Ashley Michelle Tisdale (born July 2, 1985) is an American actress and singer who rose to prominence portraying the candy-counter girl Maddie Fitzpatrick in Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and the female antagonist Sharpay Evans in the High School Musical film series. The High School Musical series became a successful franchise which included two television films, a feature movie, a spin-off and numerous soundtrack albums. The popularity earned by Tisdale in High School Musical led her to sign a solo record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 2006. Her debut album Headstrong, was released in February 2007, and debuted at number five in the U.S. chart and sold 64,000 copies in the first week. It was later certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. A second studio album, Guilty Pleasure, was released in 2009.
Tisdale owns a production company and has worked as an executive producer in movies which included the ABC Family television film Picture This. Tisdale has a prominent voice role as Candace Flynn in Disney Channel's Phineas & Ferb, a cartoon which became television's most-watched animated series among kids and tweens and had been met with acclaim by critics. In 2009, she was cast in her first major broadcast role in The CW's television series Hellcats as Savannah Monroe, an intense and very religious cheerleader.
Tisdale was born in West Deal, New Jersey on July 2, 1985, to Lisa (née Morris) and Mike Tisdale, the manager of a construction company. Her elder sister, Jennifer Tisdale, is an actress. Through her grandfather, Tisdale is related to businessman Ron Popeil. She grew up in Ocean Township. She is Jewish on her mother's side and was raised with "a little bit of both" of her parents' religions.
At the age of three, Tisdale met her current manager, Bill Perlman, at a New Jersey mall. He sent her to numerous auditions for commercials, resulting in her placement in more than 100 national network TV ads as a kid. She began her theatrical career by appearing in Gypsy: A Musical Fable and The Sound of Music at Monmouth County's Jewish Community Center.
At the age of eight, she was cast to play the part of Cosette in a national touring production of the musical Les Misérables. "When I was little, I saw the play Les Misérables 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", said Tisdale in an interview to Newsday in 2007. She also claims to have had only a single singing lesson before landing the role. Tisdale toured for two years on Les Misérables before landing a role in an international touring production of Annie in Korea. At the age of twelve, Tisdale sang at the White House for President Bill Clinton.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tisdale had minor roles in several television shows such as The Hughleys, Smart Guy, 7th Heaven, Boston Public and Bette and in the feature films A Bug's Life and Donnie Darko. During this time, she simultaneously worked as a Ford Model. For her role in Boston Public, she received a 2000 Young Artist Award nomination for "Best Guest Performance In a TV drama".
In 2004, she was cast as the teenage candy-counter girl Maddie Fitzpatrick in the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, which premiered in March 2005 and ended in 2008. She later won her first award at the UK Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for "Best TV Actress", due to her performance as Fitzpatrick.
Although the producers of the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical did not initially consider her because of her "good-girl image" on The Suite Life, Tisdale was eventually cast as the popular, narcissistic high school student Sharpay Evans in the 2006 film. High School Musical became Disney Channel's most watched movie that year, with 7.7 million viewers in its US premiere broadcast. The soundtrack, in which Tisdale lent her vocals for several songs, became the top-selling album in the United States that year. Tisdale became the first female artist to debut with two songs simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with "What I've Been Looking For" and "Bop to the Top", both tracks from the film's soundtrack. Due to the popularity earned by Tisdale through her performance in High School Musical, Warner Bros. Records signed her for a recording contract in July 2006 and she started working on her debut album.
Headstrong is Tisdale's US Gold-certified debut album, released in February 2007 via Warner Bros, which debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, with 64,000 copies sold in that week. "Be Good to Me" was released as the album's first single in the December, 2006 and "He Said She Said" was released as the second, in September, 2007. In 2008, "Not Like That" and "Suddenly" were released as singles in a selective number of countries that did not include North America. A music DVD entitled There's Something About Ashley followed the release of her debut album, with a three-song trilogy comprising music videos and a documentary about the creation of Headstrong.
The success of the first High School Musical film led Tisdale to reprise the role in the 2007 sequel High School Musical 2. She lent vocals for several tracks in the film's soundtrack and her performance in High School Musical 2 was critically acclaimed by many media outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter. Even more successful than the first film, High School Musical 2 became the most-watched cable-television movie, receiving 17 million viewers on its premiere night. Also in 2007, Tisdale was given the voice role of Candace Flynn, the series' secondary antagonist, in Phineas and Ferb, which became television's most-watched animated series among kids and tweens and had very positive reviews.
As a producer, Tisdale formed her own production company in 2008 and named it Blondie Girl Productions. The 2008 ABC Family Original Movie Picture This marked Tisdale's debut as an executive producer and also in a leading role, in which she played Mandy Gilbert, an unpopular and bullied teenager. The film captured 4.3 million total viewers in its debut night.
Tisdale reprised her role as Sharpay Evans in the 2008 Walt Disney Pictures feature film High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Her performance in the film earned her an MTV Movie Award for "Breakthrough Performance Female" in 2009. and acclaim by critics including Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly, who labeled her one of film's breakout stars and said her portrayal of Evans makes "narcissism a goofy, bedazzled pleasure", and Mark Kermode, who said Tisdale is 2008's "best supporting actress". High School Musical 3 earned $42 million in its domestic opening weekend, which became the biggest opening for a musical film.
