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Bianca Ryan

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Bianca Ryan
Bianca Ryan Hollystock 2015 01.JPG
Bianca Ryan at the Hollystock Music and Arts Festival in Mount Holly, New Jersey, in August 2015
Background information
Birth name Bianca Taylor Ryan
Born (1994-09-01) September 1, 1994 (age 22)
Ocean City, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active 2006–present
  • Syco Music/Columbia Records (2006–2008)
  • Music Forever (2008–2009)
  • Tuned In Music and Media (2009–2010)
  • Bianca Ryan Records, LLC (2015–present)

Bianca Taylor Ryan (born September 1, 1994)[1] is an American singer, songwriter, musician and actress from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ryan was the first winner of NBC's America's Got Talent at the age of eleven. She auditioned for Talent in 2006 and amazed the judges with her big voice. Singing two Broadway show tunes along the way, Ryan was announced as the winner of season one on August 17. Her eponymous first album was released later in 2006, followed by two Christmas albums. Two singles followed in 2007 and 2010; also in 2010, she made an acting appearance in a music video by The Wrecking. The video for her first new release in four years, a cover of the John Legend song "All of Me", was posted to her YouTube channel in March 2014. Her original song "Alice" was self-released in May 2015.

In 2012, Ryan joined the cast of the independent film We Are Kings, portraying one of two down-on-their-luck teen musicians who are guided by an angel to save an elder bluesman from freezing to death. The film premiered in September 2014, and the video for her single "Broken Down House" was released in October. Her original song "One Day" premiered in May 2017; "What I Gotta Do" followed in June.

Early life[edit]

Bianca Ryan is the second of five children of Shawn and Janette Ryan,[a] who moved from New Jersey to Philadelphia when Bianca was three years old.[4] Her father, a fan of The Rolling Stones, named her after Mick Jagger's ex-wife.[b] Ryan is "mostly" Irish[2] and calls herself a mix of Japanese, Irish, Italian, German and Cherokee. "I'm basically just America ... the melting pot."[6]

Ryan's singing talent came as something of a surprise to her family, given that she was an award-winning tap dancer as a child.[7] Ryan said she did not even attempt to sing until she was eight years old and started enjoying LeAnn Rimes and country music. Shawn Ryan started sharing his record collection with his daughter, and Bianca "fell in love" with rhythm and blues and soul music.[8] Eventually, she began rehearsing nightly with her father.[9] Ryan convinced him to take her to an audition for Star Search, where her performance of "Think" impressed the judges and shocked her father. "I'd never heard her sing like that."[10] During the Junior Singers competition, Bianca Ryan lost to Spensha Baker.[11] Ryan later won Amateur Kids Night on Showtime at the Apollo.[10][12]

Ryan has sung the Star-Spangled Banner for several professional sports teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Knicks and its Westchester affiliate,[2][13] and the New York Mets.[14]

America's Got Talent[edit]

In 2006, Ryan learned that American Idol judge Simon Cowell was serving as executive producer for an upcoming competition titled America's Got Talent, and the tryouts in New York were happening on the same day as a family outing in the city. Ryan almost left without performing when she looked at the other contestants and saw a lady with a beard "probably about, like, two feet long," juggling torches. She decided to stay when her father told her the grand prize was US$1 million.[15] For her televised audition, she chose the Dreamgirls show tune "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", surprising the audience and the judges with her powerful voice.[16] The video of her audition performance quickly became popular on YouTube.[17]

For the semi-finals of the show Ryan performed "Piece of My Heart". The judges praised her performance, but they did not think the song was right for Ryan.[18] She rebounded for her finals performance, singing "I Am Changing" (also from Dreamgirls); judge David Hasselhoff called her "the best" in the competition, while Piers Morgan predicted she would win. During the finale results aired on August 17, 2006, 11-year-old Bianca Ryan was announced by emcee Regis Philbin as the winner of season one of America's Got Talent.[19][20][c]

Ryan made a brief appearance during the show's season two finale in 2007. In a video recorded during Live Nation's Nextfest tour, she wished good luck to the top two finalists.[22]



2006–2009: Bianca Ryan and holiday albums[edit]

