Chris Kirkpatrick

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Chris Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick at a screening of Gone Country 2 in August 2008
Kirkpatrick at a screening of Gone Country 2 in August 2008
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Alan Kirkpatrick
BornOctober 17, 1971 (1971-10-17) (age 50)
Clarion, Pennsylvania, U.S.
OriginOrlando, Florida, U.S.
GenresPop, pop rock, alternative rock
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • producer
  • dancer
  • actor
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboard
Years active1995–present
LabelsRCA, Jive
Associated actsNSYNC, Nigel's 11, Sureshot

Christopher Alan Kirkpatrick (born October 17, 1971) is an American singer, dancer, songwriter, music producer, and occasional actor, who is best known for his work as the founding member of the pop group NSYNC, in which he sang countertenor. He has appeared on numerous TV shows and provided the voice for Chip Skylark on The Fairly OddParents. He also guest-starred on The Simpsons as himself, along with his fellow NSYNC bandmates, in the episode "New Kids on the Blecch".

Early life and education[edit]

Kirkpatrick was born on October 17, 1971, in Clarion, Pennsylvania to a single mother (Beverly Eustice) when she was just 16 years old, and is of Irish, Scottish, Native American, and Spanish ancestry.[1] His mother raised him on her own along with his four younger half-sisters (Molly, Kate, Emily, and Taylor).

Chris and his family grew up in poverty, sometimes homeless, and had to move around a lot, attending many different schools and living in several states such as Pennsylvania, California, South Carolina, and Ohio. At one point, his family lived in a trailer during the winter with no electricity and a giant hole in the side of it, and his mother had to pile dirty laundry in front of it to keep the snow from coming in. Since his family couldn't afford to wash their clothes, he rarely had clean clothes to wear and had to sleep in the piles of dirty laundry at night to keep warm.[2][3] Chris recalls frequently going without food and not always knowing where their next meal would come from, often relying on food stamps, free school lunches, and donated items to survive.[4] Due to his family's financial problems, Chris began working on a farm while still in grade school to try to help his mom make ends meet.

Despite their many struggles, Kirkpatrick's family was always a very musical one: his mother was a vocal coach, his grandmother trained in opera, his grandfather was a country-western singer, and his aunts and uncles were all in bands. Not surprisingly, Chris also showed a keen talent for music from a young age. His mother said that as a baby he could mimic songs that he heard before he even learned to speak. "It's weird to hear this little song in a minor key come floating out of an infant's room," his mother said. "And he could keep the beat to anything that was on television. He would just sit there and tap his foot." By the age of two and a half he was even able to sing two-part harmony to the radio and easily memorized entire songs.[5]

In 6th grade, while living in Oil City, Pennsylvania, Kirkpatrick won the lead role as Oliver in the city's high school musical production of Oliver Twist after hundreds of area students had been auditioned. From then on, Chris realized how much he enjoyed performing and began to study music more seriously, enrolling in gifted classes for music and language. In addition to classical training in singing, he learned to play a number of different instruments, including the guitar, keyboard, and trombone.

In 7th grade, his mother and half-sisters moved from Pennsylvania to Dalton, Ohio where he got a job bagging groceries to help pay the bills as soon as he was old enough to get his working papers.[6] Kirkpatrick attended Dalton High School where he continued his involvement in music, starring as Lieutenant Joseph Cable in his school's production of South Pacific (musical) and appearing in many other musical productions throughout high school. As a gifted singer, he also began participating in show choir and he made the prestigious All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir, which performed at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio and opened for New Kids On The Block. Besides music, Chris also participated heavily in sports, including football, basketball, baseball, and track.[7]

After graduating from high school in 1990, he moved to Orlando, Florida to get to know his biological father, who offered to help him pay for college. He attended Valencia College, originally intending to pursue an acting career in theatre. However, he quickly changed his major to music after receiving scholarships for his involvement in Valencia's choir. Around this time, Chris began forming various a cappella groups and arranging music to practice and perform together at local coffee shops. He also auditioned and became involved as a caroler for the Caroling Company, which eventually led him to a job as a doo-wop singer at Universal Studios.

Chris received his associate degree in music in 1993. Afterwards, Chris received another scholarship to attend Rollins College where he studied music and psychology full time while holding three jobs: 1) performing at Universal Studios Florida as a member of a doo-wop group called The Hollywood Hi-Tones, 2) working as a photographer at Sea World, and 3) waiting tables at a local Outback Steakhouse.[8] In addition to working and attending college, he also played gigs as a local DJ.

