|Birth name||Tiffany Montgomery|
|Born||November 21, 1982|
Los Angeles, California
|Labels||RCA Records (2002–2004)|
Tiffany Montgomery (born November 21, 1982), known professionally as Ryan Starr, is a singer who finished seventh on the first season of American Idol. She went on to release a successful single on iTunes and participated in a handful of other television programs, modeling campaigns, and worldwide music tours.
Ryan Starr was born Tiffany Montgomery in the Sunland neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, a place where she once described as a "middle of nowhere town, up in the hills - like, horse country." Her elementary, middle, and high schools were all about "a block from one another" in her words, and growing up, Starr considered herself to be "a small-town tomboy". She has three sisters. On her mother's side, she is Peruvian and Bolivian. She also has French and Irish ancestry.
Although Starr was named Homecoming Queen, she reminisced in a 2017 blog post that she was "dorky" and "definitely not one of the popular kids" for most of her time in school. She graduated from Verdugo Hills High School in 2000, where she ran track. Before attempting a music career, she worked as a waitress, lifeguard, swim team coach, and at a clothing store.
Around the age of seven, Starr began learning how to sing. Her family was unable to afford formal vocal training, so as a child, Starr developed her voice by singing along to Disney films. Drawn to jazz and blues artists from a young age, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding were among Starr's first musical influences. As Starr got older, she found inspiration in rock musicians, such as Pat Benatar, Chris Cornell, Steve Perry, and Steven Tyler.
After graduating from high school, Starr went on frequent bus excursions into Hollywood from her nearby hometown, and on one of these, she met a girl who suggested that the two of them audition for American Idol's first season together. Starr's performance of "Lean on Me" (by Bill Withers) was the first successful audition ever shown on the series. In his 2003 autobiography, I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But..., Simon Cowell wrote that Starr was "cripplingly shy" at the audition, but that Paula Abdul "saw some potential for stardom in her, and decided to mentor her."
Starr, who auditioned as Tiffany Montgomery, adopted her stage name by Hollywood Week. Placed into Group 1 for the Top 30 semi-finals, her song choice for that round of an old jazz standard, "The Frim-Fram Sauce", puzzled Cowell and Randy Jackson, although the following night Cowell deemed Starr "a dark horse" and predicted that she could excel in the competition with better singing material. After she was voted through to the Top 10, Starr opened the first round of the finals, singing "If You Really Love Me" by Stevie Wonder; this marked the first live performance in the history of American Idol. Starr was well-received by the judges for that performance but was voted off the series two weeks later in seventh place.
The second of Starr's live performances, "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks, was panned by the judges and resulted in a Bottom 2 placement for that week. While Starr's final performance of the competition, "Last Dance" by Donna Summer, was praised by the judges as an improvement over the previous week, it prompted Cowell to reflect on Starr's disparate song choices throughout the competition and express confusion over what kind of artist Starr wanted to be. The judges felt that Starr struggled with aspects of her performances throughout every round of the finals but communicated a shared belief in Starr's potential. Upon Starr's elimination from the competition, Cowell gave Starr an offer to call him anytime for help with pursuing a music career.
|Auditions||Contestant's Choice||"Lean on Me"
|Hollywood||Contestant's Choice||"Ain't No Sunshine"||Bill Withers||Advanced|
|Semi-Final Group 1||Free Choice||"The Frim-Fram Sauce"||Nat King Cole||Advanced|
|Top 10||Motown||"If You Really Love Me"||Stevie Wonder||Safe|
|Top 8||1960s||"You Really Got Me"||The Kinks||Bottom 2|
|Top 7||1970s||"Last Dance"||Donna Summer||Eliminated|
|Season finale||"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"||Nancy Sinatra|
Post-American Idol music career
Starr blamed her stalled music career on a two-year restrictive recording contract with RCA. Under this contract, she refused to record an album claiming producers wanted to turn her into an Avril Lavigne type singer. After an intense three year legal battle she was released from contract in 2005.
Upon release from her contract, Starr went on to host "TRL" on "VH1". Starr then released an iTunes Exclusive Single, "My Religion." The song went all the way to number one on the US Billboard Hot Digital Songs Chart, and was noted in the 2005 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records to have sold the most exclusive single downloads in iTunes's history. They also went on to detail the fact that My Religion was slated to be released to stores in early 2006, however, iTunes refused to release Ryan Starr's single from contract. One of the highest selling exclusive singles ever, it sold an estimated 360,000 units worldwide according to MTV and USA Today.
