Vitamin C (singer)

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Vitamin C
Vitamin C 2001 crop.jpg
Vitamin C in 2001
Born Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick
(1972-07-20) July 20, 1972 (age 44)
Old Bridge, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater New York University
Occupation
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
Years active 1988–present
Labels
Associated acts Eve's Plum

Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick (born July 20, 1972),[1][2] better known by her stage name Vitamin C,[3] is an American pop music singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actress. She began her career as an actress, appearing in John Waters' film Hairspray (1988), and continued to appear in minor roles in films before starting the alternative rock band Eve's Plum in 1991.

In 1999, Fitzpatrick embarked on a solo career under the name Vitamin C, releasing her eponymous debut album Vitamin C (1999), which was certified as Gold and later Platinum by the RIAA. Singles from the record include "Graduation (Friends Forever)" and her most successful hit, the Top 20 Gold certified "Smile". Her second album, More (2001) spawned several singles, including "As Long As You're Loving Me" and "The Itch".

She would return to acting in 2000, appearing in the horror film Dracula 2000 (2000), as well as having cameo appearances in Scary Movie 2 (2001) and Get Over It (2001), and appeared as a panelist on the spoof talent series The WB's Superstar USA in 2004. She was ranked No. 76 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2001.[4] Mattel released a Vitamin C doll in 2000.[5][6] She was a video game character in the game EA Sports Triple Play by EA Sports. Vitamin C has her own Tommy Hilfiger lipstick color developed after her signature yellow and orange hair.[5][7]

On March 21, 2012, Vitamin C was appointed as Vice President of Music at Nickelodeon.[8]

Early life[edit]

Fitzpatrick was born in Old Bridge, New Jersey,[9] on July 20, 1972.[1][2] She is the youngest of three children born to Vita, a legal secretary, and Gerard Fitzpatrick, a communications executive.[10][11]

She graduated from Cedar Ridge High School in New Jersey, now called Old Bridge High School,[12] where she was a classmate of Junot Díaz.[13] During her high school years she was a dancer who danced professionally in several TV ads, and also starred in her high school musical.[14] She later attended New York University, graduating in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.[14][13]

Career[edit]

Hairspray and Eve's Plum[edit]

In 1988, while a student at New York University, Fitzpatrick made her screen debut under her real name in the John Waters feature film Hairspray as Amber Von Tussle, the bratty on-screen daughter of co-stars Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono.

Performing with her band Eve's Plum in 1997

She made her first musical outing as the lead singer of the alternative rock band Eve's Plum, named after The Brady Bunch actress Eve Plumb, formed in 1991.[15] She formed the band with Michael Kotch in 1991, whom she met while studying at New York University.[16] A year later the group got a record deal with Epic Records in 1992, releasing 2 albums and 7 singles between 1993 and 1995 before being dropped by their label for failing to achieve any mainstream success. The band continued to perform together until 1998.

Solo work; return to acting[edit]

Immediately following the group's breakup, she took interest in a dance/pop musical solo project she dubbed "Vitamin C". She shopped demos she recorded for a while and eventually signed an album deal with Elektra Records in 1998.[10]

Her debut solo album, Vitamin C, peaked on the Billboard 200 at number 29[17] and was certified Platinum by the RIAA.[18] The album's first single, "Smile", climbed to number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100[2] and was also certified Gold by the RIAA.[19] The second single from her album "Me, Myself & I", failed to chart. However, the third single "Graduation (Friends Forever)" made a huge impact on the radio, peaking at number 12 on the Top 40 Mainstream Chart, number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100,[20] and number 2 on the ARIA Charts,[21] and was certified Platinum in Australia.[22] The song is considered a landmark in graduation-themed songs and is still hugely popular amongst graduation parties and ceremonies.[23] It has appeared on the iTunes Music Chart at the end of every school year since the chart's inception. In the summer of 2000, a DJ from the Republic of Ireland picked up a copy of the single while on holidays in New York. The song was subsequently one of the biggest hits in 2000 in the Republic of Ireland peaking at number 4 in the charts and still receives massive airplay each summer.[24]

Her cover version of the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons song "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" was used as a brand image theme by the American television network The WB in image spots, promos, and interstitials during the 1999–2000 television season. She also recorded a song she wrote called "Vacation", which became the opening theme to the short movie Pikachu's Vacation (Pokémon: The First Movie).