Career[edit]

In 1994, while working at Universal Studios and singing in The Hollywood Hi-Tones (a throwback doo-wop group of aspiring singers and actors) Chris Kirkpatrick was introduced to Lou Pearlman through a mutual friend that he had met in choir (Charlie Edwards). Edwards had briefly been a part of the Backstreet Boys before quitting, and had heard that Pearlman was interested in financing another vocal group, so he passed the information to Chris.

Initially, when the Backstreet Boys were forming Chris hadn't been interested in joining because he preferred arranging 4-part and 5-part harmonies with a cappella groups rather than singing to tracks.[9] However, after hearing about the funding that the Backstreet Boys were getting from Lou Pearlman (he was acquainted with Howie Dorough), Chris began to change his mind about it. When Pearlman finally met Chris and saw him perform in his doo-wop group, Lou immediately took an interest in him and his talent, so they discussed the idea for Chris to form a vocal group, of which Pearlman promised to finance if Chris could find other talented young singers to join him.[10]

Kirkpatrick took the opportunity and made some calls, eventually finding Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez, and the three formed the nucleus of NSYNC. Later, they found Joey Fatone who was also working at Universal Studios at the time. After some difficulty finding a consistent bass singer, the group eventually found Lance Bass through Justin's vocal coach, and the group collectively came together in September 1995. The group all moved into a house together and began practicing their singing and choreography in a hot warehouse in Orlando for hours everyday to help train their vocals and stamina. Shortly after Lance joined the group, they recorded their first ever performance at Pleasure Island in Orlando as their demo for record companies. Afterwards, Chris dropped out of Rollins College to pursue a music career with NSYNC in Germany.[11]

NSYNC[edit]

With his group, Chris Kirkpatrick sold over 70 million records worldwide during their height of success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Kirkpatrick sang countertenor/soprano and lead in various songs including "Thinking of You (I Drive Myself Crazy)" (US version), "Together Again", "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", "Bee Gees Tribute", "Just Got Paid", "I Thought She Knew", "I'll Be Back For More", "Everything I Own" and "Here and Now", as well as many songs on their Christmas album.[12]

NSYNC first released music and began touring in Europe in 1996, releasing their self-titled debut album in Germany on May 26, 1997. The album was released internationally on March 24, 1998, which sold 11 million copies and became popular in the United States after appearing on their Disney Channel in Concert special. After the band had a series of financial and legal struggles with their manager, Lou Pearlman, they were finally freed from their contracts in 1999 and signed with Jive Records.

Their sophomore album, No Strings Attached, was released on March 21, 2000 and sold a record 2.42 million copies in its first week alone, shattering the Backstreet Boys record at the time and remaining the record for 15 years for the most records sold in a day and most records sold in a week until it was broken by Adele's 25. By the end of 2000, No Strings Attached had sold over 9.9 million copies and was named the best-selling album of the year, and the second-best selling album of the decade in the US behind The Beatles' 1.

NSYNC's third album, Celebrity, was released on July 24, 2001, and produced three hit singles: "Pop", "Gone", and "Girlfriend". Celebrity sold 1.87 million copies in its first week, making it the second-fastest-selling album in SoundScan history at the time, only behind the group's previous album No Strings Attached. The Celebrity album featured heavy creative involvement from the group, who wrote and produced many of their own tracks.

After the group's Celebrity Tour and nearly 7 years together as a group, NSYNC announced in April 2002 that they would be taking a much-needed hiatus, and each member of the group began venturing into their own solo projects. Although NSYNC never officially broke up, they have not reunited to release new music since, and there have been mixed responses from members as to whether a reunion would ever happen. NSYNC's last official performance was at the Grammys in 2003 during their Bee Gees Medley Tribute. In August 2013, NSYNC briefly came together for a short performance at the MTV Video Music Awards during Justin's Video Vanguard Award performance. In April 2019, NSYNC reunited (without Justin Timberlake) for a special one-night performance as part of Ariana Grande's headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Solo music[edit]

After NSYNC disbanded, Chris started working on several musical side projects, including writing and singing lead for his rock band, called Nigel's 11 (also written as Nigels 11 or Nigels11). Nigel's 11 is an American alternative rock band officially formed in Florida in 2007 by Chris Kirkpatrick, and consists of Chris Kirkpatrick (lead vocalist), Mike Bosch (guitar), Dave Carreiro (bass), and Ernie Longoria (drums). The band was originally called The Little Red Monsters and Kirkpatrick debuted their first songs at the April Fool's Ball in 2004 before the group's name and lineup changed.[13]

