Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick (born July 20, 1972), better known by her stage name Vitamin C, is an American pop music singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actress. She began her career as an Ivory soap baby and child actress, appearing in John Waters' film Hairspray (1988), and continued to appear in minor roles in films before starting the alternative rock band Eve's Plum in 1991.
In 1999, Fitzpatrick embarked on a solo career under the name Vitamin C, releasing her eponymous debut album Vitamin C (1999), which was certified as Gold and later Platinum by the RIAA. Singles from the record include "Graduation (Friends Forever)" and her most successful hit, the Top 20 Gold certified "Smile". Her second album, More (2001) spawned several singles, including "As Long as You're Loving Me" and "The Itch".
She would return to acting in 2000, appearing in the horror film Dracula 2000 (2000), as well as having cameo appearances in Scary Movie 2 (2001) and Get Over It (2001), and appeared as a panelist on the spoof talent series The WB's Superstar USA in 2004. She was ranked No. 76 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2001. Mattel released a Vitamin C doll in 2000. She was a video game character in the game EA Sports Triple Playby EA Sports. Vitamin C has her own Tommy Hilfiger lipstick color developed after her signature yellow and orange hair.
On March 21, 2012, Fitzpatrick was appointed as Vice President of Music at Nickelodeon.
Early life Edit
Fitzpatrick was born in Old Bridge, New Jersey, on July 20, 1972. She is the youngest of three children born to Vita, a legal secretary, and Gerard Fitzpatrick, a communications executive.
She graduated from Cedar Ridge High School, now called Old Bridge High School in 1987, where she was a classmate of Junot Díaz. During her high school years she was a dancer who danced professionally in several TV ads, and also starred in her high school musical. She later attended New York University, graduating in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
Hairspray and Eve's Plum Edit
In 1988, while a student at New York University living in the same dorm as Sarah Silverman, John Fugelsang and Bridget Looney, Fitzpatrick made her screen debut under her real name in the John Waters feature film Hairspray as Amber Von Tussle, the bratty on-screen daughter of co-stars Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono.
She made her first musical outing as the lead singer of the alternative rock band Eve's Plum, named after The Brady Bunch actress Eve Plumb, formed in 1991. She formed the band with Michael Kotch in 1991, whom she met while studying at New York University. A year later the group got a record deal with Epic Records in 1992, releasing 2 albums and 7 singles between 1993 and 1995 before being dropped by their label for failing to achieve any mainstream success. The band continued to perform together until 1998.
Solo work; return to acting Edit
Immediately following the group's breakup, she took interest in a dance/pop musical solo project she dubbed "Vitamin C". She shopped demos she recorded for a while and eventually signed an album deal with Elektra Records in 1998.
Her debut solo album, Vitamin C, peaked on the Billboard 200 at number 29[ and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. The album's first single, "Smile", climbed to number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was also certified Gold by the RIAA. The second single from her album "Me, Myself & I", failed to chart. However, the third single "Graduation (Friends Forever)" made a huge impact on the radio, peaking at number 12 on the Top 40 Mainstream Chart, number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 2 on the ARIA Charts, and was certified Platinum in Australia. The song is considered a landmark in graduation-themed songs and is still hugely popular amongst graduation parties and ceremonies. It has appeared on the iTunes Music Chart at the end of every school year since the chart's inception. In the summer of 2000, a DJ from the Republic of Ireland picked up a copy of the single while on holidays in New York. The song was subsequently one of the biggest hits in 2000 in the Republic of Ireland peaking at number 4 in the charts and still receives massive airplay each summer.
Her cover version of the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons song "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" was used as a brand image theme by the American television network The WB in image spots, promos, and interstitials during the 1999–2000 television season. She also recorded a song she wrote called "Vacation", which became the opening theme to the short movie Pikachu's Vacation (Pokémon: The First Movie).
Like many artists before her, Vitamin C took advantage of the marketing opportunities available to a pop star, licensing everything from her own doll to a shade of lipstick matching her signature orange hair. She was also turned into a video game character for a baseball game. The Mattel Vitamin C doll was a hair activity doll that came with changeable hairstyle extensions available in orange and red, the doll also came with a microphone, platform shoes, and was approximately retailed at $16. The Vitamin C lipstick shade was made by Tommy Hilfiger. Both the doll and lipstick were available to the retail market in 2000. The 2001 video game EA Sports Triple Play featured Vitamin C as an animated baseball player, as well as her song "I Know What Boys Like".
In late 2000, Vitamin C released "The Itch", the first single from her second album More. Though the song got some popular dance/club airplay, it stalled on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 45. "The Itch" was a much bigger success in Australia for Vitamin C, where it charted at number 6 on the ARIA Charts and was certified Platinum. The single was a minor hit in 2001 in Ireland. After her album More debuted at a disappointing number 122 on the Billboard 200, Elektra Records released the second single "As Long As You're Loving Me" with almost no promotion. The song failed to chart in the US, thus the planned third single, "I Know What Boys Like", was scrapped and Vitamin C was dropped from Elektra Records. The LGBT lifestyle magazine So So Gay dubbed More the epitome of the electropop genre.
