Gossip Girl actress Leighton Meester hasn't yet released her Universal Republic debut. But it appears the TV star is well on her way to silencing naysayers about her fledgling singing career.
Meester released her first single -- a retro dance-pop track, Somebody to Love -- to digital retailers October 14 after premiering it on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM Los Angeles morning show. Featuring R&B singer Robin Thicke, the song is off to a solid start with 102 spins on top 40 radio and 7,000 digital tracks sold through the week ending October 18, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
I have a crazy, strange life and I work a lot, so the song is about me not getting any, Meester says. I like that it's electronic but still lyrically driven. It's a very sexy track, and Robin really brought something different to it.
Somebody to Love follows Good Girls Go Bad, Meester's collaboration with Cobra Starship that reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 during the summer.
It isn't yet finished, but Meester's debut album is tentatively slated for late 2009 or early 2010. She's spent most of the year juggling studio sessions with taping two feature films and the CW network's Gossip Girl. About 25 songs have been completed, however, and collaborators include producer Mike Caren on Somebody to Love, Stuart Price on I Feel Everything and J.R. Rotem on Lights Out. Meester also plans to showcase her vocals on more downtempo tracks like Your Lies Are the Truth.
Meester remains focused on channeling her singing idols -- from Madonna and Debbie Harry to Santigold and Lykke Li -- and taking the time to get her solo material just right. I never wanted to pay attention to the business side of acting, and it's the same with music, she says. I love being creative. As I come up with more stuff, I keep topping myself ... and this is the perfect time for me to do it.