Her second studio album, Guilty Pleasure, was released in 2009. Described by Tisdale as a "rocker and edgier" album, it generated mixed reviews, with a 54% rating on Metacritic, and Billboard claimed the album "doesn't give the singer room to comfortably let loose". Guilty Pleasure debuted at number twelve on the Billboard 200, selling 25,000 copies in its first week, archiving a low commercial performance in comparison with her debut album. The song "It's Alright, It's OK" was released as the album's lead single in April in airplay and digital formats and a second single, "Crank It Up", was later released in October.
Tisdale starred in the 2009 20th Century Fox family feature film Aliens in the Attic as Bethany Pearson, the elder sister of the family and 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 office, grossing $60 million worldwide.
Tisdale's return into broadcast television occurred in 2010 when her involvement in The CW Television Network drama series Hellcats was announced in March by The Hollywood Reporter, that reported Tisdale had signed on to co-star on her first major broadcast series role as Savannah Monroe, the peppy and fiercely intense captain of the Hellcats. The series had its script based on the book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by journalist Kate Torgovnick and was described as "Election meets Bring It On" by critics. Hellcats, however, had only one full season as it was cancelled by The CW in 2011. She had vocal roles in several TV cartoons, during 2010, including The Cleveland Show, Family Guy and Glenn Martin, DDS. and a cameo appearance in 2012 Valentine's Day episode of Raising Hope.
A High School Musical spin-off entitled Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, released directly in DVD, featured Tisdale reprising her role as Sharpay Evans and also serving as the executive producer. The Disney Channel Original Movie captured 5 million viewers on its premiere night on Disney Channel. Tisdale voiced Candance Flynn in the 2011's Phineas and Ferb movie that premiered on Disney Channel with 7.6 million viewers on its debut night.
During 2011, Tisdale started focusing on her career as a television and film producer. Her production company Blondie Girl Productions signed a multiyear production deal with Relativity Media in 2010, to create, develop and executive produce a series. Tisdale has been working in a film for Disney Channel titled Adventure Quest, a project for Nickelodeon, a Bravo TV reality show titled Miss Advised, an upcoming television series based on Laurie Faria Stolarz's book Blue Is for Nightmares, and an upcoming ABC sitcom inspired by Tisdale's life called Under Construction, in which she is also starring.
In 2012, Tisdale has been confirmed in the upcoming movie Jonah & the Whale.
Her music is predominantly pop and has included ballads and pop rock. Love and heartbreak are major themes in Tisdale's songs and her output makes use of electronic instruments such as drum machines and electric guitars. She co-wrote several songs on her studio albums. Her musical influences include Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Lindsay Lohan, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, The Used, Boys Like Girls, Michael Jackson, My Chemical Romance, Lady Gaga, and Fergie and in an AOL interview, Tisdale said, "I’ve been a big fan of Pink ever since she started. I love Katy Perry’s sense of humor and her pop/rock feel. I love Pat Benatar's music. I’m inspired by all these women when I’m going into the studio, but almost anything inspires me."
Public image and personal life
Tisdale is represented by Creative Artists Agency. In 2007, Tisdale appeared in a promotional campaign for Staples Inc.'s "Geared 4 School" sweepstakes and appeared in promotional campaigns for Eckō Red clothing brand, that included a mall tour in the US which performances in fashion shows hosted at each. She appeared in commercials for T-Mobile and Toys "R" Us. She was ranked #10 in Maxim's 2008 Hot 100 list and was ranked #94 on Forbes' 2008 Celebrity 100 list. In 2008, Tisdale was ranked #17 in "Forbes' High Earners Under 30" list and earned $2.8 million from High School Musical 3. She also teamed up with Huckleberry Toys to produce a limited quantity of dolls modeled after her. She was the face of Degree Girl in the U.S. and recorded several commercials and songs to promote the product. In 2009, Tisdale signed a five-year endorsement contract with Italian clothes line, Puerco Espin and became a volunteer for the 2009 "Get on the Bus" charity campaign. In 2011, she joined Got Milk? campaign.
Tisdale was romantically involved with Jared Murillo and ended their relationship in March 2009. In March 2007, Tisdale told Blender she was drug and alcohol-free, and does not smoke and went on to add, "my mom really instilled confidence in me, so I'm not somebody who'd be under peer pressure".
Tisdale underwent a septoplasty procedure in November 2007 to correct her partially deviated septum. According to Tisdale, this was done for "health-related reasons and not out of a belief in plastic surgery". The procedure corrected two small fractures in her nose which were interfering with her breathing. She spoke to People magazine about the surgery, saying that it was important to her to be honest with her fans.
From 2009 to 2011, Tisdale was in a relationship with the music video director Scott Speer. Tisdale posed nude for the May 2011 issue of Allure magazine. She was quoted as saying that "being in this shoot was me saying, ‘I’m not just the young girl everybody thinks I am. I’m actually a woman.’”
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