Casey Donovan is an American singer, dancer, actress, and pop icon from York, Pennsylvania.
Life and careerEdit
1976-1997: Early life and career beginningsEdit
Casey Marie Donovan was born on December 20, 1977 to Margaret and George Donovan. She was raised on York, Pennsylvania along with her younger sister Daniela. She had a passion for singing at a young age, and often performed at church recitals and school talents shows up until the age of 13. Casey was a frequent beauty pageant contestant throughout her childhood and teen years, winning numerous titles. When she was 15 years old, she was vacationing in Florida when she was spotted by talent scout David Carmichael. He offered her a modeling contract after numerous test shoots, which she and her parents agreed to. Casey had her first modeling job at the age of 16, shooting for clothing brand Guess. Following the shoot, she went on to model for various other clothing brands. When she was 17 year old, she began doing international shoots for more prominant brands. During this phase, Donovan also shot her first commercial which aired during the Summer of 1993. Upon returning to the United States, she began modeling swimsuits and was featured in various magazines and articles online. Later in 1993 Donovan met English actor Bradley Markson, and the two began a relationship. Markson, who was a high profile celebrity at the time, drew much media attention to Donovan, who was relatively unknown at that time.
Following her 18th birthday, Donovan briefly moved to England with Markson, following nearly six months of dating. In September of 1994, Donovan and Markson began living permenantly in the United States. Celebrating their one year anniversary later that year, Markson and Donovan became dubbed "cutest couple" by numerous gossip magazines. The couple eventually split in Summer of 1995, citing distance and time as an issue due to Markson's constantly busy schedule. On the relationship, Donovan has stated "... he was my first love, and we remain good friends even after the break-up." Though the couple had split, Donovan was now a prominant public figure, and was often ranked highly on "Hot 100" lists worldwide. Donovan later caused controversy when she announced her relationshp with actor Neil Porter in Summer of 1996. Porter, who was age 33 at the time, was criticized for his relationship with a then 19 year old Donovan. Donovan's own parents even spoke out against the relationship, citing age as a major issue. Regardless, the couple stayed together despite the media frenzy. In May of 1997, it was confirmed that Donovan and Porter had moved in with one another in Los Angeles, so the two could continue their careers together. The couple ultimately split in mid-1998, claiming they just couldn't get along anymore.
1998-2001: Film debut, KC, and High MaintenanceEdit
During her various relationships and media attention, Donovan had continued to do modeling work on the side, meaning she had connections in the entertainment industry. Shortly after her and Porter's break-up, she met with producer RJ Phelps and began working on music together. During an interview later that month, Donovan stated she would also like to get into acting later that year. With the help of her agent, Donovan began auditioning for various roles in movie projects. In Summer of 1998, it was confirmed that Donovan had earned a supporting role in the comedy film Getting Lucky. Donovan portrayed Lauren, a model who is placed on a blind date with main character Charlie. Her appearance in the film was positively received for its humor and her acting ability. Donovan went on to state that she played the character for "fun", and was only testing her acting ability in the film.
Following the film's box office success, Donovan began heavily considering an acting career. This led her to accept a supporting role in the romantic comedy Take Me Away, which was released in February of 1999. Donovan had the role of Danielle, the best friend of a woman who falls in love and runs away with her boss. The role was described as more "mature" when compared to Donovan's previous film. Shortly after the film's release, Donovan confirmed that she had finished recording her debut album, and would release it that Summer. The album's lead single, "Come Clean", was released on March 12, 1999. It immediately became a success, reaching the Top 20 in over 30 countries. It's highest peak was at number 5 in Australia, while it also had major success in the US, peaking at 12. The single was also critically praised, with it's pop-rock dominated beat receiving the most praise.
Donovan's debut album, KC, was released on July 17, 1999 through Blackout Records. It was an immediate commercial success, debuting at number 2 on the Billboard 200. It also had success in countries such as Australia and Canada, peaking at number 3 and 1 respectively. It went on to be certfied Platinum by the RIAA, denoting shipments of over one million copies in the US alone. To date, the album has sold an estimated four million copies worldwide. The second single from the album, "Metamorphosis", was released in August of the same year, and had moderate success, though failed to match the success of it's predecessor.
Donovan announced shortly after the album's success that she had earned the lead role in the drama film What Lies Undernath, which she described as being about "inner beauty and strength, as opposed to superficial beauty." Donovan portrayed Kara Rollins, a teenage girl aspiring to be a model who later learns that there are more important things in life than the glamorous lifestyle she dreamed of. The film dealt with topics such as drug use in the industry and the effects it can have on personal relationships. The film received generally negative reviews, but has been positively received by fans. The film has particularly become popular with the LGBT community, which Donovan is an ouspoken supporter for. Despite the negative reviews, the film was a box office success, and went on to gross over $30 million on a $2 million budget.
