998–present
Labels Pamplin, Reprise
Associated acts Nikki & Rich (with Rich Velonskis), Edgar

Nikki Leonti (born August 20, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, and half of the group, Nikki & Rich. Prior to her work in urban, R&B, and electronic dance music, Leonti recorded contemporary Christian music albums.

Music career[edit]

Nikki Leonti is a Singer/Songwriter based in Los Angeles, Ca. She has written songs for artists that include Robin Thicke, Jessie J, Candice Glover, Rebecca Ferguson (singer) and Ivy Quainoo.

She began singing at age five, as a church soloist in the Corona, California, Nondenominational Christianity church. At age 13, she made her first recording on a small local label.[1]

In 1998, Leonti recorded her debut full-length album, Shelter Me, which reached No. 179 on the Billboard 200, and No. 7 on the Contemporary Christian chart.[2] Her second album, Nikki Leonti was released in 2001. Both were produced by brothers Dino and John Elefante, and issued on the independent Christian label, Pamplin. Shortly after her 18th birthday, Leonti got pregnant out of wedlock and was shunned by the CCM community with many Christian music stations pulling off broadcasting of her records. She retired from the Christian music industry not long after.[3]

In 2006, Leonti was hired as a backup singer for Carrie Underwood, performing on tour and on various television shows. After 3 years with Carrie Underwood, Leonti began working with Rich Velonskis, forming the R&B group, Nikki & Rich, retro neo-soul duo.[1] Velonskis, also known as Rich Skillz, producer of various artists, including Ludacris, Lil' Kim, and Robin Thicke.[4] Nikki & Rich released their debut album, entitled Greatest Hits, on September 27, 2011, issued on the Reprise Records/Born Rich label. The duo has performed live on Ellen and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Together, they were named as one of the New York Post's "10 New Artists to Watch in 2010"[5] and "10 Artists to Know in 2011".[6] Nikki & Rich confirmed their split in January 2015.

Nikki lent her vocals to over 100 songs during 4 seasons of the Fox hit show, Glee.

In early 2015, Nikki announced that she had founded the band Edgar with her new husband Ryan Edgar, whom she married in November 2014. On June 7, 2016, she appeared alongside her husband Edgar and daughter Jaslyn as a trio on America's Got Talent, auditioning on episode 2 of season 11. They performed "I'll Stand by You".[3] The group progressed through the preliminary rounds and took one of 36 live performance show spots.[7]

Edgar moved to the semifinals on the AGT results show aired 24 August 2016.

Personal life[edit]

Born in California, her parents were evangelists.

Leonti was married in 1999 to Ryan Gingerich, lead guitarist of the Christian band, Scarecrow & Tinmen. They divorced in 2002, having become the parents of one daughter, Jaslyn, born in 2000. They later discovered the marriage was never legally documented. In 2004, she married Aaron Dame, giving birth to their son, Jordan, in 2004.

Nikki married Ryan Edgar, Texas singer and songwriter, on November 6, 2014. Ryan Edgar and Nikki had a daughter, Frankie, in 2015. In 2015, Ryan Gingerich signed over parental right of Jaslyn. Ryan Edgar adopted Jaslyn.[1]

Discography[edit]

Solo
  • 1996: Reach the World (Two Records)
  • 1998: Shelter Me (Pamplin)
  • 2000: Postcard From Mixaco: A Dance Re-MIX Fiesta (Pamplin)
  • 2001: Nikki Leonti (Pamplin)
  • 2017: Heartache Easy (FamJam)
Nikki & Rich
  • 2011: Greatest Hits... (Born Rich Inc)

Appearances on other recordings[edit]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Nikki Leonti Biography". TodaysChristianMusic.com. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  2. ^ "Nikki Leonti Music News & Info". Billboard.com. 1998-10-03. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  3. ^ a b "Exclusive Clip: Nikki & Rich Frontwoman Resurfaces on 'America's Got Talent'". 
  4. ^ "Soul Mates". LA Times Magazine. 2011-04-28. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  5. ^ "10 new artists to watch in 2010". Nypost.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  6. ^ "10 Artists to Know in 2011: New Music Musts". Nypost.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  7. ^ "America's Got Talent". America's Got Talent. 2016-07-12. Event occurs at 20:58. NBC. WGBA. 

External links[edit]