Carly Hennessy

Irish singer Carly Hennessy, despite having slowly and steadily building a resume that included modeling and acting, became a cautionary tale when she entered the highly competitive teen pop market. Born in Dublin, Hennessy, whose mother was a known fashion model in Ireland, was appearing in print ads as a young child. Her family briefly relocated to South Africa, but upon their return to Dublin, Hennessey chose to pursue more artistic endeavors. At the age of nine, she beat out a large number of hopefuls to land a role in the international production of Les Miserables. She also continued to model, raising her profile in her native Ireland as the featured model in a national ad campaign for a sausage company. There was also the release of an album of holiday songs in Ireland and the UK, as well as a small role in the movie Fools Of Fortune. However, a music career was the goal of the young singer and, with her father, she went to Los Angeles to peddle a demo. Her demo landed in the hands of MCA's president, who signed Hennessy on the spot to a contract, with the label setting her up to record a debut album. The initial results apparently pleased neither the label or the singer and former New Radical Gregg Alexander came aboard to salvage the project. The resulting album, Ultimate High, finally was issued in late 2001 and received solid reviews. Unfortunately, and despite MCA having reportedly spent in excess of two million dollars on the effort, it failed to dent the exhausted teen market with none of the singles taking off and the album selling in the hundreds as opposed to the hundreds of thousands which would have been necessary for all involved to recoup on their investment. ~ Tom Demalon

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