Ashley Tisdale

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Ashley Tisdale
A woman with long blonde hair wearing a white t-shirt with "PROJECT PINK" written on it while smiling to the camera.
Tisdale at Macy's Herald Square in New York City, July 2012
Born Ashley Michelle Tisdale
(1985-07-02) July 2, 1985 (age 29)
West Deal, New Jersey, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation
  • Actress
  • singer
  • producer
  • spokesperson
  • model
Years active 1988–present
Relatives Jennifer Tisdale (sister)
Ron Popeil (cousin)
Musical career
Genres Pop
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2006–present
Labels Warner Bros. Records
Website
www.ashleytisdale.com

Ashley Michelle Tisdale (born July 2, 1985) is an American actress, singer, and producer. During her childhood, she appeared in more than 100 TV advertisements and had roles in theatre and television shows. In 2004, she was cast as Maddie Fitzpatrick in Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and she rose to prominence in 2006 as Sharpay Evans in the television film High School Musical. The High School Musical series included three films and a spin-off. Tisdale's resultant popularity led her to sign a solo record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 2006. Her debut album Headstrong (2007) was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and includes the single "He Said She Said".[1] Two years later, Tisdale released her second studio album, Guilty Pleasure, which had significantly lower sales than her previous album.[2]

Tisdale has a main voice role in the Disney Channel's three-time Emmy Award-winning animated series Phineas and Ferb as Candace Flynn.[3] The cartoon quickly became television's most-watched animated series among kids and tweens[4] and has received critical acclaim.[5][6] Her other roles have included Savannah Monroe in The CW's television drama series Hellcats (2010–11), Jody Sanders in Scary Movie 5 (2013) and the title character of Hub Network's animated series Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch (2013–present), for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2014.[7]

Besides acting and singing, Tisdale has ventured into producing. After forming a production company in 2008, she began working as the executive producer on films and television series including the ABC Family television film Picture This (2008), the unscripted series Miss Advised (2013), and the comedy series Young & Hungry (2014).

Life and career[edit]

1985–2003: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Tisdale was born in the West Deal section of Ocean Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey, on July 2, 1985,[8] to Lisa Morris and Mike Tisdale, the manager of a construction company.[9] Her father is Christian and her mother is Jewish; she has said that she has been raised with "a little bit of both" religions.[10] Tisdale's elder sister Jennifer is an actress and producer.[9] She is also related to businessman Ron Popeil through her maternal grandfather.[9]

At the age of three, Tisdale met her manager, Bill Perlman, at a New Jersey mall. He sent her to various auditions for commercials, and she was placed in more than 100 national network TV advertisements as a child.[11] She began her theatrical career by appearing in Gypsy: A Musical Fable and The Sound of Music at Monmouth County's Jewish Community Center.[8][12]

Tisdale was eight years old when she was cast to play the part of Cosette in a national touring production of the musical Les Misérables, and only recalled taking a single singing lesson before landing the role. In 2007, Tisdale told Newsday, "When I was little, I saw the play Les Misérables on Broadway. I thought it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen, so I went to my manager and told him I wanted to be in it".[13] Tisdale toured for two years with Les Misérables[14] before landing a role in a touring production of Annie in Korea.[11][15] At the age of 12, Tisdale sang for President Bill Clinton during an event at the White House.[8]

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tisdale had minor roles in television shows including The Hughleys, Smart Guy, 7th Heaven, Boston Public, and Bette, appeared in the feature films A Bug's Life and Donnie Darko, and worked as a model for Ford Models.[9][11] For her role as Carol Prader in Boston Public, she received a 2000 Young Artist Award nomination for "Best Guest Performance In a TV drama".[16]

2004–06: High School Musical and rise to prominence[edit]

A young blonde female on a stage sings into a microphone.
Tisdale performing at the High School Musical concert tour in 2006

In 2004, Tisdale auditioned for the role of London Tipton in the Disney Channel television series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.[13][9] Although she lost the role to Brenda Song, the producers of the series cast her in the recurring role of Maddie Fitzpatrick, a teenage candy-counter girl who works in a fancy hotel.[13] The series premiered in March 2005 and ended in September 2008.[9] For this role, she won her first award at the UK Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for "Best TV Actress" in 2008.[17][9]

