Although initially known for her acting roles (most notably her portrayal of Blaire Waldorf, the semi-villainous heroine of Gossip Girl), Leighton Meester branched into music during the show's second season.
Citing a childhood passion for music, she signed with Universal Records in 2009 and made her official debut several months later, contributing guest vocals to Cobra Starship's "Good Girls Go Bad." The song became Cobra Starship's biggest hit, cracking the Top Ten that summer and positioning Meester as pop's newest vixen. She continued working on her debut album throughout the latter half of 2009. That 2009 album never materialized but several singles surfaced, including a Robin Thicke duet called "Somebody to Love" and "Your Love's a Drug," both of which were released as digital singles. Eventually, Meester shifted direction away from the dance-oriented music she had been making in the late 2000s. The first sign of this was her role in the 2010 film Country Strong, where she played a country singer. Next, she formed an allegiance with a modern folk-rock band called Check in the Dark, playing a brief tour with the group and recording a set of demos. The fruits of this transition toward singer/songwriter-hood were apparent on her 2014 debut album Heartstrings. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi