Pop singer and actor Jesse McCartney was a child performer dynamo, singing on Broadway and landing an acting gig on All My Children before even joining his first boy band, a feat that came at the age of 12. Teen poppers Dream Street scored a platinum album with their self-titled debut before spinning off the careers of Chris Trousdale and McCartney himself, who started contributing music to children’s films like Cinderella Story (“The Best Day of My Life”), Stuck in the Suburbs (“Good Life”), and Ella Enchanted, for which he performed a version of Elton John’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with star Anne Hathaway. McCartney returned to acting in 2004 with a role on the WB teen drama Summerland. He also finished up work on his first solo full-length. “Beautiful Soul” was the album’s title track and lead single, and its smooth blend of pop/rock sensibilities punched up with R&B inflections and danceable beats proved to be a template for the record itself. Beautiful Soul was issued in September 2004 and eventually peaked at number 15 on the Billboard 200. McCartney returned in 2005 with a live album documenting his Soul tour.
Right Where You Want Me, McCartney’s proper sophomore effort, arrived in fall 2006. After co-writing with such in-demand producers as Sean Garrett, J.R. Rotem, the Clutch, and others, McCartney released his third album, Departure, in 2008. He also co-wrote Leona Lewis’ mega-hit “Bleeding Love” alongside Ryan Tedder, the frontman of OneRepublic. While McCartney continued to make music, releasing a live album in 2009 and a studio set, Have It All, in 2011, he began focusing more of his energies on acting, playing a recurring role on the TV series Army Wives, voicing Theodore in the Alvin & the Chipmunks movies, and starring in the film Chernobyl Diaries. But in 2013, McCartney kick-started his musical career — he hit the road with the Backstreet Boys for a successful concert tour, and he launched his own independent label, Eight0Eight Records. In November 2013, McCartney inaugurated the label with an EP, In Technicolor, Pt. 1, with the singer and composer collaborating with the production team the El3ven. ~ Johnny Loftus