9 Juicy Facts About Leighton Meester

Here’s the dish on your fave Gossip Girl and Cosmo’s January 2010 cover girl.

1. Leighton Meester had to dye her blond hair to look the part of a brunette before she was cast as Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl. "That's a big deal but I'm glad I did!" she told People.com.

2. Leighton made her screen debut in 1999, when she played a guest role in Law & Order. Watch young Leighton display her early acting chops in this clip.

3. FHM Online hailed Leighton the Hottest Star for Fall 2008, beating Heroes' Hayden Pantierre and Californication's Madeline Zima for the top spot. Leighton was also Number 92 in the international version of FHM's Sexiest Women in the World in 2009.

4. Gossip Girl's resident bitch has an activist streak, as she fights abuse and violence by supporting STAND! Against Domestic Violence. In fact, she even donated her black Stuart Weitzman shoes for a fund-raising event in Union Square Park, New York City that will benefit people affected by domestic violence, The Insider reports.

5. Yes, we love her acting, but we can't help but love this aspiring pop diva's songs, too! Her eponymous debut album is set to be released early this year, while its lead single, "Somebody To Love," featuring Robin Thicke, is already out. Watch its sexy music video here.

6. Before news of her new album even broke, Leighton was already featured in American pop-punk band Cobra Starship's fun single "Good Girls Go Bad." Yup, that's the same song that our Cosmo Men 2009 cover boy Gerald Anderson strutted down the ramp to at the 2009 Cosmo Bachelor Bash.

7. Speaking of Leighton's singing chops, did you know she is currently getting tips from Cyndi Lauper? Leighton reveals to People.com that the greatest advice she received from the music legend is to "Never sell your publishing."

8. Aside from the one for Cosmopolitan, Leighton's notable magazine covers include those for Glamour UK (December 2009), Harper's Bazaar (September 2009), and Seventeen (March 2009).

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