Best known for her roles in the High School Musical films and the TV series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, New Jersey-born actress/singer/model Ashley Tisdale began her career in show business at age three, and sang for President Bill Clinton at age 12. Manager Bill Perlman discovered her in a New Jersey mall and sent Tisdale to numerous auditions for commercials, resulting in her placement in over 100 national network TV ads. She began a theatrical career as well, performing in productions of The Sound of Music and Gypsy: A Musical Fable at the Jewish Community Center of Monmouth County. A leading role in a national touring production of Les Miserables and a role in an international touring production of Annie followed.
In the late '90s and early 2000s, Tisdale moved into TV and film work, appearing on shows such as Beverly Hills, 90210, The George Lopez Show, Malcolm in the Middle, and The Hughleys, as well as the cult movie Donnie Darko. However, it was the role of babysitter Maddie Fitzpatrick in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody that turned her into a teenaged star in 2004. The show's popularity made her a fixture on the Disney Channel, leading to appearances on Hannah Montana and her 2006 breakout role as High School Musical's Sharpay Evans. The massive popularity of the TV movie's soundtrack meant that Tisdale became the first female artist to debut with two songs, "Bop to the Top" and "What I've Been Looking For," on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the same time. Along with lending her voice to the animated series Phineas and Ferb, Tisdale recorded her solo debut album and released its first single, He Said She Said, in late 2006. Early in the following year, both the album (Headstrong) and a second single (Be Good to Me) arrived. Tisdale appeared in the High School Musical sequel later that year and, in 2008, returned once more for the series' third installment. She continued to balance acting with her recording career, however, and issued her second album in 2009. Guilty Pleasure found the 23 year-old assimilating a number of pop influences into her own work, from Britney Spears and Fergie to the spunky provocations of Katy Perry. ~ Heather Phares