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MIAMI (Billboard) - With a mix of pop, vallenato accordion and the husky voice of an ingenue, Colombian singer Fanny Lu found success in 2006 with her catchy single "No Te Pido Que Me Mandes Flores."
The track, from her debut album, "Lagrimas Calidas," spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the airplay charts of Fanny Lu's native Colombia and opened the door for Universal Music Latino to release the album in the United States.
The follow-up, "Dos," is due December 8 in Colombia and December 16 in the United States, with plans to release the record in the rest of Latin America in early 2009.
The first single, "Tu No Eres Para Mi," has spent nine weeks at No. 1 on Colombian radio.
"It's beautiful to see history repeat itself -- to get a blessing from your own country," says Fanny Lu, who now lives in Miami. "What stands out about the song is that the lyrics are very colloquial and that everybody speaks that way."
"Tu No Eres," which is No. 15 on Billboard's Latin Pop Songs chart, is uptempo, almost bubble-gum pop. Stateside, the song will receive exposure through its use in a three-month Telemundo campaign as the theme for the reality show "12 Corazones."
The video for the track, which centers on a sweet-talking two-timer who gets his comeuppance, features Wilmer Valderrama from "That '70s Show" as the ex-boyfriend.
If it all sounds a bit charmed, it is. Fanny Lu's foray into music is relatively recent. Although she'd always aspired to sing professionally, she studied industrial engineering and then had a career as a TV host and actress before taking the plunge and recording an album with producer friends Andres Munera and Jose Gaviria.
"Lagrimas" is mostly a mix of tropical and pop sounds -- what is known in Colombia as "tropi-pop." The sound of "Dos" vacillates between Fanny Lu's original tropi-pop and more mainstream pop.
"We were looking for a fusion of sounds," says Fanny Lu, who co-produced the album with Munera and Gaviria. She also co-wrote many of the tracks, including one that she dedicated to her late father, "Un Minuto Mas," a duet with Noel Schajris, formerly of Mexican duo Sin Bandera.
"I didn't limit myself. I gave myself the luxury of exploring, because it was important not to repeat what I'd done. For example, many times, instead of accordions, we experimented with winds. This album is like a walk along all those genres I love, and all the songs have their own palate and color."
Beyond the music, Fanny Lu has benefited from her wholesome good looks. She is in talks with Converse for a sponsorship in Latin America and landed a deal with Caress to be the spokeswoman for its Brazilian Exotic Oil Infusion Body Wash in the Latin market (the same product promoted by the Pussycat Dolls' Nicole Scherzinger).