Ashley Michelle Tisdale (born July 2, 1985) is an American actress, singer, and producer. During her childhood, she appeared in more than 100 TV advertisements and had roles in theatre and television shows. In 2004, she was cast as Maddie Fitzpatrick in Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and rose to prominence in 2006 as Sharpay Evans in the television film High School Musical. The High School Musical series included three films and the spin-off Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure (2011). Tisdale's resultant popularity led her to sign a record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 2006. Her debut album, Headstrong (2007), was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and features the single "He Said She Said". Two years later, Tisdale released her second studio album, Guilty Pleasure. In 2013, she announced plans to make music again and confirmed that she has been recording her third studio album.>
From 2007 until 2015, Tisdale voiced Candace Flynn in Disney Channel's three-time Emmy Award-winning animated series Phineas and Ferb. The cartoon quickly became the television's most-watched animated series among kids and tweens and has received critical acclaim. Her other roles have included Savannah Monroe in The CW's television drama series Hellcats (2010â"11), Jody Sanders in Scary Movie 5 (2013) and the title character of Hub Network's animated series Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch (2013â"present), for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2014.
Besides acting and singing, Tisdale has ventured into producing. After forming a production company in 2008, she began working as the executive producer on films and television series including the ABC Family television film Picture This (2008), the unscripted series Miss Advised (2013), and the comedy series Young & Hungry (2014).
Life and career
1985â"2003: Early life and career beginnings
Ashley Michelle Tisdale was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey, on July 2, 1985, to Lisa Morris and contractor Michael Tisdale. Her father is Christian and her mother is Jewish; she was raised with "a little bit of both" religions. Tisdale's elder sister Jennifer is an actress and producer. She is also related to businessman Ron Popeil through her maternal grandfather. At the age of three, Tisdale met her manager, Bill Perlman, at a New Jersey mall. He sent her to various auditions for commercials, and she was placed in more than 100 national network TV advertisements as a child. She began her theatrical career by appearing in Gypsy: A Musical Fable and The Sound of Music at Monmouth County's Jewish Community Center.
Tisdale was eight years old when she was cast to play the part of Cosette in the musical Les MisÃ©rables, and only recalled taking a single singing lesson before landing the role. In 2007, Tisdale told Newsday, "When I was little, I saw the play Les MisÃ©rables on Broadway. I thought it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen, so I went to my manager and told him I wanted to be in it". Tisdale toured for two years with Les MisÃ©rables before landing a role in a touring production of Annie in Korea. At the age of 12, Tisdale sang for President Bill Clinton during an event at the White House. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, after moving to Los Angeles, California with her family, Tisdale had minor roles in television shows including The Hughleys, Smart Guy, 7th Heaven, Boston Public, and Bette, appeared in the feature films A Bug's Life and Donnie Darko, and worked as a model for Ford Models. For her role as Carol Prader in Boston Public, she received a 2000 Young Artist Award nomination for "Best Guest Performance In a TV drama".
2004â"06: High School Musical and rise to prominence
The producers of the Disney Channel television series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody cast Tisdale as Maddie Fitzpatrick, a teenage candy-counter girl who works in a fancy hotel, in 2004. The series premiered in March 2005 and ended in September 2008. For this role, she won her first award at the Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards 2007 for "Best TV Actress" in 2008.
In 2006, Tisdale played Sharpay Evans in the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical. High School Musical became Disney Channel's most-watched movie that year, viewed by 7.7 million in its US premiere broadcast. The soundtrack, on which Tisdale contributed vocals for several songs, sold more than 3.7 million copies in the US and became the top-selling album that year. All of the songs featured on the soundtrack appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Tisdale subsequently became the first female artist to debut with two songs simultaneously on the Hot 100 chart, with "What I've Been Looking For" and "Bop to the Top". High School Musical was nominated for six Primetime Emmy Awards, winning two. To promote the film, Tisdale and the cast embarked on a tour titled High School Musical: The Concert during 2006 and 2007. After meeting dancer Jared Murillo while working on High School Musical, he and Tisdale dated from 2007 to 2009.
2007â"09: Studio albums and film career
After the release of High School Musical, Tisdale opted not to sign with Disney's affiliated record label Hollywood Records like her co-stars. She eventually signed with Warner Bros. Records to a recording contract, and she began work on her debut album Headstrong. In December 2006, producer J.R. Rotem confirmed he was producing and writing with Tisdale on the album. In contrast to her songs in High School Musical, Tisdale opted to pursue a more mature sound with R&B, dance-pop, and hip hop influences while working on her debut. To promote Headstrong, the song "Be Good to Me" was released to mainstream radio stations in the month preceding the album's release as its lead single. Headstrong was released in February 2007 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, selling 64,000 copies in the first week. The second single "He Said She Said" became Tisdale's most successful single in the US. A documentary about the album's creation, along with a three-song music video trilogy, was featured on a music DVD titled There's Something About Ashley, released in November 2007. Headstrong was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales exceeding 500,000 copies in the US.