Like many artists before her, Vitamin C took advantage of the marketing opportunities available to a pop star, licensing everything from her own doll to a shade of lipstick matching her signature orange hair. She was also turned into a video game character for a baseball game. The Mattel Vitamin C doll was a hair activity doll that came with changeable hairstyle extensions available in orange and red, the doll also came with a microphone, platform shoes, and was approximately retailed at $16.[25] The Vitamin C lipstick shade was made by Tommy Hilfiger.[5] Both the doll and lipstick were available to the retail market in 2000. The 2001 video game EA Sports Triple Play featured Vitamin C as an animated baseball player, as well as her song "I Know What Boys Like".[26]

In late 2000, Vitamin C released "The Itch", the first single from her second album More. Though the song got some popular dance/club airplay, it stalled on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 45.[27] "The Itch" was a much bigger success in Australia for Vitamin C, where it charted at number 6 on the ARIA Charts[28] and was certified Platinum.[29] The single was a minor hit in 2001 in Ireland. After her album More debuted at a disappointing number 122 on the Billboard 200,[30] Elektra Records released the second single "As Long As You're Loving Me" with almost no promotion. The song failed to chart in the US, thus the planned third single, "I Know What Boys Like", was scrapped and Vitamin C was dropped from Elektra Records. The LGBT lifestyle magazine So So Gay dubbed More the epitome of the electropop genre.[31]

In the February 2001 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, Vitamin C was voted as one of the "Fun and Fearless Females" of the year. She was honored by the magazine at a luncheon on January 29, 2001 in New York City.[32][33] That same year Vitamin C was ranked No. 76 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2001.[4]

Vitamin C signed with V2 Records in 2001 and began recording her third album over the course of 2002 and 2003. The first single, "Last Nite", was released in July 2003. It was a cover version of the hit song by The Strokes and sampled Blondie's "Heart of Glass",[34] The single failed to chart in the US, and did poorly in the United Kingdom by peaking at number 70 on the UK Top 75.[35][36] Her third album under the Vitamin C name was subsequently shelved and has yet to see the light of day, though fans hope it will leak. Promotional copies of the album were never made available.

In 2000, she returned to acting, playing the role of Lucy Westerman in the horror film Dracula 2000 with Gerard Butler playing the part of Dracula. She also starred as herself in the spoof film Da Hip Hop Witch with Eminem in 2000.[37]

She had a cameo in the film Rock Star in 2001. In addition, in 2001 she appeared in the romantic comedy film Get Over It, with Kirsten Dunst and Sisqó. She made a brief comedic cameo appearance as herself (in voiceover) in the film Scary Movie 2.

Her television appearances included playing a judge in the American Idol spoof The WB's Superstar USA. She also appeared in an episode of MTV's The Andy Dick Show and the celebrity game show Celebrity Bootcamp. Vitamin C made cameos on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, The Brothers Garcia, The Amanda Show, and The Sausage Factory. She was one of three judges of Lifetime reality series Your Mama Don't Dance. In the 1980s, she appeared on The Equalizer. Also in the 80s, she appeared on SNL as an "Update Dancer" during Dennis Miller's news segment, in which the dancers would come out scantily clad and dance to a classic rock song.

Later work[edit]

In 2005, Vitamin C's cover of the 1980s hit "Voices Carry" by 'Til Tuesday was included on the soundtrack for the Disney superhero comedy movie Sky High.

In 2006, she assembled a Radio Disney-aimed group of four young teenagers named The Truth Squad. She allowed the group to cover "Graduation (Friends Forever)" and wrote a number of songs for their debut album as well as producing it. The album was released on April 3, 2007 and failed to spark much interest besides a brief appearance on the Top Kid Audio Chart, where it peaked at No. 23 for two weeks, dropped to No. 25 the next week and by the third week had fallen off the chart completely.[38] Despite this, the group's video for their single "Flip" had been heavily promoted on the Disney Channel. In 2006, she starred in an indie TV sitcom called THE LEK that was released to the Internet through YouTube, though to date there have been only three episodes released.