Although the producers of the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical did not initially consider her for the role of the popular, narcissistic high school student Sharpay Evans because of her "good-girl image" on The Suite Life, Tisdale was eventually cast in the 2006 film.[13] High School Musical became Disney Channel's most-watched movie that year, viewed by 7.7 million in its US premiere broadcast.[18] The soundtrack, on which Tisdale contributed vocals for several songs, sold more than 3.7 million copies in the US and became the top-selling album that year.[19] All of the songs featured on the soundtrack appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[11] Tisdale subsequently became the first female artist to debut with two songs simultaneously on the Hot 100 chart, with "What I've Been Looking For" and "Bop to the Top".[11] High School Musical was nominated for six Primetime Emmy Awards, winning two.[20] To promote the film, Tisdale and the cast went on a 40-city concert tour during 2006 and 2007.[13]

2007–09: Studio albums and film career[edit]

Tisdale, on a stage, sings into a microphone, holding it with her right hand. She is using a black blouse with the words "Your" and "Band" printed on it in a yellow color and few bracelets on her right hand.
Tisdale performing at the opening of the first Microsoft Store in Scottsdale, Arizona, in October 2009

Soon after the release of High School Musical, Warner Bros. Records signed Tisdale for a recording contract in July 2006 and she began work on her debut album Headstrong.[21] In December 2006, producer J.R. Rotem confirmed he was producing and writing with her for the album.[22] In contrast to the sound of her songs in High School Musical, Tisdale opted to pursue a more mature sound with R&B, dance-pop and hip hop influences while working on her debut.[23] To promote Headstrong, the song "Be Good to Me" was released to mainstream radios in the preceding month of the album's release as its lead single.[24] Headstrong was released in February 2007 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, selling 64,000 copies in the first week.[25] The second single "He Said She Said" became Tisdale's most successful single in the US.[26][27] A documentary about the album's creation and a three-song music video trilogy were featured on a music DVD titled There's Something About Ashley, released in November 2007. Headstrong was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales exceeding 500,000 copies in the US.[28]

Work on High School Musical 2 began in 2007, and Tisdale was confirmed to be returning for the sequel as Sharpay Evans.[29] The film was premiered on the Disney Channel in August 2007 to 17 million viewers and became the most-watched movie in cable television.[30] Her performance in the film received critical acclaim[31][32] and the film received two Primetime Emmy Awards nominations.[20] The soundtrack, featuring Tisdale, debuted at number one on the Billboard chart with sales of 615,000 copies, thus making it the fourth biggest week sales for a soundtrack album.[6]

Disney Channel picked up the animated series Phineas and Ferb in 2006 and its producers began the process of casting.[30] Tisdale was given the voice role of Candace Flynn, a main character whose primary motivation is getting her brothers in trouble. The series' first episode premiered right after High School Musical 2 to 10 million viewers[30] and became the most-watched animated series among kids and tweens in 2010.[4] Phineas and Ferb has also received acclaim by critics[5][6] and won three Primetime Emmy Awards.[3]

In 2008, Tisdale formed her own production company and named it Blondie Girl Productions.[33][34] The television film Picture This marked Tisdale's debut as an executive producer and as an actress in a leading role; she played Mandy Gilbert, an unpopular and bullied teenager.[35] The film premiered on ABC Family in 2008 to 4.3 million viewers.[36]

Production of High School Musical 3: Senior Year began in late 2007[37] and Walt Disney Pictures confirmed its intention to release the third and final film in theaters instead of airing it on Disney Channel like the two previous movies.[37] Tisdale and the rest of the main cast were all confirmed to reprise their roles.[9] Senior Year premiered in October 2008[9] and earned $42 million in its domestic opening weekend, the biggest opening for a musical film as of 2014[38][39] and grossed a total of $255 million worldwide.[40] Her performance in the film earned her an MTV Movie Award for "Breakthrough Performance Female" in 2009.[41] She received acclaim from critics; Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly labeled her one of film's breakout stars,[42] and Mark Kermode said Tisdale was 2008's "best supporting actress".[43]

Tisdale began work on her second studio album soon after she finished promoting High School Musical 3: Senior Year.[44] She said she had been involved in every aspect of the production of the album, from its "guitar-driven" sound to much of the writing process.[44] "It's Alright, It's OK" was the song chosen to precede the album as its lead single; it was released to mainstream radio and digital retailers in April 2009.[45] Tisdale entitled her second album Guilty Pleasure because she connected the songs to her own guilty pleasures.[46] The album was eventually released in June 2009.[47] Described by Tisdale as a "rocker and edgier" album,[45] it generated mixed reviews, with a 54% rating on Metacritic.[48] It debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200, selling 25,000 copies in the first week; this was significantly lower than the first-week sales for her previous album.[49]

Tisdale starred in the 2009 20th Century Fox family film Aliens in the Attic as Bethany Pearson,[50] the elder sister of the family. Although she is credited as one of the main characters, The New York Times said Tisdale "spends much of the film off screen".[51] The film was a minor success in box offices, grossing $60 million worldwide.[52]

2010–12: Return to broadcast television and producing[edit]

With Ashley, I laughed my ass off and wanted to get up and hug her at the same time; she can hold multiple colors in the same palatte.

