Ryan Starr (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Ryan Starr (born Tiffany Ryan Montgomery; November 21, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She finished seventh on the season 1 of the talent search television series American Idol. She has since appeared in numerous movies and both reality and scripted television programs.
Starr appeared during the audition rounds on the first season of American Idol, using her birth name. According to Simon Cowell's memoir I Don't Mean to be Rude, she was "cripplingly shy" at the audition, but "Paula [Abdul] saw some potential for stardom in her, and decided to mentor her." As a result, he claims, Montgomery became overly confident, changing her name to "Ryan Starr" by the next phase of the competition, dressing in flamboyant homemade outfits, and insisting on singing rock rather than the pop music he felt she was suited for.
Instead of the usual pop hits that other contestants were singing, Starr chose an unusual song, "The Frim Fram Sauce," in the first semi-final. She was the second singer from that group to be voted into the Top Ten. The following week, Starr was the first to perform on American Idol's first live show. She sang "If You Really Love Me" by Stevie Wonder, and received praise from the judges, including this quote from Simon Cowell: "Pure star performance, loved it."
Starr faltered when she sang The Kinks' "You Really Got Me," and was panned by the judges. Cowell called it "dreadful." The following week she sang Donna Summer's "Last Dance," and received praise from the judges, but was eliminated.
Starr returned with the rest of the finalists during the shows' finale and sang "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'", and went on a nationwide 32-city tour with the other finalists. RCA, in partnership with American Idol, signed her.
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" Nancy Sinatra, (solo part in Group performance)
Post-American Idol music career
Starr blamed for her stalled music career on a two-year restrictive recording contract with RCA. Under this contract, she refused to record an album claiming producers wanted to turn her into an Avril Lavigne type singer. After an intense three year legal battle she was released from contract in 2005.
Upon release from her contract, Starr released an iTunes Exclusive Single, "My Religion." The song went all the way to number one on the US Billboard Hot Digital Songs Chart, and was noted in the 2005 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records to have sold the most exclusive single downloads in iTunes's history. They also went on to detail the fact that My Religion was slated to be released to stores in early 2006, however, iTunes refused to release Ryan Starr's single from contract. One of the highest selling exclusive singles ever, it sold an estimated 360,000 units worldwide according to MTV and USA Today.
In an interview given to the Today Show in early 2007, Starr revealed that iTunes had expressed interest in Starr releasing another exclusive single to follow up the immense success of "My Religion." Starr claimed that she was reluctant to accept as she wished to release a full album, but hinted she had accepted the very lucrative offer put forth by iTunes. Rumors began to circulate that 'Stranded' would be the next exclusive single when images of a single cover were released on her MySpace.
Reports were previously made that Starr turned down a three-album deal with Sanctuary Records. The deal supposedly required her to record two pop albums before being allowed to record her rock album. These reports were later confirmed to be false by her.
Starr revealed to MTV that she had formed a band called Aces. The music pure rock, and both she and the band members are very excited with the material.
Television and film career
Shortly after her run on American Idol, Starr made a guest appearance on the popular Fox network comedy That '70s Show, and had a guest role on an episode of the hit CBS drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Starr had the lead role in the Direct-To-Video movie, Ring of Darkness.
In 2004, made her most prominent appearance since American Idol, appearing in the VH1 reality show The Surreal Life. She often appeared ill-at-ease during the program, bursting into tears in response to a male stripping performance, refusing to participate in a ghost-hunt due to her religious convictions, and decrying the fact that she was forced to participate in a group recording session that required her to sing pop rather than rock music.
In fall 2008, Starr appeared in Fox Reality's Gimme My Reality Show, in which she competed with such D-listers as Kato Kaelin and A.J. Benza for the chance to star in her own reality show. Shocked at being cut after the second round, a tearful Starr told the camera, "I sometimes regret doing American Idol because sometimes I think maybe that's why I don't have a record deal... But I promised myself I'd never do anything else I regretted that much. I regret doing this show, and it's going to stay with me for a long time. I regret doing this show."