In early 2000, Donovan confirmed that she had begun working on her second studio album, slated for release towards the end of the year. While accepting the awards for "Female Actress of the Year" at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards, Donovan confirmed that the title of her new album was High Maintenance, as well as revealed it's October 21 release date. She later confirmed in an interview that the lead single, "Party Up", would be released on September 4, 2000. The single failed to have much commercial success, and didn't even chart on the Billboard Hot 100. It did have moderate success in Australia, peaking at number 69 on the chart. Her second studio album, High Maintenance, was released on October 21. Despite the failure of the first single, the album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200, and also had success in numerous other countries. It became her second Platinum certfied album in the US, and has sold an estimated three million copies worldwide. The second single from the album, "Beat of My Heart", became Donovan's second Top 40 hit in the US, and was certified Gold. The third and final single, "Wake Up", failed to have success outside of the UK, where it peaked inside the Top 20. To promote the album, Donovan embarked on the High Maintenance World Tour throughout 2000 and 2001, playing 112 shows worldwide. In Fall of 2001, Donovan confirmed she would be releasing her first compilation album the following year. The album, Most Wanted, was released on March 2, 2002. It featured no new material, but did have her previous singles as well as remixes and live editions of numerous songs. A DVD was also released with the album, featuring various interviews and music videos.
2002-05: Focus on acting, Superficial, and marriageEdit
Following the release of Most Wanted, Donovan confirmed she would be taking a hiatus from the music industry to focus more on her acting career. Days later, it was confirmed that Donovan had made a deal to appear in the upcoming horror film "Desperation", involving a group of college students who are hunted by an ancient evil which possesses a human. The film was billed as featuring an "All-Star cast" of well known celebrities. "Desperation" was released on May 17, 2002 to generally mixed to positive reviews. Donovan's role of Alice was especially praised for her acting ability. In July of the same year, it was confirmed that Donovan had officiall became a cast member for the drama series Superficial, which revolved around the struggles a group of young adults face together. Donovan portrayed Annie Tate, a new student at Cambridge High who loves to start drama amongst her peers. Her role in the series was positively received, and she quickly became a fan favorite. The third season aired from September to January of 2003. Donovan recorded a cover of the song "Our Lips Are Sealed" for the series, which featured her sister Daniela.
In March of 2003, it was confirmed that Donovan was in a relationship with film star Cameron Phillips, and the two had been together since October of the previous year. The couple gained major media attention, as both of them were high status celebrities. In May of 2003, filming for the fourth season of Superficial began. Rumors began circulating that Donovan was a member of the fourth cast, though she could not specify whether the rumors were true or not. That July, it was confirmed that Donovan would be a main cast member for her second consecutive season, returning as Annie Tate. The third season aired during its regular time slots throughout September to January of 2004. The then 26 year old announced that March that she had posed for Playboy magazine, and would be featured on the March 2004 edition on the cover. The shoot does now reveal any of Donovan's personal areas, but did feature the star in various poses with small amounts of clothing on. On doing the magazine, Donovan stated "It was just something fun to do. Since I've starting acting and singing, I haven't done much modeling, so it was kind of fun to get behind the camera again and just pose."
That July, it was confirmed that Donovan would not be returning for the fifth season of Superficial for undisclosed reasons. Over a week later Donovan herself confirmed this, and later stated that she would reveal her "very logical" reason in a matter of days. On July 28, Donovan confirmed that she and Phillips were engaged, and were slated to wed on December 3 of that same year. The announcement propelled the careers of the two even further, and the couple later made a deal with "E!" to air the wedding on television. Rumors of the couple doing a reality television show together after the wedding began to circulate, but Donovan and Phillips quickly denied this. The couple officially wed in Costa Rica on December 4, a day later than originally planned. In May of the following year, it was confirmed that Phillips and Donovan had chosen to get a divorce. Though initially refusing to talk about the divorce, Donovan stated three years later "I wasn't ready for the married life. Cameron wasn't ready for the married life. In the end, it just drove us apart." Following the divorce, Cameron chose to retire from the entertainment business, and Donovan confirmed that she had begun working on her third studio album.