Ryan performing during the Nextfest Tour in July 2007

One week after her victory, Ryan announced on her website that she had flown to New York to meet with representatives from a record label and some of the recording industry's top songwriters.[23] The Northeast Times reported the same day that Ryan met with Grammy Award-winning producer David Foster and was being managed by Peter Rudge.[24]

Ryan signed a five-album record deal with SYCOmusic as part of Columbia Records on September 18, 2006.[23] She was the first U.S. artist to sign with SYCOmusic; during the press conference, Simon Cowell called Ryan "potentially one of the best singers I have ever heard in my life."[25] The following month, Ryan was in Los Angeles to record her first CD. The self-titled debut was released on November 14, 2006, featuring cover versions of "The Rose" and "I Believe I Can Fly", and original songs like "I Wish That" and "Pray for a Better Day". Eight days later, the album debuted at No. 57[26] on the Billboard album charts, showcasing "her gargantuan chops and sweet charm". Matt Collar of AllMusic added that the arrangements were "grandiose" for someone of Ryan's age, but they were "more than matched by her truly impressive vocal talent."[27] Los Angeles Daily News reviewer Sandra Barrera wrote that Ryan handled the songs "like the old pro that her big, powerful voice makes you think she is".[28]

One month later, the EP Christmas Everyday! was released as a promotional giveaway. She then joined several artists in a televised 2006 Christmas performance for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the National Building Museum to benefit the Children's National Medical Center.[29]

Ryan's first concert tour took her across the United States as the special guest artist for Nextfest in 2007.[30] That August, she released the single "That's Not Me".[31]

In 2008, Ryan left SYCOmusic/Columbia Records; she released her second holiday-themed EP, True Meaning of Christmas, on November 3, 2009, on the indie Music Forever label.[32] This second collection, co-written with Anthony Marinelli and Siedah Garrett, included updated versions of "The Christmas Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"; the title track featured a duet with gospel pop singer Brent Jones.[33]

2010–present: Singles, videos and upcoming EP[edit]

Ryan performs at the 2015 Hollystock Music and Arts Festival in Mount Holly, New Jersey

In 2010, Bianca Ryan wrote and recorded a song inspired by Twilight: New Moon called "In My Head".[34] The single was released digitally on August 21 through the indie label Tuned In Music and Media,[35] followed by performances at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[36]

Ryan was asked in October 2012 about the differences between her debut album and her future projects. She said she didn't get to choose what songs went on her first CD, and while the experience she gained by working with people like David Foster and Kara DioGuardi was amazing, "I didn't feel like it was really me. ... You can relate to songs that you write."[37] Ryan spent much of her teen years out of the spotlight. She explained in 2014 that she had put her career on hold to go back to school even though, as it turned out, she hated high school—besides "a couple of stalkers", she was mostly ignored by other students and didn't make any friends until after school was over.[38] Nevertheless, she "wanted to live a life, and have purpose and things to write about" due to her passion for writing music.[39] Ryan described her musical style as a blend of neo soul, R&B and pop.[40]

Ryan announced in February that she was working with industry veterans like Quincy Jones on a new EP featuring her own work, which she called more "mainstream" than anything she had written before.[41] She started her own record label, Bianca Ryan Records LLC, to promote her artistic freedom as well as make a profit. "I could literally sell 1% of what I would sell with a record company and finally make money off my music to where I can fund other projects".[9]

She also went back to work on her YouTube channel in 2014.[41] Her cover of "All of Me" was uploaded in March.[42]

In 2015, Ryan created a music video for "Alice", an original song she had written years earlier. The video was funded in part by a Kickstarter project and was self-released in May 2015. It features dancer Chloe Lukasiak, who called the video her favorite project since leaving Dance Moms.[43] The single was released via Ryan's own label through iTunes, Google Play and ReverbNation.[44] Her cover of "God Bless the Child" was released on iTunes in July.[45]

Ryan was a featured performer at the Hollystock Music and Arts Festival in Mount Holly, New Jersey, in August 2015.[46] Performances in November included the Macy's Christmas Window unveiling and the 6ABC/Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Parade, both in Philadelphia.[47]