Nigel's 11 began working towards an album in 2009 and released their first album, called Clandestine Operation, independently in 2010. The album featured five original songs: "Who Am I?", "All The Way Around", "Mr. Jealousy", "Get Out", and "Crazy Girl". The songs from Clandestine Operation focused heavily on themes of overcoming personal struggles and issues of self-identity, with the most well-known song being "Who Am I?". Kirkpatrick said that his band's sound was influenced by various 70's and 80's rock groups that he admired such as ELO, Queen, and Boston.[14][15]

Nigel's 11 also made a number of other songs that were not included on their debut album, but were released either online or at live shows, including "All She Wrote", "Say You Will", "Tokyo", "Jodi's Song", "Everybody Gets Lost", and "My World". Some of their music was also included in the soundtrack for A Christmas Snow, and included an original song, called "All Alone", as well as a punk rock remix of a traditional Christmas song, "O Come, All Ye Faithful".[16]

Television and movies[edit]

In addition to his solo music, Chris Kirkpatrick also became involved in voice acting, providing his unique voice for the iconic popstar character Chip Skylark on the TV show Fairly OddParents on Nickelodeon. Having appeared in numerous episodes spanning from 2002 to 2009, his character developed a significant fan following with songs such as "Find Your Voice", "Icky Vicky", and his most popular song "My Shiny Teeth & Me".

Kirkpatrick has mostly preferred to stay out of the limelight since NSYNC, but in 2007 he reluctantly agreed to star in the reality show Mission Man Band as a favor to a friend, alongside Bryan Abrams of Color Me Badd, Jeff Timmons of 98°, and the late Rich Cronin of LFO. The show was about former boyband members of the 1990s striving for another shot at success and debuted on August 7, 2007. Kirkpatrick hosted the show at his Orlando house, and the guys formed the supergroup "man band" called Sureshot in which they recorded three original songs, including "Story Of My Life", "Withoutcha", and "Work That Out" and performed at local sporting events, charities, and fairs. The show's last episode aired on January 1, 2008.[17][18][19]

In April 2008, it was announced that Kirkpatrick would be a part of the second season of CMT's show Gone Country. Kirkpatrick participated in Gone Country with other cast members: Sebastian Bach, Irene Cara (one episode), Mikalah Gordon, Jermaine Jackson, Lorenzo Lamas, and Sean Young. The show was hosted by John Rich of the country duo Big & Rich. During the show, for which each contestant had to prepare and perform an original song, Kirkpatrick had one of the strongest songs of the competition with "That'll Get Ya By". He dedicated his performance to his mother, who he said: "held the family together". Kirkpatrick impressed many country fans when he stepped on stage and proved he had the writing skills and voice to be a successful country artist.

The prize of having a record produced by John Rich and the promise of play from Kix Brooks on his radio show went to Sebastian Bach. However, John Rich congratulated Kirkpatrick on his success and told him he had one of the best songs in the competition and that he could see it going number one as a country hit. The season two last show episode aired on September 26, 2008.[20][21]

Besides television, Kirkpatrick has done some minor acting in sci-fi movies such as Sharknado 3 where he played a lifeguard and Dead 7 where he played the role of Mayor Shelby.

Other solo ventures[edit]

In 1999, Kirkpatrick founded a clothing line called FuMan Skeeto, which was a cross between the popular urban and skater fashion trends of the time. His unisex line of casual clothing included basic items like T-shirts, shorts, cut-off shirts, long-sleeved jerseys, and hats. Fuman Skeeto also produced some specialty clothing items for celebrities like Britney Spears as well as members of his own band. The clothing line has since ceased as of 2002.[22]

In 2004, Chris founded his own non-profit organization called the Chris Kirkpatrick Foundation which seeks to enhance the lives of underprivileged children in central Florida by providing health care as well as educational, developmental, and monitoring programs, citing his own difficult childhood as his major inspiration for starting the foundation. In addition to these programs, his foundation also hosts annual events for children to enjoy to help them forget about their problems. Their biggest event is for Halloween where they provide children with costumes, haunted houses, trick-or-treating, and hayrides.[23][24]

Since NSYNC, Kirkpatrick has appeared in various music videos for "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" by Good Charlotte, "2nd Sucks" by A Day to Remember, "Irresistible" by Fall Out Boy featuring Demi Lovato, and "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" (2019 Version) by David Archuleta.

Currently, Kirkpatrick continues to work as a songwriter and produces music and manages a number of other artists with his company Working Class Industry, works with charities, hosts and performs many events across the country, writes music with The Dopplegangers, and has collaborated on songs with various artists, including David Foster ("I Will"), Blake Lewis ("She's Makin Me Lose It"), and AJ McLean's project ATCK ("Air").

