'Gossip Girl' Leighton Meester signs record deal


NEW YORK -- Leighton Meester, star of the CW Network's teen drama "Gossip Girl," has signed a deal with Universal Republic through Time-Act Music to release her debut album in the fall. The 23-year-old actress began recording material -- described as having an "electro-pop edge" -- for the project in March and has clocked studio time with producers Polow Da Don (Usher, Fergie), Harvey Mason, Jr. (Justin Timberlake, Pink) and Spencer Nezey (Jupiter Rising).

"I'm thrilled to be welcomed into the Universal Republic fold," said Meester in a statement. "Their reputation for nurturing artists combined with a willingness to break new ground makes it the ultimate environment for me to enjoy making music and explore my own creative boundaries."

"Leighton Meester's tremendous presence and spirited approach to her musical artistry is a perfect fit with her new Universal Republic home as we introduce current and new fans to this unique facet of her immense talent," added Monte Lipman, President and CEO of Universal Republic Records.

In addition to her role on "Gossip Girl," Meester starred in 2007's "Drive Thru" and performed a duet with Tony Bennett during a 2008 return guest appearance on HBO's "Entourage." She is lined up for two films in 2010: Sony Screen Gems' "The Roommate," a suspense thriller directed by Christian E. Christiansen, and 20th Century Fox's upcoming comedy, "Date Night."
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