Her plans were put on hold in October 2016;[48] Ryan underwent two vocal surgeries and an abdominal surgery after her doctor told her that she was a high-risk candidate for esophageal cancer.[49] Her first performance following her recovery was at the Nashville Christmas Parade on December 3.[50] Ryan's single "One Day" was released in May 2017.[51] She had planned to premiere the song in 2016, but revisited the lyrics following surgeries and other roadblocks, "and I can finally say it is my story."[52] Two follow-up singles, "What I Gotta Do" and "Man Down", were released in June;[53][54] "Man Down" was called "the ultimate breakup anthem" by TigerBeat.[55] Also in June, Ryan was the subject of an artist profile produced by Major League Baseball.[56]

Ryan made plans to release two EPs in 2017.[57] The first, Part One—The Reintroduction,[53] was delayed due to health issues.[58]


Ryan at the 2014 premiere of We Are Kings, her first co-starring role in a feature film

Ryan made several early attempts to be an actress, trying out unsuccessfully for such projects as Camp Rock and Hannah Montana.[59] She made her acting debut in a walk-off appearance in the 2005 film 12 and Holding; her character is shown at a school function singing the final line of "Oh! Susanna", thanking the audience, and leaving the stage.[60] She returned to acting five years later, playing the lead role in the music video for "About to Fall" by The Wrecking.[61]

In 2012, Ryan joined the cast of We Are Kings, an independent, crowdsourced feature film. She portrayed one of two homeless musicians who join up with a runaway rapper to help an elder bluesman raise the money he needs to save his comatose wife and their repossessed blues club.[62] Ryan and her co-stars wrote their own original songs for We Are Kings.[63] Her first single from the film, "Broken Down House", was released in November 2014.[64]

Upon the film's release, LA Weekly called Ryan, Long and Pryce "so bursting with talent that it's impossible to pick a favorite"[65] while the Los Angeles Times looked past the "discordant" acting to praise the "palpable, soulful authenticity" of the music.[66] Ryan admitted in 2014 that she could benefit from an acting coach;[67] in 2017 she said she had matured and would like to try acting again.[57]


Studio albums

Extended plays

  • Christmas Everyday! (2006)
  • True Meaning of Christmas (2009)
  • The Re-Introduction (TBA, 2017)

Soundtrack albums


Year Title Role Notes
2005 12 and Holding Singing Girl[68]
2014 We Are Kings Layla Knuckles
Year Title Role Notes
2003 Star Search Herself Contestant
2005 Showtime at the Apollo Herself Contestant; winner of Amateur Kids Night
2006 America's Got Talent Herself Contestant (winner, season 1)

Music videos
Year Title Artist Release date Notes
2006 "You Light Up My Life" Bianca Ryan November 2006[69]
2006 "Why Couldn't It Be Christmas Every Day?" Bianca Ryan December 2006[70]
2010 "About to Fall" The Wrecking September 8, 2010 Lead role; did not sing
2014 "All of Me" Bianca Ryan March 3, 2014
2014 "Broken Down House" Bianca Ryan November 6, 2014
2015 "Alice" Bianca Ryan May 26, 2015
2017 "One Day" (lyric video) Bianca Ryan May 12, 2017

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ryan has one older brother and one younger brother, and two younger sisters.[2][3]
  2. ^ In 2014, when an interviewer joked that "Bianca Ryan" sounded like a fake name, she admitted that she didn't like her name and had considered changing it.[5]
  3. ^ Ryan was the show's only female winner, and the only child act to win, until Grace VanderWaal took the top prize for season 11 in 2016.[21]