Hellcats' creator Kevin Murphy on why he cast Tisdale[53]

Tisdale's return to broadcast television was announced in 2010. She starred in The CW drama series Hellcats as Savannah Monroe, the fiercely intense captain of a cheerleading team.[53] The series based its script on the book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by journalist Kate Torgovnick; it was described as "Election meets Bring It On" by critics.[54][55] TV Guide reported Tisdale was the best paid cast member of the series, earning $30,000 per episode.[56] Hellcats ran for one season before being cancelled by The CW in 2011.[57]

Head and shoulders of Tisdale in her twenties. Her dark brown, straight hair is parted in her left, and falls over her right ear.
Tisdale during the signing event for Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure in Madrid, Spain on May 23, 2011

She had voice roles in animated series during 2010 including The Cleveland Show, Family Guy and Glenn Martin, DDS.[58] In 2012, she had a guest appearance in an episode of Raising Hope and a starring role in a CBS pilot produced by Louis C.K., which was not picked up by the channel.[59][60] Tisdale also portrayed a desirable and high-priced escort in a two-episode arc in the fifth season of FX's Sons of Anarchy.[61] In 2010, Disney Channel announced its intention to produce a High School Musical spin-off focusing on the life of Sharpay Evans in New York after she concluded high school.[62] Tisdale was confirmed to be returning as Evans for the spin-off and also serve as the executive producer of the project.[63] Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure premiered on Disney Channel to 5 million viewers in August 2011.[64]

Tisdale and her production company Blondie Girl Productions signed a multiyear production deal with Relativity Media in 2010 to create, develop, and produce films and television series.[33] Miss Advised was the first project in which Tisdale served as the executive producer without also starring on it. A reality show that followed three single relationship experts, it debuted on Bravo in the United States and aired for a season in 2012.[65]

2013–present: Estabilished career[edit]

Tisdale continued to work simultaneously as a producer, actress and recording artist during 2013 and 2014. E! aired a television special produced by Tisdale, named Inner Circle, that focused on her friendship with actress Vanessa Hudgens, in 2013.[66] The next year, Tisdale teamed again with Disney Channel on the film Cloud 9, in which she worked as an executive producer.[67] ABC Family's comedy series Young & Hungry is also produced by Tisdale; it stars Emily Osment and premiered in June 2014.[68] Future projects Tisdale and her production company have been working on include three digital series,[69] and a drama pilot for ABC Family.[70]

In June 2012, The Weinstein Company announced Tisdale was given the leading role in Dimension Films' Scary Movie 5.[71] Starring alongside Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, she portrayed Jody, a dancer in her late-20s. The film was released in April 2013,[72] and grossed $15 million on its first weekend, making it the lowest-grossing weekend for a Scary Movie film;[73] it was also panned by critics.[74][75] Tisdale had a recurring role in ABC's sitcom Super Fun Night as Jazmine, an engaged young woman,[76] and guest starred on CBS's The Crazy Ones in 2013.[77] That same year, Tisdale was cast to voice the title character of Hub Network's animated series Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch.[78] For her performance as Sabrina, Tisdale was nominated for "Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program" in the 41st Daytime Emmy Awards.[7] In 2014, Tisdale auditioned for TBS's workplace comedy series Buzzy's.[79] She was eventually cast in a main role as Danny.[79] The series is scheduled to premiere in 2015.[79]

I've been inspired to start doing music again. I've been really excited to be back in the studio and figuring out what that next sound is.

