Ashley Parker Angel (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Ashley Parker Angel (born August 1, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter and actor who rose to fame with the boyband O-Town.
Ashley Parker Angel was born Ashley Ward Parker, the child of Darren and Paula Parker, and raised in the town of Redding, California. His grandparents are of German and Irish descent. Ashley was named after the fictional character Ashley Wilkes , his mother"s favorite character from Margaret Mitchell"s 1937 novel Gone with the Wind, which later became a classic film of the same title. When Ashley was three years old, his parents divorced. His mother later remarried, and Ashley was legally adopted by his stepfather, Ron Angel, who is of American Indian descent. He then legally assumed the name by which he is also known as, "Ashley Parker-Angel." He has two brothers, Taylor and Justin and two sisters, Annie and Emily.
From a very early age, Ashley studied the piano, as his mother Paula was a successful piano teacher with many students of her own. He was by nature active and adventurous. In one incident, at the age of nine he inadvertently set fire to his elementary school"s football and soccer fields due to the explosion of a model rocket he had launched on school property; local police charged him with a misdemeanor.
As an adolescent, he was hired in an open casting call by the California-based video game company Working Designs, who produced many cult-hit role-playing games that required extensive voice acting. Ashley went on to voice characters in many popular Sega and PlayStation video games, including the lead character Alex in the classic Lunar: The Silver Star.
During his teenage years, Ashley also worked the game help phone lines at Working Designs, and as a lifeguard at both a local water park and Whiskeytown Lake. He later worked at ShopKo, a regional chain. While there, with each transaction, he would sweet-talk customers into filling out the feedback card he included with their purchase and asked them to mention him if they felt he did a good job. This tactic resulted in his ascent to the position as top employee in the entire store chain based on customer feedback. Always drawn to performing, at 16 he signed with a small talent agency in his hometown and began searching for opportunities to work in entertainment.
O-Town and Making the Band
In 2000 Ashley Parker Angel achieved fame on the hit ABC series Making the Band, which tracked the formation of a pop music group. The MTV production was the first reality show to be picked up by a major television network. Weekly, viewers saw Angel, after first being plucked from tens of thousands of other auditionees, survive each stage of the selection process to become one of the "final five" members of the new vocal group O-Town.
Making the Band band manager Lou Pearlman, who had been responsible for the formation of groups such as The Backstreet Boys and "N Sync (the show"s concept and title have since been adopted by P. Diddy).
Ratings were strong, and as a result O-Town quickly achieved success; by the end of the first season, the group had inked a record deal with music legend Clive Davis and become the debut act for Davis" new label J Records. The album O-Town, boosted by the weekly TV publicity, debuted at #5 on Billboard and went on to multi-platinum status. "Liquid Dreams," the album"s first release, crowned the SoundScan singles chart at #1, selling over 42,000 units in one week. The group won the 2001 Teen Choice Award for Breakthrough Artist.
Because of O-Town, J Records made musical history as the first label in SoundScan history (1991 and on) to have its first single release debut at #1 on the sales charts. Also, O-Town is the first artist in SoundScan history to have its first single come in at #1, an achievement recorded in the 2002 Guinness Book of World Records.
In late spring 2001, the second single, "All or Nothing," and became the biggest hit of O-Town"s career. The song reached #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart and was nominated for numerous awards, including Song of the Year during the 2001 Radio Music Awards.
The group toured internationally, and went on to be the first reality show cast to remain unchanged for a second and third season. Near the end of the third season, viewers watched O-Town striving to take their careers to the next level, writing their own music, earning the respect of industry peers, and marketing themselves as more than a "boy band." Unfortunately, by the time of the release of their second album, O2, the teen-pop genre had begun to fade, and they did not find the acceptance they sought. Despite moderate success, O2 got nowhere near the market impact of their first album. In November 2003 J Records dropped the band from the label.
In January 2011, O-Town confirmed their reunion plans, four days after confirming the band had gotten back together Ashley released a statement via TMZ.com that he wouldn't be reuniting with the band causing an uproar with the fans and media due to Ashley being a key member during O-Town.