  1. ^ Collar, Matt. "Bianca Ryan – Biography". Billboard. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Rovi. 
       Ryan, Bianca [BiancaRyan] (September 1, 2015). "It's my birthday! Thank you for the birthday wishes! ..." (Tweet). Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Twitter. 
  2. ^ a b c O'Sullivan, Jeannie. "Bianca Hits the High Notes for the Eagles". Northeast Times. Philadelphia. Archived from the original on May 15, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2006. 
  3. ^ Ryan, Bianca [BiancaRyan] (August 19, 2012). "Every1 meet my new baby sis ..." (Tweet). Retrieved January 14, 2015 – via Twitter. 
  4. ^ Staff (September 11, 1998). Bianca Ryan NBC 40. 1:51–1:55: WMGM-TV (Wildwood, New Jersey). 
  5. ^ Bianca Ryan by Decently Funny. SoundCloud. September 24, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ Bianca Ryan by Decently Funny, 11:52–12:01
  7. ^ "Free Family Fun Returns with Fam Jams!". Penn's Landing Corporation. May 21, 2008. Retrieved September 19, 2014 – via GlobeNewswire. 
  8. ^ "Psych Word Radio Show: America's Got Talent Special (Part 1)". Psych Word Radio Show. 45:17–45:48. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Nelson, Joe (May 31, 2016). "Where is she now? America’s Got Talent Season One winner Bianca Ryan talks reality-based musical competitions, being an indie artist, more". Singersroom. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Staff (April 2007). "Bianca Ryan". Pop Blitz Magazine. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Watch Star Search Season 4 Episode 1 S4E1 Star Search Show #33". Online Video Guide. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  12. ^ Klein, Michael (August 18, 2006). "Mayfair Girl, 11, Takes America's Got Talent Prize ...". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on September 20, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  13. ^ Coqueron, Al (November 17, 2015). "Summers Sizzling as Westchester Knicks Get Two Home Wins". The Examiner. White Plains, New York. Retrieved November 22, 2015. 
  14. ^ New York Mets [Mets] (September 15, 2015). "@BiancaRyan Amazin' job! ..." (Tweet). Retrieved September 15, 2015 – via Twitter. 
  15. ^ Bianca Ryan by Decently Funny, 13:15–14:20
  16. ^ Staff. "Philly 11-Year-Old Wows Judges". Archived from the original on July 17, 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2006. 
  17. ^ Klein, Michael (July 25, 2006). "Inqlings column: Phila.'s got talent: 11, and belting like Joplin". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved January 14, 2015 – via HighBeam Research. 
  18. ^ "Semi-finals, Week 3". America's Got Talent. Season 1, Episode 8. 2006. Event occurs at 1:01:05. NBC. 
  19. ^ Mahan, Colin. "Talent shines in finale". Retrieved August 20, 2006. 
  20. ^ Dehnert, Andy (August 18, 2006). "Bianca Ryan, 11, Wins America's Got Talent". Reality Blurred. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  21. ^ Izadi, Elahe (September 15, 2016). "'The next Taylor Swift' – Meet the 12-year-old singer-songwriter who won America's Got Talent". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 15, 2016. 
  22. ^ Seaton, Leslie (August 21, 2007). "America's Got Talent: Finale Recap". BuddyTV. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "Bianca Ryan the Official Site: News". Archived from the original on December 28, 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2006. 
  24. ^ Fritsky, Lauren. "Million-Dollar Baby!". Northeast Times. Archived from the original on May 3, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2006. 
  25. ^ "Bianca Ryan, 12-Year-Old Winner of America's Got Talent, First U.S. Signing to Columbia Records/SYCO". PR Newswire. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Bianca Ryan: Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  27. ^ Collar, Matt. "Bianca Ryan: Song, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  28. ^ Barrera, Sandra (November 23, 2006). "Bianca Ryan, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift CD Reviews". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved January 14, 2014 – via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 
  29. ^ Sanner, Ann. "Bushes Join 'Dr. Phil' at Christmas Show". ABC News. Archived from the original on October 18, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Teen Titans On Tour". Pollstar. May 23, 2007. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  31. ^ "That's Not Me". A1. ASIN B0013G63ZQ. (Columbia Records). 2007.
  32. ^ True Meaning of Christmas. ASIN B004SKWN4E. (Music Forever). 2009.
