Ashley Michelle Tisdale (born July 2, 1985) is an American actress and singer who rose to prominence portraying the candy-counter girl Maddie Fitzpatrick in Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and the female antagonist Sharpay Evans in the High School Musical film series. The High School Musical series became a successful franchise which included two television films, a feature movie and numerous soundtrack albums. The popularity earned by Tisdale in High School Musical led her to sign a solo record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 2006. Her debut album Headstrong, was released in February 2007, and debuted at number five in the U.S. chart and sold 64,000 copies in the first week. It was later certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. A second studio album, Guilty Pleasure, was released in 2009. Tisdale owns a production company and has worked as an executive producer in movies which included the ABC Family television film Picture This. Tisdale has a prominent voice role as Candance Flynn in Disney Channel's Phineas & Ferb, a cartoon which became television's most-watched animated series among kids and tweens and had been met with acclaim by critics. In 2009, she was cast in her first major broadcast role in The CW's television series Hellcats as Savannah Monroe, an intense and very religious cheerleader. At the age of three, Tisdale met her current manager, Bill Perlman, at a New Jersey mall. He sent her to numerous auditions for commercials, resulting in her placement in more than 100 national network TV ads as a kid. She began her theatrical career by appearing in Gypsy: A Musical Fable and The Sound of Music at Monmouth County's Jewish Community Center. At the age of eight, she was cast to play the part of Cosette in a national touring production of the musical Les Misérables. "When I was little, I saw the play Les Misérables on Broadway, I thought it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen so I went to my manager and told him I wanted to be in it", said Tisdale in an interview to Newsday in 2007. She also claims to have had only a single singing lesson before landing the role. Tisdale toured for two years on Les Misérables before landing a role in an international touring production of Annie. At the age of twelve, Tisdale sang at the White House for President Bill Clinton.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tisdale had minor roles in several television shows such as The Hughleys, Smart Guy, 7th Heaven, Boston Public and Bette and in the feature films A Bug's Life and Donnie Darko. During this time, she simultaneously worked as a Ford Model. For her role in Boston Public, she received a 2000 Young Artist Award nomination for "Best Guest Performance In a TV drama". Headstrong is Tisdale's US Gold-certified debut album, released in February 2007 via Warner Bros, which debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, with 64,000 copies sold in that week. "Be Good to Me" was released as the album's first single in the December, 2006 and "He Said She Said" was released as the second, in September, 2007. In 2008, "Not Like That" and "Suddenly" were released as singles in a selective number of countries that did not include North America. A music DVD entitled There's Something About Ashley followed the release of her debut album, with a three-song trilogy comprising music videos and a documentary about the creation of Headstrong. The success of the first High School Musical film led Tisdale to reprise the role in the 2007 sequel High School Musical 2. She lent vocals for several tracks in the film's soundtrack and her performance in High School Musical 2 was critically acclaimed by many media outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter. Even more successful than the first film, High School Musical 2 became the most-watched cable-television movie, receiving 17 million viewers on its premiere night. Also in 2007, Tisdale was given the voice role of Candace Flynn, the series' secondary antagonist, in Phineas and Ferb and made a vocal contribution to the show's 2009 soundtrack. The cartoon became television's most-watched animated series among kids and tweens and had very positive reviews. During 2010, Tisdale has been linked to numerous projects, including leading roles in future films such as Sleepless Beauty and a remake of 1989 Teen Witch. Her involvement in The CW Television Network drama series Hellcats was announced in March, when The Hollywood Reporter reported Tisdale has signed on to co-star on her first major broadcast series role as Savannah Monroe, the peppy and fiercely intense captain of the Hellcats. The series has its script based on the book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by journalist Kate Torgovnick and is described as "Election meets Bring It On" by critics. Also in 2010, Tisdale had vocal roles in several TV cartoons including The Cleveland Show, Family Guy and Glenn Martin, DDS.
Her music is predominantly pop and has included ballads and pop rock. Love and heartbreak are major themes in Tisdale's songs and her output makes use of electronic instruments such as drum machines and electric guitars. She co-wrote several songs on her studio albums. Her musical influences include Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Lindsay Lohan, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, The Used, Boys Like Girls, Michael Jackson, My Chemical Romance, Lady Gaga, and Fergie and in an AOL interview, Tisdale said, "I’ve been a big fan of Pink ever since she started. I love Katy Perry’s sense of humor and her pop/rock feel. I love Pat Benatar's music. I’m inspired by all these women when I’m going into the studio, but almost anything inspires me." Tisdale is represented by Creative Artists Agency. In 2007, Tisdale appeared in a promotional campaign for Staples Inc.'s "Geared 4 School" sweepstakes and appeared in promotional campaigns for Eckō Red clothing brand, that included a mall tour in the US which performances in fashion shows hosted at each Tisdale was romantically involved with Jared Murillo and ended their relationship in March 2009. In March 2007, Tisdale told Blender she was drug and alcohol-free, and does not smoke and went on to add, "my mom really instilled confidence in me, so I'm not somebody who'd be under peer pressure". She was ranked #10 in Maxim's 2008 Hot 100 list and was ranked #94 on Forbes' 2008 Celebrity 100 list. She underwent a septoplasty procedure in November 2007 to correct her partially deviated septum. According to Tisdale, this was done for "health-related reasons and not out of a belief in plastic surgery". The procedure corrected two small fractures in her nose which were interfering with her breathing. She spoke to People magazine about the surgery, saying that it was important to her to be honest with her fans. In 2008, Tisdale was ranked #17 in "Forbes' High Earners Under 30" list and earned $2.8 million from High School Musical 3. She also teamed up with Huckleberry Toys to produce a limited quantity of dolls modeled after her. She was the face of Degree Girl in the U.S. and recorded several commercials and songs to promote the product. In 2009, Tisdale signed a five-year endorsement contract with Italian clothes line, Puerco Espin and became a volunteer for the 2009 "Get on the Bus" charity campaign. Since 2009, she is in a relationship with the music video director Scott Speer.