Tisdale on her upcoming third studio album (December, 2013)[80]

Four years after the release of her second studio album Guilty Pleasure in 2009, Tisdale, during an interview to MTV in April 2013, said she was inspired to make music again and confirmed that since 2012 she has been recording for her third studio album. She hopes to "surprise people a little bit, [with] something different from what [she has] done before".[81] Tisdale announced to MTV that she opted to pursue a dance-pop sound on the album, which is expected to be released in 2014.[80] In December 2013, Tisdale teased on her Twitter account about a "special project" related to music.[82] She confirmed that the project was a single titled "You're Always Here" written about her late grandfather.[82] The song was eventually released independently to digital stores that same month.[83]

Other ventures[edit]

Philanthropy[edit]

Tisdale has supported various charitable organizations and causes during her career. She collaborated with the Make a Wish Foundation in 2008 by visiting sick children in hospitals and helping to raise funds for the organization.[84] She was scheduled to perform on Idol Gives Back 2008 along with her High School Musical co-star Vanessa Hudgens; however, they were unable to appear because of their High School Musical 3: Senior Year shooting schedule but instead recorded a video from the film's set to support the cause.[85] She contributed to the A Very Special Christmas 7 album with her rendition of Wham!'s "Last Christmas"; proceeds from sales benefited the Special Olympics.[86] Tisdale was a phone operator during Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, a charity telethon held on January 2010 to raise funds to seven non-profit organizations that did relief work in Haiti following the 2010 Haiti earthquake[87]

Tisdale volunteered for the "Get on the Bus" charity campaign in 2011. Hosted by the television series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, she helped to build a house for a family and later performed some of her songs to raise funds.[88] In 2012, she became the face of Project Pink, a campaign launched by Puma SE to raise money for the research of breast cancer treatments.[89] As part of the campaign, she visited Los Angeles' BEST After School Enrichment Program at Pacoima Charter School in California and presented each child that attended with shoes, clothes and gift cards.[87] In 2013, Tisdale recorded a song titled "You're Always Here" and later released it to digital stores as a charity single. During an interview to On Air with Ryan Seacrest, she confirmed that thirty percent of the proceeds of the song go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.[90]

Business endorsement[edit]

In 2007, Tisdale appeared in promotional campaigns for Staples, T-Mobile, Toys "R" Us. and Eckō Red clothing brand.[9] Her deal with Eckō included a mall tour in the US featuring performances in fashion shows.[9] In 2008, she was the face of Degree Girl in the US; to promote the deodorant, she shot several commercials and covered five hit singles from the 80's, including Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time".[91] In 2011, Tisdale joined the Got Milk? campaign.[92] She was the face of Ocean Pacific in 2012 along with actress Sarah Hyland; they were required to pose for numerous shots wearing a variety of colorful bikinis.[93]

Artistry[edit]

Acting[edit]

Tisdale's acting performance has been met with praise by critics and film producers. Named as a "scene stealer" by many critics, she is often considered the "breakout star" in the productions she appears.[42][94] Jennifer Frey of The Washington Post says that Tisdale dominated High School Musical 2 despite not being the lead character,[32] while Andy Webster of The New York Times praised her acting style, mainly because of her "elastic face [that] lends itself to numerous reaction shots".[95]

John Schultz, who directed the 2009 film Aliens in the Attic in which Tisdale starred, says she is a "big comedic actress" and has a "gift" for comedy.[96] The creator of the television series Hellcats, Kevin Murphy, praised her acting skills and said "she can hold multiple colors in the same palatte."[53]

Musical style[edit]

Tisdale's music is predominantly considered pop, and has included ballads, dance pop, contemporary R&B and rock influences.[23][44][97] Love and heartbreak are the major themes in Tisdale's songs.[23] Her output makes use of electronic instruments such as drum machines, guitars and pianos.[23][44] She often co-writes the songs she records; for her debut album Headstrong (2007), she had writing credits in four songs,[98] while she co-wrote five tracks for her Guilty Pleasure (2009).[99]

Both her studio albums Headstrong and Guilty Pleasure received mixed reactions by critics. Heather Phares of Allmusic defined Tisdale's voice as "pleasant"[23] but criticized her lack of "character" on her debut album Headstrong. Phares later praised Tisdale's voice again by saying her "chirpy, slightly saccharine voice is perfect".[100] Stephen Erlewine, also of AllMusic said she is not "convincing" on her 2009 album Guilty Pleasure but praised the overall quality of the songs on the album.[100] Keri Masson of Billboard stated that Tisdale "can deliver the radio-ready goods" with Guilty Pleasure but criticized the album as a whole; he believed the album "doesn't give the singer room to comfortably let loose".[101] John Caramania of The New York Times praised the sound of the album and her voice; however, he believed the songs were not "radical" enough to attend Tisdale's purpose on saying she is an adult.[102]

Influences[edit]