In the February 2001 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, Vitamin C was voted as one of the "Fun and Fearless Females" of the year. She was honored by the magazine at a luncheon on January 29, 2001 in New York City. That same year Vitamin C was ranked No. 76 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2001.
Vitamin C signed with V2 Records in 2001 and began recording her third album over the course of 2002 and 2003. The first single, "Last Nite", was released in July 2003. It was a cover version of the hit song by The Strokes and sampled Blondie's "Heart of Glass", The single failed to chart in the US, and did poorly in the United Kingdom by peaking at number 70 on the UK Top 75. Her third album under the Vitamin C name was subsequently shelved and has yet to see the light of day, though fans hope it will leak. Promotional copies of the album were never made available.
In 2000, she returned to acting, playing the role of Lucy Westerman in the horror film Dracula 2000 with Gerard Butler playing the part of Dracula. She also starred as herself in the spoof film Da Hip Hop Witch with Eminem in 2000.
She had a cameo in the film Rock Star in 2001. In addition, in 2001 she appeared in the romantic comedy film Get Over It, with Kirsten Dunst and Sisqó. She made a brief comedic cameo appearance as herself (in voiceover) in the film Scary Movie 2.
Her television appearances included playing a judge in the American Idol spoof The WB's Superstar USA. She also appeared in an episode of MTV's The Andy Dick Show and the celebrity game show Celebrity Bootcamp. Vitamin C made cameos on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, The Brothers Garcia, The Amanda Show, and The Sausage Factory. She was one of three judges of Lifetime reality series Your Mama Don't Dance. In the 1980s, she appeared on The Equalizer. Also in the 80s, she appeared on SNL as an "Update Dancer" during Dennis Miller's news segment, in which the dancers would come out scantily clad and dance to a classic rock song.
Later work Edit
In 2005, Vitamin C's cover of the 1980s hit "Voices Carry" by 'Til Tuesday was included on the soundtrack for the Disney superhero comedy movie Sky High.
In 2006, she assembled a Radio Disney-aimed group of four young teenagers named The Truth Squad. She allowed the group to cover "Graduation (Friends Forever)" and wrote a number of songs for their debut album as well as producing it. The album was released on April 3, 2007 and failed to spark much interest besides a brief appearance on the Top Kid Audio Chart, where it peaked at No. 23 for two weeks, dropped to No. 25 the next week and by the third week had fallen off the chart completely. Despite this, the group's video for their single "Flip" had been heavily promoted on the Disney Channel. In 2006, she starred in an indie TV sitcom called THE LEK that was released to the Internet through YouTube, though to date there have been only three episodes released.
In 2007 she also assembled and produced the girl group the Stunners. The group was signed to Columbia Records and later Universal Republic Records. In the span of four years they released an EP, two singles - one featuring hip-hop recording artists the New Boyz, and four music videos. The group split in early 2011. Of the former members emerged pop singer Tinashe (formally the lead singer in the group, who went solo when the group split), The Lying Game actress Allie Gonino, and Hayley Kiyoko, who went on to join the Disney-formed on-screen group Lemonade Mouth as "Stella". Furthermore, she contributed vocals to Information Society's 2007 album, Synthesizer. Her song "Money" was used in the opening of the 2010 Lifetime television movie Who is Clark Rockefeller?.
Vitamin C has written or co-written many songs for other artists. She wrote the song "We Are Gonna Happen" for actress/singer Emma Roberts featured on her 2005 Unfabulous and More CD. She co-wrote "Where Do We Go" with Scout Taylor-Compton in 2005. She wrote the single "Make Some Noise" for Krystal Meyers in 2008. In 2009, she wrote "Let's Get Crazy" for Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana. Miley sang the song in-character as Hannah Montana on Hannah Montana: The Movie and Hannah Montana (season 3). Vitamin C also wrote the song "One and the Same", a duet recorded by Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez for the Disney Channel Original Movie Princess Protection Program, which was later included on the Disney Channel Playlist album.
On March 21, 2012, Nickelodeon named Vitamin C as VP of Music. She will oversee all music for Nickelodeon and its sister cable channels, as well as A&R and management of Nickelodeon artists.
Future endeavors Edit
MTV News interviewed Vitamin C where she revealed details on a comeback, with two new albums, though no release dates or labels have yet been cited. In the June 11 issue, People Magazine had a special "Where Are They Now" article. She was about to finish work on a children's world-music album that would celebrate diversity through songs like the Indian-styled "Bhangra On and On" and "We All Share the Same Sky," and that she started work on a non-children's third Vitamin C album she described as "Goldfrapp-meets-Vitamin C," which she had hoped to have out by 2007. Regarding the album, she had stated "Just because you're not always on MTV doesn't mean you're not actively working," she said. Both albums have yet to be released.