In an interview given to the Today Show in early 2007, Starr revealed that iTunes had expressed interest in Starr releasing another exclusive single to follow up the immense success of "My Religion." Starr claimed that she was reluctant to accept as she wished to release a full album, but hinted she had accepted the very lucrative offer put forth by iTunes. Rumors began to circulate that 'Stranded' would be the next exclusive single when images of a single cover were released on her MySpace.
|2002||American Idol||7th place finalist||Went on a nationwide, 32-city tour with all the American Idol finalists.|
|2002, 2004||Entertainment Tonight||Guest Star|
|2002–2005||Access Hollywood||Starr, along with fellow idol R. J. Helton, did numerous interviews with Access Hollywood.|
|2002–2006||Fox News||Guest Star|
|2003||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Sophia Renatta||Starr appeared in an episode where she was killed in a diving accident, which looked like murder.|
|What I Like About You||Pam Wayne|
|Good Day Live||Guest Star|
|Live with Regis and Kelly||Guest Star||Sang 'Lean on Me.'|
|2003, 2005||Total Request Live||Guest Star||Interviewed.|
|2004||The Surreal Life||Housemate|
|VH1 Big in 04||Star||Starr presented an award along with Flavor Flav.|
|On Air with Ryan Seacrest||Guest Star||Starr was interviewed by Ryan Seacrest, host of American Idol.|
|The Howard Stern Show||Guest Star|
|Good Morning America||Guest Star|
|The View||Guest Star|
|2005||Battle of the Network Reality Stars||Star|
|A Rockin' Las Vegas New-Year with Ryan Starr||Host|
|2005 Billboard Music Awards||Red carpet|
|All Star Reality Reunion||Interviewed|
|2006||Lingerie Bowl||Star||Starr was a sideline reporter.|
|The Tyra Banks Show||Guest Star|
|2007||The Dr. Keith Ablow Show||Interviewed|
|2004||Ring of Darkness||Stacy||Lead role|
|2003||Old Navy||Herself||With several other Idols.|
|2004||Fuse||Herself||Promoting a new rock line-up.|
|2006||NASCAR||Herself||Promoting her July 15 NASCAR Runway Performance.|
|2004||"My Religion"||Non-album single|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Details|
|2002||American Idol: Greatest Moments||4||Credited on the following tracks:|
|2008||Curtain Call: New Songs from Past American Idol Finalists||—||Credited on the following tracks:
As featured artist
(Sander Kleinenberg featuring Ryan Starr)
|"Crazy for You"
(Paolo Mojo featuring Ryan Starr)
|Unknown||"Love Gone Bad"||Released through MySpace|
|"Eyes of a Child"|
- "YouTube - "Ryan Starr's Audition" (American Idol)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-22.
- Ryan Starr. Interview with Ryan Starr (video). TVGuide.com. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
- Ryan Starr (November 4, 2017). "How to Know When You Need Time Alone - "Time for Alone Time"". She Is Ryan. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Ryan Starr. "FAQ - About Ryan". RyanStarr.us. Archived from the original on September 3, 2004.
- Ryan Starr. "Ryan Starr - Biography". RyanStarr.us. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010.
- Ryan Starr. "About - She Is Ryan - by Ryan Starr". She Is Ryan. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Ryan Starr (October 25, 2003). "Ryan's Newsletter 2, Her words, Her thoughts!". RyanStarr.us. Archived from the original on October 10, 2004.
- Ryan Starr (September 20, 2004). "Ryan's Newsletter 3, She's Baaaaaack!!!". RyanStarr.us. Archived from the original on September 24, 2004.
- Jerry Tao (October 7, 2002). "News Brief - Tiffany Montgomery a.k.a. Ryan Starr". Verdugo Hills High School. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Ryan Starr (November 7, 2017). "How to Build a Great Circle of Friends - Quality of Friends Over a Quantity of Friends". She Is Ryan. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Ryan Starr (July 31, 2018). "Why Visiting Disney World Is a Must Do - Getting Into the Spirit". She Is Ryan. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Ryan Starr (October 12, 2018). "Why Age Really Isn't Anything but a Number". She Is Ryan. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- "Auditions". American Idol. Season 1. Episode 1. June 11, 2002. Fox.
- Cowell, Simon (2003). I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But... New York City: Broadway Books. ISBN 9780767917414.
- Caryn James (September 1, 2002). "On 'Idol,' the only losers are the audience's ears". The New York Times. Retrieved April 29, 2020. – via Infotrac Newsstand (subscription required)
- "Hollywood Week". American Idol. Season 1. Episode 2. June 12, 2002. Fox.
- "Top 30: Group 1". American Idol. Season 1. Episode 3. June 18, 2002. Fox.
- "Top 30: Group 1 results". American Idol. Season 1. Episode 4. June 19, 2002. Fox.
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff (June 21, 2002). "MUTT ON DISABLED LIST ADOPTS CARAY - Norcross' singing 'Idol'". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 29, 2020. – via Infotrac Newsstand (subscription required)
- "Top 10 Perform". American Idol. Season 1. Episode 10. July 16, 2002. Fox.
- "Top 7 Results". American Idol. Season 1. Episode 15. July 31, 2002. Fox.
- "Top 8 Finalists". American Idol. Season 1. Episode 12. July 23, 2002. Fox.
- "Top 7 Finalists". American Idol. Season 1. Episode 14. July 30, 2002. Fox.
- 'American Idol' Throwback: Where Are They Now? - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News
- "MySpace.com - ryan starr's official site. - SANTA MONICA, California - Rock / Alternative / Classic Rock - www.myspace.com/ryanstarrofficialpage".
- Kevin Wierzbicki (June 2011). "MUSICREPORT". Campus Circle Newspaper. Vol. 21, no. 22. p. 17. Retrieved April 10, 2020.