Leroy Gómez is an American singer and songwriter best known for his work with Santa Esmeralda. Leroy Gómez was born in Wareham, Massachusetts of Cape Verdean descent. Learning how to sing and play the saxophone, Gómez started his own band at 14, and later joined Tavares, a local group of brothers who shared his Cape Verdean heritage, and with whom he would go on to tour North America and Europe. In Paris, Elton John invited him to play sax on his classic album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Amidst this success, Gómez decided to leave Tavares and remain in Europe, getting work as a session player in Paris. There he met Nicolas Skorsky and Jean Manuel de Scarano, songwriters who had launched their own label with the aim of producing artists who would record their compositions. Santa Esmeralda was born of their collaboration, and the album Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, with Gómez on lead vocals, debuted on the independent French label, Fauves Puma. A sudden huge success in Europe, the record was picked up for worldwide distribution by Casablanca Records of Los Angeles, the preeminent label of the Disco era. Essentially a studio act, Gómez was eager to perform, and a touring group was put together including a troupe of dancers, one of whom, by the name of Tequila, would appear on several album and single cover photos and ultimately become his wife.