In 2007 she also assembled and produced the girl group the Stunners. The group was signed to Columbia Records and later Universal Republic Records. In the span of four years they released an EP, two singles - one featuring hip-hop recording artists the New Boyz, and four music videos. The group split in early 2011. Of the former members emerged pop singer Tinashe (formally the lead singer in the group, who went solo when the group split), The Lying Game actress Allie Gonino, and Hayley Kiyoko, who went on to join the Disney-formed on-screen group Lemonade Mouth as "Stella". Furthermore, she contributed vocals to Information Society's 2007 album, Synthesizer. Her song "Money" was used in the opening of the 2010 Lifetime television movie Who is Clark Rockefeller?.

Vitamin C has written or co-written many songs for other artists. She wrote the song "We Are Gonna Happen" for actress/singer Emma Roberts featured on her 2005 Unfabulous and More CD. She co-wrote "Where Do We Go" with Scout Taylor-Compton in 2005. She wrote the single "Make Some Noise" for Krystal Meyers in 2008. In 2009, she wrote "Let's Get Crazy" for Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana. Miley sang the song in-character as Hannah Montana on Hannah Montana: The Movie and Hannah Montana (season 3). Vitamin C also wrote the song "One and the Same", a duet recorded by Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez for the Disney Channel Original Movie Princess Protection Program, which was later included on the Disney Channel Playlist album.

On March 21, 2012, Nickelodeon named Vitamin C as VP of Music. She will oversee all music for Nickelodeon and its sister cable channels, as well as A&R and management of Nickelodeon artists.[8][39][40]

Future endeavors[edit]

MTV News interviewed Vitamin C where she revealed details on a comeback, with two new albums,[34] though no release dates or labels have yet been cited. In the June 11 issue, People Magazine had a special "Where Are They Now" article. She was about to finish work on a children's world-music album that would celebrate diversity through songs like the Indian-styled "Bhangra On and On" and "We All Share the Same Sky," and that she started work on a non-children's third Vitamin C album she described as "Goldfrapp-meets-Vitamin C," which she had hoped to have out by 2007.[34] Regarding the album, she had stated "Just because you're not always on MTV doesn't mean you're not actively working," she said.[41] Both albums have yet to be released.

Personal life[edit]

She has been married since 2004 to guitarist Michael Kotch, her former band mate in Eve's Plum who worked on her solo debut.[42]

Discography[edit]

Main article: Vitamin C discography

Studio albums

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Hairspray Amber Von Tussle As Colleen Fitzpatrick
1991 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear Blues Singer As Colleen Fitzpatrick
1992 The Mambo Kings Redhead on Bus As Colleen Fitzpatrick
1995 Higher Learning Festival Singer As Colleen Fitzpatrick
1995 Just Cause Prosecutor As Colleen Fitzpatrick
1995 Crinoline Head As Colleen Fitzpatrick
1996 High School High Singer As Colleen Fitzpatrick
1997 St. Patrick's Day Cassie As Colleen Fitzpatrick
1997 Liar Liar Conference Room Attorney As Colleen Fitzpatrick
1999 My X-Girlfriend's Wedding Reception Paprika As Colleen Fitzpatrick
2000 Da Hip Hop Witch Herself As Colleen Fitzpatrick
2000 Dracula 2000 Lucy Westerman As Colleen Fitzpatrick
2001 Get Over It Self As Vitamin C
2001 Scary Movie 2 Herself Voice role
2001 Rock Star Guitarist in Crowd Outside Mansion As Colleen Fitzpatrick
2005 Happy Is Not Hard to Be Chloe As Colleen Fitzpatrick
2007 Along the Way Elizabeth McCaffrey As Colleen Fitzpatrick