Personal life[edit]

Kirkpatrick kept his relationship status relatively private until 2010, when he started dating Karlyn M. Skladany. In October 2012, Kirkpatrick proposed to her in Capri, Italy. They married on November 2, 2013, at the Loews Resort Hotel in Orlando, Florida, with all his former NSYNC bandmates in attendance as ushers.[25] In March 2017, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child.[26] His wife gave birth to a son, Nash, seven months later on October 10, 2017.[27]

In 2018, Kirkpatrick sold his half-acre estate (dubbed Casa Della Musica) in Orlando, Florida, after having moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2016, where he currently resides with his wife and son.[28]

Discography[edit]

NSYNC[edit]

Nigel's 11[edit]

  • Clandestine Operation (2010)

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role
1999 NSYNC: N'The Mix Himself
2000 NSYNC: Live From Madison Square Garden Himself
2000 NSYNC: Making The Tour Himself
2001 NSYNC: Bigger Than Live Himself
2001 NSYNC: Popodyssey Live Himself
2001 On the Line Angelo (the hairstylist)
2001 Longshot Pizza Patron
2015 Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! Pool Lifeguard
2016 Dead 7 Mayor Shelby
2019 The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story Himself
Television
Year Title Role
1998 Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996 TV series) Himself
1999 Clueless (TV series) Himself
1999 Touched By An Angel Street Performer
2000 Hollywood Squares Himself (panelist)
2000 Sesame Street Himself
2000 Saturday Night Live No Refund
2001 The Simpsons Himself
2001 MadTV Himself ("This 'N' That with Rusty")
2001 - 2017 The Fairly OddParents Chip Skylark / Skip Sparkypants
2004 Striperella Josh Jason Justin
2007 Mission Man Band Himself
2008 Gone Country Himself (contestant)
2016 Angie Tribeca Chad
2017 Return of the Mac Himself
2017 Celebrity Family Feud Himself (contestant)
2018 King of the Golden Sun Cruise Ship Singer
2018 The Ellen DeGeneres Show Himself
2019 Lights Out with David Spade Himself

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chris Kirkpatrick".
  2. ^ "RollingStone - 'NSYNC: True Tales of the Pop Life". August 16, 2001.
  3. ^ "VH1's Mission Man Band".
  4. ^ "Chris Kirkpatrick Foundation - About".
  5. ^ NSYNC: The Official Book
  6. ^ "NSYNC Driven".
  7. ^ "Former Boybander Gets NSYNC With Dalton Roots".
  8. ^ "'NSync - TMS Journal 13/14".
  9. ^ "BobbyCast #230 - Chris Kirkpatrick from NSYNC on The Untold Story of the Band".
  10. ^ "NSYNC Driven".
  11. ^ "NSYNC Biography A&E".
  12. ^ Bass, Lance (2007). Out of Sync. New York, Los Angeles: Simon Spotlight Entertainment. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-4169-4788-2.
  13. ^ http://uf.heatherlaude.com/pdfs/Nigels11Article.pdf
  14. ^ https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2006-09-12-0609120439-story.html
  15. ^ https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nsync-reunion-lance-bass-wont-happen_n_2616086
  16. ^ http://www.achristmassnow.com/media/soundtrack/
  17. ^ "'Mission: Man Band' thoughts". The Baltimore Sun.
  18. ^ "Man band-ers try to play on". Orlando Sentinel.
  19. ^ "Oh boy! It's a Battle of the Man Bands!". Boston Herald. September 9, 2007.
  20. ^ "CMT's 'Gone Country 2' Reveals Cast". Billboard.
  21. ^ "*NSYNC'S CHRIS KIRKPATRICK HAS 'GONE COUNTRY'". Ok!.
  22. ^ https://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/article-1183906/
  23. ^ http://uf.heatherlaude.com/pdfs/Nigels11Article.pdf
  24. ^ http://chriskirkpatrickfoundation.com/
  25. ^ "Chris Kirkpatrick Karly Skladany". People.
  26. ^ Juneau, Jen (March 31, 2017). "Baby on the Way for Chris Kirkpatrick". People. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  27. ^ Juneau, Jen; Leon, Anya (October 10, 2017). "Chris Kirkpatrick Welcomes Son Nash Dylan". People.com. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  28. ^ "Chris Kirkpatrick Finally Says Bye, Bye, Bye to His Orlando Lakefront Property". January 4, 2018.

External links[edit]