Work on High School Musical 2 began in 2007, and Tisdale was confirmed to return for the sequel as Sharpay Evans. The film premiered on Disney Channel in August 2007 to 17 million viewers and became the most-watched movie on cable television. She received positive reviews for her performance in the film, which earned two Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. The soundtrack, featuring Tisdale, debuted at number one on the Billboard chart with sales of 615,000 copies, making it the fourth biggest week's sales for a soundtrack album as of 2014.
Disney Channel picked up the animated series Phineas and Ferb in 2006; Tisdale was cast as the voice of Candace Flynn, a main character whose primary motivation is getting her brothers in trouble. The series' first episode was broadcast immediately after the premiere of High School Musical 2 to 10 million viewers and became the most-watched animated series among kids and tweens in 2010. Phineas and Ferb has also received acclaim by critics and has won three Primetime Emmy Awards.
In 2008, Tisdale formed her own production company, Blondie Girl Productions. The television film Picture This marked Tisdale's debut as an executive producer and as an actress in a leading role; she played Mandy Gilbert, an unpopular and bullied teenager. The film premiered on ABC Family in 2008 to 4.3 million viewers.
Tisdale reprised her role as Sharpay Evans in High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which premiered in October 2008. It earned $42 million in its domestic opening weekend, and grossed a total of $255 million worldwide. Her performance in the film earned her an MTV Movie Award for "Breakthrough Performance Female" in 2009. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly labeled her one of film's breakout stars, and Mark Kermode said Tisdale was 2008's "best supporting actress".
Tisdale began work on her second studio album Guilty Pleasure soon after she finished promoting High School Musical 3: Senior Year. She said she had been involved in every aspect of the production of the album, from its "guitar-driven" sound to much of the writing process. "It's Alright, It's OK" was the song chosen to precede the album as its lead single; it was released to mainstream radio and digital retailers in April 2009. Guilty Pleasure was eventually released in June 2009. Described by Tisdale as a "rocker and edgier" album, it debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200, selling 25,000 copies in the first week; this was significantly lower than the first-week sales for her previous album.
Tisdale starred in the 2009 20th Century Fox family film Aliens in the Attic as teenager Bethany Pearson. Although she is credited as one of the main characters, The New York Times said Tisdale "spends much of the film off screen". The film was a minor success in box offices, grossing $60 million worldwide. From 2009 to 2011, she was in a relationship with director Scott Speer, who directed five of her music videos.
2010â"12: Return to broadcast television and producing
Tisdale's return to broadcast television was announced in 2010. She starred in The CW drama series Hellcats as Savannah Monroe, the captain of a cheerleading team. The series based its script on the book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by journalist Kate Torgovnick; it was described by critics as "Election meets Bring It On". TV Guide reported Tisdale was the best-paid cast member of the series, earning $30,000 per episode. Hellcats ran for one season before being cancelled by The CW in 2011.
She performed voice roles in animated series during 2010, including The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, and Glenn Martin, DDS. In 2012, she made a guest appearance in an episode of Raising Hope and had a starring role in a CBS pilot produced by Louis C.K., which was not picked up by the channel. Tisdale also portrayed a desirable and high-priced escort in a two-episode arc in the fifth season of FX's Sons of Anarchy. In 2010, Disney Channel announced its intention to produce a High School Musical spin-off focusing on the life of Sharpay Evans in New York after she concluded high school. Tisdale was confirmed to return as Evans for the spin-off and serve as the executive producer of the project. Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure premiered on Disney Channel to 5 million viewers in August 2011.
Tisdale and her production company Blondie Girl Productions signed a multiyear production deal with Relativity Media in 2010 to create, develop, and produce films and television series. Miss Advised was the first project on which Tisdale served as the executive producer without also performing in a starring role. A reality show that followed three single relationship experts, it debuted on Bravo in the United States and aired for one season in 2012.
2013â"present: established career and marriage
In 2013, E! aired a television special produced by Tisdale named Inner Circle that focused on her friendship with actress Vanessa Hudgens. The next year, Tisdale teamed again with Disney Channel on the film Cloud 9, on which she worked as an executive producer. ABC Family's comedy series Young & Hungry is also produced by Tisdale; it stars Emily Osment and premiered in June 2014. Future projects Tisdale and her production company have been working on include three series intended for internet release.
