(February 16, 2001 – Burbank, CA) — The long national search that attracted thousands of young women hoping to fulfill their dream of becoming music industry stars, culminated tonight on The WB’s new hit series “POPSTARS” with the announcement of the final five who make up the new group. The talented and lucky young women who withstood grueling competitive pressure and a panel of judges that include some of the music industry’s leading creative and management executives are: Ana Maria Lombo of Scottsdale, AZ, Maile Misajon of Long Beach, CA, Nicole Scherzinger of Louisville, KY, Ivette Sosa, Edison, NJ and Rosanna Tavarez of Miami, FL. Backed by some of the hottest producers and songwriters in the music business, the five women that have been chosen are now working together as a professional group. Their days are filled with all the hard work that goes into the making of a successful pop group including; advanced vocal training, demanding dance rehearsals, styling makeovers, publicity photo shoots and tours and much more. In the coming weeks on the show, the group will pick a name for themselves, record their first CD, make their first music video and perform a live concert that will air on The WB on April 6. The release date of their first single on London Sire Records is March 13 and a full CD from the group will be in stores this May. The all-star group of judges who made all of the cuts along the way including the final five were; fourteen time Grammy winner David Foster, executive producer of the groups first CD; Peter Koepke President/CEO, London-Sire Records (the groups new label within the Warner Music Group); Jaymes Foster-Levy executive vice-president of Warner Music Group label 143 Records, who is instrumental in gathering the musical material the group will record; music industry manager Jennifer Greig-Costin of Direct Management, the group’s new managers; and the group’s renowned choreographer and vocal coach Travis Payne and Roger Love, as well as David Stanley, one of the show’s executive producers, a partner Stone Stanley Entertainment. The judges have more than a rooting interest in the five finalists, as each of them will play crucial roles in all aspects of the groups recording career. Said Mr. Foster: "We think we have chosen five young women who can be great role models and who share the ideals and aspirations of today’s youth. These girls can sing, act and dance and when they leave a room you know they're gone." Said Mr. Koepke: “Everyone at London-Sire is looking forward to a long association with these five women. They’re everything you could hope for in a musical group: they’re all fantastically talented singers and great dancers. They’re articulate, charming women who have a very bright musical future and a great career ahead of them.” Said Mr. Stanley: “When we first envisioned the ‘POPSTARS’ project, we hoped to place it at the perfect network and got it with The WB – add the talented David Foster and the remarkable voices of these five women … we couldn’t be happier.” The group’s debut album is scheduled for release in May 2001 on London-Sire Records in association with David Foster’s 143 Records, both Warner Music Group labels. London-Sire’s current roster includes All Saints, Pet Shop Boys, Mandy Barnett, Guster and Morcheeba. 143 Records (in association with Lava/Atlantic) is home to the multi-platinum Irish rock band The Corrs, Beth Hart and plus ONE. Following is biographical information on the 5 members of the new “POPSTARS” group: Ana Maria Lombo, 22, was born in Medellin, Colombia and has spent her whole life traveling the world and performing music with her parents and two sisters. She went on stage for the first time at age 3, performing alongside her sister in matching dresses at a Mexican restaurant, singing in both English and Spanish. More recently, the family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona and began performing with a 10-piece back-up band with a style that blends many different cultural influences. In 1999, the family went on a world tour with Julio Iglesias, Jr. performing as background vocalists. “Popstars” was Ana Maria’s first solo audition. Maile Misajon (MY-lee MISS-ha-hon), 24, of Irish, Filipino and Hawaiian decent, grew up in Long Beach, California, and began singing at age 3 alongside her two brothers and one sister with the International Children’s Choir, traveling all over the world performing for leaders including President Ronald Reagan. She pursued her passion for singing while attending Orange County High School of the Arts and later at UCLA, earning a bachelor’s degree in theater arts. Maile spent years singing with her father’s local Los Angeles band. Nicole Scherzinger, 22, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. Her mother was the lead hula dancer in a big Hawaiian family and taught Nicole to dance the hula when she was just a little girl. She always loved to sing and attended a theater arts high school in Louisville and later majored in theater arts at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She cut her academics short for the opportunity to go on tour with the rock group Days of the New, performing as a female background vocalist in concert, opening for bands including Foo Fighters and Bush, and also sang on their CD. Ivette Sosa, 24, was born and raised in Edison, New Jersey. Of Puerto Rican descent, she began dancing at age 3 and has since, always had a passion for musical theater with her sights set on making it to Broadway. While earning a B.F.A. in dance at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, she spent summers performing in regional theater productions including “Will Rogers Follies,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Godspell,” “The Robber Bridegroom” and “Funny Girl.” In addition, Ivette co-wrote and starred in two cabaret shows in New York City and most recently appeared in a production of “West Side Story” at the famed La Scalla Opera House in Milan, Italy. Rosanna Tavarez, 24, was born in New York and raised in Miami, Florida. Her parents, both from the Dominican Republic, raised her and her younger brother, who is a jazz drummer, in an atmosphere of music. She began dancing at age 3 when her mother found her imitating the moves of the “Solid Gold” dancers and ballerinas from a televised performance of “The Nutcracker.” She attended New World School of the Arts high school in Miami, studied dance at the University of Michigan and was just one project away from finishing her graduate dance studies at Ohio State University when she got the call for “Popstars.” “POPSTARS” is a Stone Stanley Entertainment Production.
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