Katy Perry posing for photographers at a gala
AC/DC's former vocalist Bon Scott (centre) with guitarist Angus Young and bassist Cliff Williams, performing
Tisdale has listed both Katy Perry (left) and AC/DC (right) as musical influences

During her career, Tisdale has mentioned numerous musicians and actors who influenced her career. While recording, Tisdale claims to be influenced by pop stars Michael Jackson,[103] Britney Spears,[8][23] Gwen Stefani,[23] Fergie,[8] Lady Gaga,[104] Pat Benatar,[105] Ashlee Simpson,[106] Pink,[105] Katy Perry[8] and Kelly Clarkson,[97] as well as rock bands Led Zeppelin,[96][97] The Used,[97] AC/DC,[96] My Chemical Romance[97] and Boys Like Girls[97] Tisdale said that "almost anything" inspires her but she is specially inspired by female pop singers overall. She claimed to have been "a big fan of Pink ever since she started" and that she loves Katy Perry's "sense of humor and her pop/rock feel".[105] Her main influences while acting are actors Shia LaBeouf and Kate Hudson.[107]

Public image[edit]

Tisdale is considered a sex symbol. She ranked in Maxim's Hot 100 list of sexiest women and hottest celebrities in the 2008 list (at number ten),[108] in 2013 (at number seven)[109] and in 2014 (at number thirty-three).[110] She appeared topless on the cover of Maxim's May 2013 issue[111] and posed nude for the May 2011 issue of Allure magazine. She was quoted as saying that "being in this shoot was me saying, 'I'm not just the young girl everybody thinks I am. I'm actually a woman.'"[112]

Tisdale has become a popular and active figure in social media; she is one of the most followed musicians on Twitter with more than 12 million followers,[113][114] and she has more than 22 million likes on Facebook.[114] Her popularity on social media led her to appear for three weeks on Billboard's Social 50 chart[115] and to win the award for "Social Media Superstar" at the Young Hollywood Awards in 2014.[116]

In 2008, Tisdale was paid $5.5 million for her work in films, television and endorsement deals.[117] This led her to be named the sixth best paid tween in Hollywood,[117] number 17 in the Forbes' High Earners Under 30 list[9] and number 94 on Forbes' 2008 Celebrity 100 list.[118]

Personal life[edit]

In March 2007, Tisdale told Blender she did not smoke or use drugs and alcohol. She added that her mother "really instilled confidence in [her], so [she is] not somebody who'd be under peer pressure".[119] Tisdale underwent a septoplasty procedure in November 2007 to correct her partially deviated septum. According to Tisdale, it was done for "health-related reasons and not out of a belief in plastic surgery". The procedure corrected two small fractures in her nose which were interfering with her breathing. She spoke to People magazine about the surgery, saying that it was important to her to be honest with her fans.[120]

Tisdale met dancer Jared Murillo in 2006 on the set of High School Musical, and they were romantically involved from 2007 until March 2009.[13][121] From 2009 to 2011, she was in a relationship with director Scott Speer.[13][122] The two reconciled in 2012 but have since ended their relationship.[123] In December 2012, she began dating musician Christopher French;[124] they became engaged in August 2013.[125]

Filmography[edit]

Discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2000 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Television Drama Series Boston Public Nominated [16]
2006 Billboard Music Awards Soundtrack Album of the Year High School Musical (shared with cast) Won [126]
Billboard Music Awards Album of the Year High School Musical (shared with cast) Nominated [126]
American Music Awards Best Pop Album High School Musical (shared with cast) Nominated [127]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children's Program High School Musical (shared with cast and crew) Won [20]
2007 Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards Best TV Actress The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Won [17]
2007 Premios Oye! International Breakthrough Artist Headstrong Nominated [128]
2007 American Music Awards Soundtrack Favorite Album High School Musical 2 (shared with cast) Won [129]
2008 Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards Fave International TV Star The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Nominated [41]
2009 MTV Movie Awards Breakthrough Performance Female High School Musical 3: Senior Year Won [41]
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice Best Actress: Music/Dance High School Musical 3: Senior Year Nominated [130]
2009 Teen Choice Awards Summer: Movie Star-Female Aliens in the Attic Nominated [130]
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice: Movie Music/Dance High School Musical 3: Senior Year (shared with cast and crew) Won [130]
2009 Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica Best New International Artist Guilty Pleasure Nominated [131]
2014 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch Nominated [7]
2014 Young Hollywood Awards Social Media Superstar Herself Won [116]
2014 Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Show Young & Hungry (shared with cast and crew) Nominated [132]

References[edit]

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