Teen heartthrob Ashley Parker Angel was born and raised in Redding, CA, by his piano-teacher mother and stepfather, both of whom encouraged him to be involved in music. After being spotted by a talent agency in his hometown, he was given the opportunity to audition for the 2000 ABC television show Making the Band. Angel's boyish good looks and voice won him a spot in the group, the five-member boy band O-Town, who, as part of the deal, were awarded a major-label contract, which produced multi-platinum record sales as well as thousands of young female fans.
When O-Town disbanded in 2002, the 21-year-old Angel moved to L.A. to pursue his career as a solo artist, writing songs until he had enough to present to various producers. The experience of being in O-Town afforded Angel the luxury of being able to choose who he wanted to work with, finally deciding on Blackground Records and Da' Family Entertainment, with whom he officially signed a contract in 2004. Around the same time, during the height of reality television's popularity, MTV approached Angel with the idea of filming his efforts to reenter the music world in a show entitled There and Back: Ashley Parker Angel. He agreed, and the program, which began in January 2006, documented his struggles as he tried to secure a record deal, brush up on his performing skills, and try to support his family. That same year, shortly after the season finale, Angel's debut solo album, Soundtrack to Your Life (whose title track he co-wrote with the Matrix for his son, Lyric), was released. ~ Marisa Brown