Latin Spotlight:Leonardo

2006 Dove Award winner, Leonardo Villanueva, who resides in Central Florida, will be present at this year’s Expolit in Miami. The bilingual singer-songwriter will be making the rounds, meeting fans and the Media on Saturday, May 20th from 9am-9pm.
After soaring to the top of the Latin Christian Music charts with his radio hits “Predica Sin Hablar” and “Su Amor Dijo No”, his self-titled cd on Lamon Records, Leonardo, was proclaimed “Spanish Language Album of the Year” at the 2006 GMA Music Awards, which took place last April 5th at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee.
Leonardo, never imagined as a child that he would one day be on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House receiving a Dove Award. In fact, he never planned to be a musician at all.
As little boy in his native land of Puerto Rico, Leonardo would refuse to go to his weekly piano lesson and even hide from his teacher. He didn’t realize that the very music he tried to escape, would one day serve him as a vehicle to reach thousands of people around the world.
Now all grown up and drawing from both his Puerto Rican and Colombian heritage, this dynamic singer-songwriter uplifts and inspires Spanish and English speaking audiences equally. The passion and intensity flowing through his veins is clearly evidenced in his music.
Throughout his continued rise in the music industry, Leonardo has toured the United States and Puerto Rico and has participated in concerts with artists of great stature such as Steven Curtis Chapman, Freddie Colloca, Julissa, Vicente Montano, Rene Gonzalez and world renowned evangelist Yiye Avila, among others. In addition, he has collaborated in musical presentations with Disney World and Universal Studios and has appeared on CTN (Christian Television Network).
2004 welcomed his new CD self-titled, LEONARDO. This recording project was realized by legendary producer, Isaac Hernandez, winner of the Dove Award for his production with Sandy Patti. Leonardo comments: “The songs contained in this CD are the fruit of my experiences on the road of life, both triumphs and defeats, reflecting the convictions that they brought. I hope that it serves as a source of encouragement, inspiration and challenge to the listener and that it brings the listener closer to God.”
In late 2005, Leonardo signs a 2 year worldwide distribution deal with Lamon Records. Dave Moody, president of Lamon Records, states: “Lamon Records is very excited to sign bilingual recording artist, Leonardo, to our label family. Leonardo and his music has already built a solid foundation of support from fans and ministries around the world and we hope to build on that in the future. His message is inspirational and uplifting, and his debut album “Leonardo” is moving from the first track to the last. Leonardo is a name to certainly watch in Christian music.” (www.lamonrecords.com)
This former local church Music Minister and Worship Leader has occupied select spots on TOP 10 and TOP 20 Radio lists both nationally and internationally. Now, he prepares to release his first English album, produced by Eulises Canada (2005 Dove Award winner), who also worked for many years with Bill Gaither and his Homecoming tours. Leonardo comments: “I’ve included my own renditions of ‘Lamb of God’ and ‘I Bowed on my Knees and Cried Holy’, which are requested of me again and again in live concerts. Something very special always happens when I sit at the piano and lead the congregations or audiences in a time of worship. God just moves in the hearts of people in a special way. I may be labeled a ‘soloist’, but deep inside, I’ll always be a worship leader.”
Leo, as his family and close friends call him, holds a music degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa where he resides with his wife Doreen, and daughter Melody, and where they all serve at Idlewild Baptist Church.
For more information on the ministry of Leonardo visit: www.LeonardoOnline.com

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