In June 2012, The Weinstein Company announced that Tisdale had been given the leading role in Dimension Films' Scary Movie 5. Starring alongside Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, she portrayed Jody, a dancer in her late-20s. The film was released in April 2013, and grossed $15 million on its first weekend, making it the lowest-grossing weekend for a Scary Movie film; it was also panned by critics. Tisdale had a recurring role in ABC's sitcom Super Fun Night as Jazmine, the sister of Rebel Wilson's character, and guest starred on CBS's The Crazy Ones in 2013. That same year, Tisdale was cast to voice the title character of Hub Network's animated series Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch. For her performance as Sabrina, Tisdale was nominated for "Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program" in the 41st Daytime Emmy Awards. In December 2014, The Hollywood Reporter announced Tisdale was cast to star as a prostitute in the comedy Drive, She Said alongside Jason Biggs. In 2014, Tisdale auditioned for TBS's workplace comedy series Clipped, on which she was eventually cast in a main role as Danni. The series premiered in 2015.
Four years after the release of her second studio album Guilty Pleasure (2009), Tisdale told MTV that she had been recording her third studio album. She said she was inspired to make music again and that she hoped to "surprise people a little bit, something different from what I've done before". Tisdale announced to MTV that she opted to pursue a dance-pop sound on the album, which was expected to be released in 2014. In December 2013, Tisdale teased on her Twitter account about a "special project" related to music. She confirmed that the project was a single titled "You're Always Here", which was written about her late grandfather. The song was eventually released independently to digital stores that same month.
Tisdale began dating Christopher French, the lead singer of the band Annie Automatic, in December 2012. They became engaged in August 2013 and married on September 8, 2014 in a small private ceremony held in Santa Barbara, California.
Tisdale said that she brings something different with every character she portrays in order to make them her own. After the completion of the High School Musical series in 2008, Tisdale was at first reluctant on accepting older roles because she felt "you can never go backward". She eventually began to accept more mature roles in 2012. Her first adult roles were Emma Jean, a high-priced escort in the drama series Sons of Anarchy (2012), and Jody Sanders, a mother of three children in the feature film Scary Movie 5 (2013). Tisdale commented after Scary Movie 5 that the role had taken her out of her comfort zone, and that she planned to continue to challenge herself in the future. While discussing her portrayal of Logan Rawlings, a lesbian, on Young & Hungry (2014), she said she likes "to play different characters and push the envelope out of [her] own comfort level", but confessed she had been nervous about the idea of playing a lesbian.
Her acting performances have been met with praise by critics and film producers. She was named a "scene stealer" in High School Musical 2 (2007) by Laura Fries of Variety. Jennifer Frey of The Washington Post says that Tisdale dominated the film despite not being the lead character, while Andy Webster of The New York Times praised her acting style, mainly because of her "elastic face [that] lends itself to numerous reaction shots". John Schultz, who directed the film Aliens in the Attic (2009) in which Tisdale starred, says she is a "big comedic actress" and has a "gift" for comedy. The creator of the television series Hellcats (2010), Kevin Murphy, praised her acting skills and said Tisdale "can hold multiple colors in the same palette." Her performance in Scary Movie 5 (2013), however, received negative reviews. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter panned the film as whole and said Tisdale was not funny enough. and Rafer Guzman of Newsday added she did not have "comic timing" in the film.
Tisdale's music, which is predominantly considered pop, has included ballads, dance-pop, hip hop, and rock influences. Boys, heartbreak, and relationship breakups are common themes in Tisdale's songs. She defined her music career as a way to connect herself with the fans and to inspire them. She claimed that, while Headstrong (2007) allowed her to "learn [herself] as an artist", with her second album, Guilty Pleasure (2009), she knew exactly what she wanted to do as an artist.
She often co-writes the songs she records; for her debut album Headstrong, she had writing credits in four songs, while she co-wrote five tracks for her album Guilty Pleasure. The songs in which she has songwritting credits are often personal. In 2009, while discussing the songs she co-wrote for her second studio album, Tisdale said that "a lot of the songs on the album [were] about survival and staying strong" and that she wanted those songs to be "a statement and a reflection of what [she went] through over the past year and how [she has] grown up." She named the song "What If" as the most personal song she co-wrote for Guilty Pleasure. In 2013, she discussed the death of her grandfather in the song "You're Always Here", which she wrote with her husband French.
