One of the greatest eras in pop music history, the late 90s and early 2000s, birthed so many iconic boybands. Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, 98 Degrees, B2K and, of course, O-Town. The five-member group was assembled during the original incarnation of Making the Band, the same series that created the world’s most underrated girl group Danity Kane. O-Town immediately found commercial success with their debut single ‘Liquid Dreams,’ which is exactly what it sounds like it’s about. A second single, ‘All or Nothing,’ was equally successful in 2001 and rocketed their self-titled debut album into the top 5 on Billboard; eventually earning a platinum certification for sales of over 1,000,000.
Without Making the Band chronicling their climb up the pop star ladder, O-Town struggled to find the same chart placement with their follow-up album, O2. Lead single ‘These Are the Days’ barely managed to crack the top 70 and the accompanying album secured only a gold certification for sales of 500,000 by the end of 2002. Soon after, the boys all went their separate ways, and Ashley Parker Angel suddenly found himself as a solo artist. Luckily, as the breakout star of the group, Angel secured a record deal and a not so coincidental reality show of his very own.
There and Back was intended to be the vehicle that established Ashley Parker Angel as a real musician and not just a puppet used by music industry executives. It showcased the young singer writing and recording his debut solo album, which eventually was titled Soundtrack to Your Life. The lead single, ‘Let You Go,’ was a top 10 hit, but Soundtrack to Your Life never found a solid foothold and remains uncertified. Due to the lukewarm response to the album, a second solo record was never released and There and Back was not renewed for a second season on MTV.
But that is not where the story ends!
O-Town reunited in 2014, more than a decade after they broke up, and are currently on tour at venues near you! Since their second wind, the boy band has debuted more mature, adult contemporary pop music; as seen with their 2 latest albums and EP in 2019. However, pop gurus were shocked to discover that Angel had not joined the previous boy band sensations for their latest adventure.
In an interview with TMZ, the singer and now father of one stated:
O-Town was one of the greatest chapters of my life. 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.
At the time, Ashley was talking about his budding acting career. Since the comment above, he co-starred in sequel Wild Things: Foursome and star-studded Pizza Man. He lent his voice to animated series like Handy Mandy and Clone High before setting his sights on Broadway. Finally establishing himself as a real talent, Ashley has starred on Broadway on three separate occasions – twice with Wicked and once with Hairspray. I’m glad you found your way back to the stage, bud!
Currently, Ashley Parker Angel is an aspirating motivational speaker and is the co-founder and coach of his own company, High Level Performance Academy. If you want him to coach you, click here.
As far as new music is concerned, he was featured on two tracks in the early 2010’s but has yet to release any new solo songs.
Did you remember Ashley Parker Angel? Do you remember O-Town? Thoughts on his music solo and as part of a group? Did you have pictures of him on your wall from J14? Comment and let me know!