Ashley Tisdale: the next pop royalty?

You probably know Ashley Tisdale from your younger siblings’ Disney Channel shows. She’s a star of the Disney channel show The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, where she plays the role of Maddie, the lovable candy counter girl at the Tipton Hotel, the swankiest hotel in Boston, where the show is set. You might also recognize her from 2006’s hugely popular Disney original movie High School Musical. She was the snotty theater girl who would do anything to get a role in the school musical-even sabotage. Tisdale is now, like the popular song from High School Musical says, “breaking free” of her Disney identity with her electrically charged debut album Headstrong (2007, Warner Brothers), released on Feb. 6.

Tisdale was born on July 2, 1985, in West Deal, N.J. According to her official Web site, she was discovered at the local mall by her manager, Bill Pearlman, at the age of three. She was in more than 100 national commercials and began her stage career at the age of 8 when she was cast in one of the leading roles in the national Broadway musical production of Les Mis?rables. She was also cast in the international production of Annie. When she’s not acting in her hit TV show and movies, she’s singing. Her first love has always been singing and, at the age of 12, she sang at the White House.

Tisdale’s album Headstrong is not her first foray into the pop charts. She was the first female artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 on Feb. 11, 2006, with two songs that debuted simultaneously-“Bop to the Top” from High School Musical, and “What I’ve Been Looking For”; both were duets with her co-star, Lucas Garbeel. Headstrong is her first solo project.

The album is bold, electric and just plain fun. It has a little of something for everyone. There’s the dance song that you can bust out at parties, and the relaxing ballads. You don’t even have to admit that you’re listening to Tisdale, because her sound is not like that of her TV characters.

It’s a high-octane album that is worth buying. These are the types of songs that you will be willing to blast in your car as you drive down the street, such as “So Much For You,” “Be Good To Me,” “Positivity” and “He Said She Said.” At the same time, Tisdale has great dance songs and songs that are great for when your boyfriend breaks up with you, such as “Unlove You” and “Headstrong.” This album sets the scene for Tisdale’s reign as the next in line for pop royalty.

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