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Leslie Odom Jr. explains why he’s thankful his father-in-law got a “second chance”


This Father’s Day will be very special for Leslie Odom Jr.  The Hamilton star recently welcomed a baby boy, Abel, with wife Nicolette Robinson. Secondly, he’s reflecting about his father-in-law Stuart K. Robinson‘s gift of life: he survived a heart attack and was allowed to celebrate becoming a grandfather again.

That is why Leslie, 39, and Nicolette, 33, teamed with Bayer Aspirin and penned “Second Chance,” a song honoring heart attack survivors that creatively uses Stuart’s heartbeat as a rhythm.

Leslie told ABC Audio the song was therapeutic for the two to write, as they hadn’t emotionally processed Stuart’s heart attack because “it was all so sudden.” Writing the lyrics, explained the Broadway star, allowed them “to go back and process… the trauma and our pain.”

“Thank goodness we are living in Stu’s second chance,” the Tony-winner added. “There’s been some major milestones that we just couldn’t imagine not having him here for.” 

Those milestones, Leslie shared, include “two grandchildren [and seeing] his daughter take Broadway for the very first time. Nobody saw Nicolette in Waitress more than me except Stu!”

Leslie also hopes those who hear “Second Chance” will take their health seriously and schedule regular screenings.

The Central Park star especially targets his message to men, adding, “Make sure that everything’s okay not just for you but for the people around you, for the people you love.” 

When speaking about treasuring the gift of life, Leslie touched upon the passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died of colon cancer last August.

“I was so profoundly shaken with with Chadwick’s passing… Such a towering figure of my generation gone so soon,” expressed Leslie, noting how the actor was “just a few years older than I.”  

“Second Chance” is out now.

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