  33. ^ Marinelli, Anthony. "True Meaning of Christmas: About the Album". Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Bianca Ryan Sings Her Original Song Written for the Twilight Saga". YouTube (official). August 18, 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  35. ^ "'In My Head' by Bianca Ryan". iTunes. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  36. ^ Staff. "V: The Ultimate Variety Show at Trump Plaza". Atlantic City Weekly. Archived from the original on January 11, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Bianca Ryan Interview 2012". YouTube (official). 6:48–7:42. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  38. ^ Bianca Ryan by Decently Funny, 44:11–46:27
  39. ^ Psych Word Radio Show: America's Got Talent Special (Part 1). 47:25–47:33.
  40. ^ Bianca Ryan by Decently Funny, 20:44–20:47
  41. ^ a b "Exclusive Interview: Artist Bianca Ryan". Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  42. ^ "All of Me: John Legend Cover (Bianca Ryan)". YouTube (official). March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  43. ^ Flynn, Caitlin (July 21, 2015). "What Is Chloe Lukasiak From Dance Moms Up To? The Dancer Reveals ...". Bustle. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Alice – Single". iTunes. May 20, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  45. ^ "God Bless the Child – Single". iTunes. July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  46. ^ Staff (July 14, 2015). "Hollystock Music and Arts Festival lineup includes Rusted Root, AGT winner Bianca Ryan". Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  47. ^ Chan, Jenny W. (November 23, 2015). Bianca Ryan – Christmas Song – Macy's Window Unveiling – Center City Philadelphia 2015 (video). YouTube. Retrieved November 28, 2015 – via 
       2015 Philly Thanksgiving Day Parade (2/2) (video). YouTube. November 26, 2015. Retrieved November 27, 2015 – via ThePhillyParade. 
  48. ^ Ryan, Bianca (October 11, 2016). "Just wanna keep you all updated". Instagram (official account). Retrieved October 12, 2016. 
  49. ^ Sims, Brittany (April 17, 2017). "Bianca Ryan is back and sounding better than ever". Odyssey Media Group. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  50. ^ "The 63rd Annual Nashville Christmas Parade – Parade Talent". Retrieved December 4, 2016. 
  51. ^ Parker, Lyndsey (May 11, 2017). "Video Premiere: Original America's Got Talent Winner Bianca Ryan Returns With 'One Day'". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  52. ^ Scott, Jason (May 18, 2017). "Hear Bianca Ryan's jaunty new anthem 'One Day'". Popdust. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  53. ^ a b Staff (June 9, 2017). "AGT's First Winner Bianca Ryan Returns with New Single 'What I Gotta Do'". Just Jared. Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  54. ^ Ginsberg, Gabriella (June 29, 2017). "Bianca Ryan: Original AGT Winner Is Back With Epic New Music After Wild Health Scare". Hollywood Life. Retrieved June 29, 2017. 
  55. ^ Staff (July 5, 2017). "Bianca Ryan's 'Man Down' is the Ultimate Breakup Anthem". TigerBeat. Retrieved July 6, 2017. 
  56. ^ Artist Profile: Bianca Ryan (video). June 29, 2017. Retrieved July 1, 2017. 
  57. ^ a b Rees, Katrina (May 19, 2017). "Exclusive: CelebMix chats with Bianca Ryan". CelebMix. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  58. ^ Ryan, Bianca [BiancaRyan] (July 14, 2017). "Yes it is [being delayed]. The last song wasn't able to be recorded ..." (Tweet). Retrieved July 14, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  59. ^ Ryland, Amber (September 19, 2013). "America’s Got Talent’s First Winner Bianca Ryan – Lost TV Role To Miley Cyrus ...". Radar Online. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  60. ^ Cuesta, Michael (2005). 12 and Holding (motion picture). IFC Films. Event occurs at 32:16–32:31. 
  61. ^ "The Wrecking: New Music Video Features America's Got Talent Winner". The Adams Group. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  62. ^ Hubner, Robert (February 15, 2002). "Bianca Ryan, Winner of America's Got Talent, to Star In Feature Film 'We Be Kings'". Christian NewsWire. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  63. ^ "Hollywood Hits Central Illinois". January 23, 2013. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  64. ^ "Broken Down House". A1. ASIN B00QLX6C5M. (Various Artists). 2014.
  65. ^ Wilson, Chuck (September 16, 2014). "Film: We Are Kings". LA Weekly. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  66. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael (September 19, 2014). "Review: We Are Kings Has Heart of Blues but Misses Art of Filmmaking". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  67. ^ Bianca Ryan by Decently Funny, 1:03:37
  68. ^ Cuesta, Michael (2005). 12 and Holding (motion picture). IFC Films. Event occurs at 1:32:30–1:32:40. 
  69. ^ "Music Videos for Bianca Ryan: "You Light Up My Life"". Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  70. ^ Bianca Ryan: "Why Couldn't It Be Christmas Every Day?". MTV. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
America's Got Talent winner
Season 1 (Summer 2006)
Succeeded by
Terry Fator