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 The Amanda Show Herself 2 episodes
2001 The Brothers Garcia Herself 1 episode
2001 MADTv Herself 2 episodes
2001 Hollywood Squares Herself 12 episodes
2002 Celebrity Bootcamp Herself Television film
2004 The WB's Superstar USA Herself Regular panelist
2008 Your Mama Don't Dance Herself Regular panelist

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2009). Top Pop Singles 1955-2008 (12 ed.). Record Research. p. 1032. ISBN 0-89820-180-2. 
  2. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. "Vitamin C | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  3. ^ Room 2010, p. 496.
  4. ^ a b "Maxim Magazine Hot 100 Women of 2001". Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  5. ^ a b c Bonin, Liane. "'C' Change". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2009. Her scary yellow and orange dye job has inspired a Mattel Vitamin C doll, a garish shade of Tommy Hilfiger lipstick, and even a question on ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. 
  6. ^ Basham, David (August 16, 2000). "Vitamin C Unveils Doll, Works With Dallas Austin". MTV News. Retrieved May 10, 2009. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived November 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b Rys, Dan (March 21, 2012). "Colleen Fitzpatrick, a.k.a. Pop Star Vitamin C, Named VP of Music at Nickelodeon". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  9. ^ Whitburn 2009, p. 270.
  10. ^ a b "Pop and Circumstance". People.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Colleen Fitzpatrick Biography (1970?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ Benning, Erin. "`Graduation' blues - Vitamin C shares memories of senior year", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 8, 2000.
  13. ^ a b "Ben Stein with Vitamin C & G Love". Turn Ben Stein On. April 5, 2001. Comedy Central. 
  14. ^ a b "Pop and Circumstance". People.com. May 22, 2000. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Elektra's Vitamin C Gives Pop a Twist". Billboard: 12. July 17, 1999. 
  16. ^ Billboard bio on Vitamin C
  17. ^ "Vitamin C Music News & Info". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  18. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - July 14, 2014". RIAA. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - July 14, 2014". RIAA. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  20. ^ Steve Huey. "Vitamin C | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  21. ^ Steffen Hung. "Vitamin C - Friends Forever (Graduation)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  22. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2000 Singles". Aria.com.au. Archived from the original on April 20, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Vitamin C (2) Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  24. ^ Steffen Hung. "Discography Vitamin C". irishcharts.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Vitamin C". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Music News: Latest and Breaking Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Vitamin C - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  28. ^ Steffen Hung. "Vitamin C - The Itch". australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2001 Singles". Aria.com.au. Archived from the original on May 5, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Vitamin C - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  31. ^ White, Greg (November 22, 2012). "Lost In Music: Vitamin C - More". So So Gay. So So Gay Ltd. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  32. ^ "Cosmo Honors 'Will & Grace' Star - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Naked Colleen Fitzpatrick aka Vitamin C: nude scenes from past movies (videos & pics)". Onlinemoviemagazine.com. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  34. ^ a b c Kaufman, Gil (May 8, 2006). "Where Ya Been? Vitamin C Juicing Up A Comeback, Fastball Heading Back To The Mound - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  35. ^ "ChartArchive - Vitamin C". Archive.is. July 31, 2014. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  36. ^ Roberts 2006, p. 588.
  37. ^ "Eminem, Vitamin C, More Take On "Hip-Hop Witch"". MTV. May 17, 2000. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  38. ^ "T-Squad | Discography". AllMusic. April 3, 2007. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Nickelodeon Names Colleen Fitzpatrick VP/Music". AllAccess.com. March 23, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Comings & Goings :: CableFax Portal". Cablefax.com. March 23, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Where Ya Been? Vitamin C Juicing Up A Comeback, Fastball Heading Back To The Mound". MTV. May 5, 2006. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  42. ^ Arnold, Chuck. "Music". People.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 

Sources[edit]

  • Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  • Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins (5 ed.). McFarland. ISBN 978-0-786-44373-4. 
  • Whitburn, Joel (2009). Joel Whitburn's Music Stars: Brief Bios of Every Recording Artist who Ever Charted. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-0-898-20176-5. 

External links[edit]