"O-Town was one of the greatest chapters of my life, so when the idea of a reunion was brought to me, of course I was intrigued. However I have made the decision not to be a part of an O-Town reunion. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately necessary to move on with the next chapter of my career"
Solo Music Career and There & Back (2004-2006)
In 2004, Ashley had secured a record deal with Blackground/Universal Records, and later that year MTV began filming There and Back, a reality series tracking his pursuit of solo stardom. The show documented Parker"s struggle to transcend his mostly teen idol image, showcasing him as a serious songwriter and musician who co-wrote every track of his album. The series was backlit by the relationship between him and his then-pregnant fiancée (the engagement has since been broken off) and the obstacles of early fatherhood, and also captured the drama and birth of his son Lyric.
In April 2006, Parker was selected to be a contestant on NBC"s Celebrity Cooking Showdown, produced by entertainment mogul/rapper Diddy; Angel placed second, even though he is seen severely lacerating his finger during one of the timed cooking challenges. Shortly thereafter, he competed in the Kelly Slater Celebrity Surf Invitational, in which he had another severe injury, this time a foot laceration.
In May 2006, his solo album Soundtrack to Your Life was released, debuting at #5 on Billboard and receiving many positive reviews. Billboard"s review called it "great melodic rock " falling somewhere between the earnest balladeering of the Goo Goo Dolls and the driving rock of the All American Rejects." The first single release, "Let U Go," was a hit; its video spent weeks at #1 on MTV"s TRL and the single had the third-highest-selling debut of 2006. In spring of that year, Parker toured throughout North America with Ashlee Simpson.
Parker was featured as a character in the Clone High episode "Gate Expectations". In the episode, he hosts a teen dance show which is set on the sunny beaches of Canada, where it's always "a balmy 32 degrees". Parker is described in the episode as being like "the Beatles and Jesus all rolled into one."
On Broadway (2007-2008)
In January 2007, Ashley Parker joined the eight-time Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray, playing the lead character"s love interest, teen heartthrob Link Larkin. The New York Post assessed Angel"s performance as "an absolute charmer." Angel"s presence on Broadway also led the New York Times to do a feature on the singer/songwriter turned actor. The Hairspray producers asked Angel to extend his contract four times. In early 2008, Parker sustained a back injury onstage, forcing him to leave the show for a few months, but he returned to finish the last few weeks of his latest contract, giving the actor a successful run in the show for more than a year.
During his stay in New York, Parker performed at several other Broadway-related events, including Broadway in Bryant Park and Broadway on Broadway.
As a child, Parker was the voice of the main character Alex in the video game Lunar: The Silver Star and Lunar: Silver Star Story.
In 2007 during his run on Broadway Angel began taking Acting classes after finding acting during the show fun and challenging. In June 2009, Parker signed for his first major Acting role as Carson Wheetly for the movie Wild Things by Sony, filmed in Miami over two months and titled Wild Things: Foursome originally titled, Wild Things: Criss-Cross.
In June 20 Parker played pop singer Danny Starr in the "Danny Starr / Quinceañera" episode of the children's cartoon Handy Manny on the Disney Channel. In which he sang an original song "Twisty Turn Twist" which he co-wrote for the show.
In late March 2010 Parker was cast in the role of Todd for the upcoming family superhero movie Pizza Man starring Frankie Muniz filmed in Los Angeles. Pizza Man is due for theatrical release in late 2011.
In February 2011 Parker filmed his third movie Amelia's 25th, he plays the role of Jacob. This movie is due for release in 2012.
Mansions of Arcadia (2012)
As of 2012 Parker has been working with Xandy Barry on a new joint Band project titled MOA standing for Mansions of Arcadia. He released a 20-second clip in January 2012 of their debut release "Don't Let Me Down".
Ashley was engaged to model Tiffany Lynn after a five-year relationship. The couple had one son, named Lyric, together. In June 2008, the couple broke up.
In 2011, Ashley dropped "Angel" from his last name professionally making his name "Ashley Parker" but later added the Angel back to his name upon the launch of Mansions of Arcadia.
Filmography / Discography
Ashley played himself with O-Town
Wild Things: Foursome
Filmed in 2009 in Miami
Filming began March 2010
Digital Short, filmed in 2010
Filmed in early 2011
Television and video games
Lunar: The Silver Star
Voice of the video game character
Voice of the video game character
Voice of the video game character
Magic Knight Rayearth
Voice of the video game character
Played himself with O-Town, Episode 6
Voiced himself, Episode 7
Voice of the character in "Danny Starr", "The Twisty Turn Twist"