2006-07: Dignity and Fashion 911Edit
While working on her third studio album, Donovan told "Us Weekly" that she wanted it to be "true to what [she] was feeling at that time", and described it as more "europop and urban" than what was popular at the moment. Ben Mallen, who was heavily involved in the making of the album, described it as Donovan's "best work yet", and proclaimed that it would "change the music industry forever." The album's title, Dignity, was revealed on May 2, 2006. Donovan also confirmed that the lead single, "With Love", would be released on June 16, 2006. On May 9, however, Donovan confirmed that a new single, "Play With Fire", would be released as the lead single on June 9 instead. Donovan stated that "Fire" was meant to be successful in the clubs, while "With Love" was meant to be successful on Top 40 radio. Both of these expectations came through, with "Play With Fire" topping the Dance chart and "With Love" becoming Donovan's second highest charting single on the Hot 100, and highest charting song on the Top Radio Songs chart.
Dignity was released on July 3, 2006 to generally positive reviews. Donovan was praised for both the lyrical content and the production of the album. Dignity's experimental sound also received high reviews, with Ed Murphy calling it the "greatest album he's heard in years". The album's critical success also carried over to its commercial performance. It became her second album to debut at number 1 on the Billboard 200, selling over 324,000 copies in its first week of release alone. It went on to sell over three million copies in the US alone, and seven million copies worldwide. This makes Dignity Donovan's highest performing album to date. In September of that year, Donovan confirmed she would be going on a world tour to promote the album. The "Dignified Tour" began in November of that year, and ended in June of 2007. The third single from the album, "Stranger", had success in numerous countries worldwide, while the fourth single, "Between Me and You", failed to have much success. The fifth and final single, title track "Dignity", had success in the Dance charts in the US, but failed to have much mainstream success.
While touring, Donovan began a relationship with fashion icon Dominic Donato. Dominic, her first relationship since the divorce, had also recently been divorced from his first wife. Donovan was later confirmed to be a judge on the reality series Fashion 911, in which four fashion moguls would analyze and make-over various men and women. The series aired from October to December of 2007, and was a moderate success. Despite a positive reception to her appearance on the series, Donovan confirmed she would not be a panelist for the second season.
While appearing on Fashion 911, Donovan confirmed that she would be released two compilation albums by the end of the year. When asked about the decision, Donovan stated it was a way to "get out of her contract" with Blackout Records, whom she felt no longer had her best interest at heart. Donovan confirmed that the first album, a remix album, would not feature any new material but the second album, a Best of album, would feature two new songs. Donovan's first remix album, Remixed: Vol. I, was released on November 1, 2007. The lead single for her Best of album, "Reach Out", was released on November 4, 2007. The single had commercial success, but its sexual themes were criticized by some critics. Best of Casey Donovan was released on December 1, 2012, one month after the previous album. Being her sixth album, Best of marked the end of her contract with Blackout records, which she chose not to renew.
2008-present: Second marriage, Spirit In the Dark, and hiatusEdit
In March of 2008, Donovan officially confirmed that she and Donato were engaged, something that had been speculated for nearly a month before the announcement. When asked about her decision to re-marry, Donovan stated "I love him, and that's all that matters. Some people don't believe in divorce and that's fine, but I personally believe in doing whatever makes you happy. Dominic makes me happy, so that's that." The couple wed on October 1, 2008. Shortly following the wedding, Donovan confirmed she would be taking a hiatus from the entertainment industry to focus on her "new life." Though not appearing in any films or releasing new music, Casey and Dominic received frequent media attention due to their independent successes. Donovan's hiatus continued to the end of 2008 and throughout 2009, during which time Donovan stated she "got in touch with herself" and "discovered who she is as a wife."
In January of 2010, Donovan confirmed that she was in talks with director George Stevens to appear in an upcoming film, though no specifics were given. In March of 2010, Stevens confirmed that Donovan had, in fact, signed on to do an unspecified film with him. Filming began in April of that year, and it was reported that Donovan was starring alongside singer Kate Wright, who had also began her career as a model before turning to music and acting. During an interview, Donovan refused to reveal any details about the movie, but stated "It's so weird being behind the camera filming after all of these years. [My last] acting gig was Superficial, and that feels like a whole lifetime ago!" Though filming was initially slated to end that June, it was drawn out until September due to various re-shoots and script re-writes. The film, later revealed to be a drama titled Spirit In the Dark, saw Donovan portraying former fashion model Donna West, who ultimately comits suicide after a troubled life. The film received rave reviews, as did Donovan's performance in the lead role.
|1998||Getting Lucky||Lauren Carmichael||Supporting role; film debut|
|1999||Take Me Away||Danielle Taylor||Supporting role|
|What Lies Underneath||Kara Rollins||Lead role|
|2002||Desperation||Alice Maynard||Supporting role|
|2010||Spirit In the Dark||Donna West||Lead Role|
|2002-04||Superficial||Annie Tate||Main cast member; 44 episodes|
|2007||Fashion 911||Herself||Reality series; panelist|
Main article: Casey Donovan discography