- Mona Lisa (singer)
Mona Lisa Born November 20, 1979 Origin Yonkers, New York, United States Genres R&B, soul, hip-hop soul Occupations Singer-songwriter, actress Instruments keyboards, piano, guitar Years active 1988–present Labels Island Records
Kimberly Ledbetter, known by her professional stage name, Mona Lisa, (born November 20, 1979) is an American pop and R&B singer-songwriter, actress, model and record producer. She is best known for her debut single "Can't Be Wasting My Time" featuring the Hip-Hop group Lost Boyz, which was featured on the "Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood" soundtrack as well as her debut album 11-20-79. She also is known for her smash hit " Just Wanna Please You" featuring rapper Jadakiss.
Mona Lisa was born in Union, South Carolina, later relocating to Yonkers, NY. Her exotic looks are from her African American/Native American mother and her Caucasian father. A musical prodigy, Mona began singing in church at the age of 7. She joined Ujamma Dance Theatre of Harlem, NY at 10, and began performing for sold out audiences. After performing and winning talent competitions across the state, at 12 years old she performed at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NY. Singing "Home" by Stephanie Mills, she received a standing ovation from the notorious audience. Money was thrown to her onstage from the audience members, a gesture that had not been performed for years. By 13, Mona's talent caught the attention of world renowned producer Narada Michael Walden. Narada, the producer who created hits and helped shape the careers of such artists as Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin to name a few, recognized Mona's unbelievable talent, and took her under his wing. The time spent and the teachings from the critically acclaimed producer molded Mona into the artist and entertainer that she is today. She later began touring overseas.
At 15, she signed to Island Black Music, a subsidiary of Island Records from 1995–1998 and Def Soul, a subsidiary of Def Jam Records from 1998-1999. She met Hiraim Hicks, CEO of Island Black Music, and sung " His Eye Is On the Sparrow" acapella. She was signed on the spot. By her sixteenth birthday she had already penned and vocally arranged half of her debut album, 11-20-79, collaborated and written with the industries top producers and artists, and became a fixture on music television and radio airwaves.
In 1995, her debut single, "Can't Be Wasting My Time" was released on the Don't Be a Menace... soundtrack. Following the success of the single (and her appearance on another soundtrack cut,she penned the chorus to "Time to Shine" with Lil' Kim), her debut album 11-20-79 (a reference to her birth date) was released, alongside a follow-up single, "You Said". Mona guest-starred on the hit Nickelodeon show Kenan & Kel. Mona also thrived in her modeling career, gracing the pages of magazines worldwide.
With the Island Black Music Records imprint being dissolved into Def Soul/Island Def Jam, their roster (including Mona, Case, Kelly Price, Montell Jordan, Dru Hill and others) followed suit, and began working on new projects. Mona continued to work behind the scenes, writing, and concentrating on her schoolwork. Education was always important to her, and in 1998 she graduated with a 4.0 average.
With her departure from the label in 2000, at the age of 20, Mona decided to continue with her education. With dreams of running her own business. Mona has always remained in the entertainment industry, working behind the scenes, writing, producing, and splitting her time between LA and NY working on a variety of projects.
- 1996: 11-20-79
- 1998: Gett'n It On (Unreleased)
- 1996 - "Can't Be Wasting My Time" (featuring The Lost Boyz)
- 1996 - "You Said"
- 1997 - "Just Wanna Please U" (Stevie J. Remix) (featuring The LOX)
- 1997 - "Somehow" (with Voices of Theory & Kurupt)
- 1998 - "Gettin" It On" (from Woo)
- 1998 - "Peach"
Year Song Director 1995 "Can't Be Wasting My Time (One Dread One Ball Head Version featuring Lost Boyz)" Brian Luvar 1996 "Time To Shine" (Lil' Kim featuring Mona Lisa) Lance "Un" Rivera 1996 "You Said" Paul Hunter 1997 "Just Wanna Please U (Stevie J. Version featuring The LOX)" Diane Martel 1997 "Somehow" (Voices of Theory featuring Mona Lisa & Kurupt) - 1998 "Peach" Ron Norsworthy
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