Her music has received mixed reactions by critics. Her debut album Headstrong was compared to the first works of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera by Billboard. Heather Phares of AllMusic defined Tisdale's voice as "pleasant enough" but not "distinctive" while reviewing her debut album Headstrong and added she had "more character singing" as her role in the High School Musical series. Phares later praised Tisdale's voice by saying her "chirpy, slightly saccharine voice is perfect". Her second studio album Guiilty Pleasure, released in 2009, achieved a 48% rating on Metacritic, which indicates "mixed or average reviews". Keri Masson of Billboard stated that Tisdale "can deliver the radio-ready goods" with her 2009 album Guilty Pleasure, but criticized the album as a whole; he believed the album "doesn't give the singer room to comfortably let loose". Stephen Thomas Erlewine, also of AllMusic, said she is not "convincing" on Guilty Pleasure, but praised the overall quality of the songs on the album. Margaret Wappler of the Los Angeles Times gave the album a negative review; she said the album has "few glimmers of hope" and went on to criticize the producers as "not seem[ing] to have gifted Tisdale with their best work". Despite the mixed reception by critics, the album was well received by fans; it achieved a user score of 6.5 on Metacritic, which means "generally favorable reviews", and was also named the seventh best album of the decade by Billboard readers in 2009.
Tisdale has named many influences on her musical career, including Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Pat Benatar, Pink, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC. Tisdale said that "almost anything" inspires her, but she is mainly inspired by female pop singers.
Her main acting influences are Jake Gyllenhaal, Johnny Depp, Robin Williams and Rebel Wilson. Tisdale claims that she would like to emulate Shia LaBeouf's career because "he did it so well" and that she is inspired by Wilson's ability to work simultaneously as a writer, producer and actress in ABC's Super Fun Night.
Tisdale is considered a sex symbol, ranking on Maxim's Hot 100 list of sexiest women and hottest celebrities in the 2008 list (at number 10), in 2013 (at number seven), and in 2014 (at number 33). She appeared topless on the cover of Maxim's May 2013 issue and posed nude for the May 2011 issue of Allure magazine. She told Allure that "being in this shoot was me saying, 'I'm not just the young girl everybody thinks I am. I'm actually a woman.'"
Tisdale has become a popular and active figure in social media; she is one of the most-followed musicians on Twitter, with more than 12 million followers, and she has more than 22 million Likes on Facebook. Her popularity on social media led her to appear for three weeks on Billboard's Social 50 chart, peaking at number 18, and to win the award for "Social Media Superstar" at the Young Hollywood Awards in 2014. She was also named the 45th most influential woman on Twitter by The Huffington Post in 2015.
Tisdale has supported various charitable organizations and causes during her career. She collaborated with the Make a Wish Foundation in 2008 by visiting sick children in hospitals and helping to raise funds for the organization. Tisdale is also a supporter of Habitat for Humanity, a charity devoted to building homes for people in need. She was scheduled to perform on Idol Gives Back 2008, along with her High School Musical co-star Vanessa Hudgens. However, they were unable to appear due to their High School Musical 3: Senior Year filming schedule; they recorded a video from the film's set to support the cause instead. She contributed to the A Very Special Christmas 7 album with her rendition of Wham!'s "Last Christmas"; proceeds from sales benefited the Special Olympics. Tisdale was a phone operator during Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, a charity telethon held on January 2010 to raise funds for seven non-profit organizations that carried out relief work in Haiti following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Tisdale volunteered for the "Get on the Bus" charity campaign in 2011, which was hosted by the television series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. She helped to build a house for a family and later performed some of her songs to raise funds. In 2012, she became the face of Project Pink, a campaign launched by Puma SE to raise money for the research of breast cancer treatments. As part of the campaign, she visited Los Angeles' BEST After School Enrichment Program at Pacoima Charter School in California and presented each child that attended with shoes, clothes, and gift cards. In 2013, Tisdale recorded her song titled "You're Always Here" and later released it to digital stores as a charity single. During an interview with On Air with Ryan Seacrest, she confirmed that 30 percent of the proceeds of the song would go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
In 2007, Tisdale appeared in promotional campaigns for Staples, T-Mobile, Toys "R" Us, and the EckÅ Red clothing brand; the latter included a mall tour in the US, featuring performances in fashion shows. In 2008, she was the face of Degree Girl in the US; to promote the deodorant, she shot several commercials and covered five hit singles from the 1980s, including Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time". That year, Tisdale was paid $5.5 million for her work in films, television, and endorsement deals, leading her to being named number 17 in the Forbes' High Earners Under 30 list, number 94 on the Forbes 2008 Celebrity 100 list, and number six on the Forbes' Hollywood's 10 Top-Paid Tweens list, a chart that listed actors whose work is directed to the 8-to-14-year-old demographic. In 2011, Tisdale joined the Got Milk? campaign. She was the face of Ocean Pacific in 2012, along with actress Sarah Hyland, in which they were required to pose for numerous shots wearing a variety of colorful bikinis. In 2014, she promoted the U.S. launch of Lindt HELLO chocolates by producing an episode of the online series It Started with HELLO.
- Headstrong (2007)
- Guilty Pleasure (2009)
Awards and nominations
- Media related to Ashley Tisdale at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Ashley Tisdale at the Internet Movie Database
- Ashley Tisdale at YouTube