Universal signs YouTube star Lele Pons to global recordings deal

Universal Music Group has signed online video star Eleonora ‘Lele’ Pons to a worldwide recordings deal.

A comedian, actress, director and music artist, Pons is billed as ‘the world’s leading Latina digital entertainer’. She has over 10m subscribers on YouTube, where she racks up more than 110m monthly views.

Her deal with Universal has arrived via 10.22pm, the UMG subsidiary set up by former Sony exec Celine Joshua to sign artists, social media influencers and digital media creators with a focus on creating multimedia content.

UMG and 10:22pm will work with Shots Studios, which also represents Pons as a production and management company, to accelerate her major-label recording career.

(10.22pm’s first signing, announced in May, was Californian DJ/producer and social media influencer Chantel Jeffries.)

This Friday, August 17 will see Lele Pons’ first release under the new partnership, with her solo single Celoso (Jealousy) which UMG says will see support from all major streaming platforms.

The release of Celoso follows on the success of Pons’ first music release Dicen, a duet released earlier this summer with Transcend.ent / Universal Music Latino artist Matt Hunter.

Dicen has since surpassed 100 million views on YouTube, achieved Platinum certification through the Recording Industry Association of America’s Latin Program, notched slots on Spotify’s Top-3 Latin music playlists, and was spotlighted by Rolling Stone as a prime example of a digital star’s entry into music.

Lele Pons commented, “Music has always meant so much to me and this opportunity can help me push myself to take the next step as an artist. I feel great about joining the Universal Music family because they understand what I want to do musically and creatively. I’m so excited to be going on this musical journey with Universal’s support on my side.”

“Lele is the modern definition of a triple threat,” said Celine Joshua. “She is a global entertainer who attracts tens of millions of viewers through digital screens.

“Lele is a global entertainer who attracts tens of millions of viewers through digital screens.”

Celine Joshua, UMG

“For anyone who has followed Lele’s career, music and dance are at the core of her storytelling and I’m honored to work alongside John and Sam Shahidi to expand her already passionate fanbase through music, premium content and consumer products.

“I’d like to thank Lele, John, Sam, and the entire Shot Studios family for the opportunity to bring exciting new experiences to Lele’s fans around the world.”

“We are very excited to be able to work with Lele and her team, in addition to making this alliance with 10:22 pm,” said Alejandro Duque, General Manager of Universal Music Latino, Machete Music and Capitol Latin. “We are sure this will be yet another step forward in her already incredibly successful career.”

“Lele is a Swiss army knife of entertainment,” said Sam Shahidi, co-founder of Shots Studios, the production and management company. “She is an amazing actor, director, writer, dancer, singer. All of us at Shots Studios are excited about the partnership with Celine Joshua, 10:22 pm, and the entire UMG family on making music the next chapter of Lele’s career.”

“The teams at UMG and 10:22pm have been great to work with,” said Shots Studios co-founder John Shahidi. “They understand Lele’s vision of music and content, so it’s become a great fit and another great way to take her career to another level.”

Pons’ lyric video for J Balvin & Anitta’s “Downtown” has attracted over 200 million views and she made a notable appearance in Camila Cabello’s smash hit video for “Havana.”

A Latin-Italian native of Venezuela who moved to Miami as a young child, Pons has been named one of the “30 Most Influential People on the Internet” by TIME.

[Pictured L-R: Celine Joshua of 10:22 pm/UMG, John & Sam Shahidi of Shots Studios, and Lele Pons. Credit: Logan Kunde]Music Business Worldwide

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