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Stars That Died

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Who is Carly Hennessy?

Who is Carly Hennessy? Carly Smithson is a Meteor Award-winning Irish rock/soul singer-songwriter, who was born in Dublin. In 2001 Smithson released her first studio album for MCA Records called Ultimate High. The album had little success, only winning two awards for Smithson, and Smithson was dropped from her record label in 2002. Smithson was a sixth place finalist on the seventh season of the television series American Idol and she had finished the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008 from July 1, 2008 to September 13, 2008.

Carly Hennessy was born on September 12, 1983 in Dublin, Ireland to parents Marie Murray and Luke Hennessy. After living 6 months in Dublin, Smithson and her parents moved to Johannesburg, South Africa. She lived there till they moved back to Dublin when she was 4 years old. She started singing at the age of around 4 and also has some experience with acting. She was featured in advertisements for Denny's Sausage (a product of England) for three years, starting at the age of five. In 1990 she played Young Marianne in Fools of Fortune.[1] 2 years later in 1992 she joined the cast of Les Misérables and starred as Little Cosette in Ireland. When Smithson was 10, she released an independent CD: Carly's Christmas Album in the UK.[1] When she was 14, her parents separated. A year later, Carly and her father moved to the United States in order for Carly to pursue a career in music.

Before her marriage to Todd Smithson, Carly Smithson (as Carly Hennessy) released an album for MCA Records called Ultimate High in 2001. Smithson has stated that the album did not have the opportunity to find an audience, due to the record company's merger with a parent company. Though some established artists like Sheryl Crow survived the merger, yet-to-be-released artists did not; Smithson's album was released, but with limited promotion [2]. Consequently, it sold just 300 copies in the first three months.[3] There were reports that MCA Records spent over $2 million on the production and promotion of Smithson's album. However, this $2 million dollar figure included production and publishing costs for songwriters and artists already being paid by MCA and not specifically relevant to Smithson's album.[3] The album was released on November 13, 2001.[3]
Smithson recorded "Just Missed the Train" on her 2001 album and Kelly Clarkson recorded the same song on her 2003 release, "Thankful"

Following her success as Carly Smithson on American Idol, copies of "Ultimate High" are popping up on shelves of Borders Bookstores and Virgin Records stores. The album, and the music video for "I'm Gonna Blow Your Mind", is also available as a download on iTunes For a brief period of time after Carly's elimination, the album made a peak in the Top 10 of Amazon's Top Selling Digital Albums, as well as being featured on the MP3 homepage.

After Smithson's record deal dissolved, she decided to take a break from music.[4] She met her husband Todd Smithson, a tattoo artist, in Los Angeles. They lived in Marietta, Georgia for a few years, where Smithson worked at an Irish bar called Fado. In a coincidental connection, Michael Johns (another American Idol contestant) performed weekly at Fado, under his real name Michael Lee. [5] In 2005, Smithson and her husband returned to San Diego, where they currently reside. Smithson, then, auditioned in Las Vegas for American Idol season 5; she was unanimously accepted, however, she was later disqualified because paperwork for her work visa was delayed. In 2007, she auditioned again for American Idol Season 7, once again making it to Hollywood, but this time having the proper paperwork.
Smithson has an older half-brother, Nik[6] and a younger sister, Shannon.
Smithson lives in San Diego with her husband, Todd Smithson, the owner of Nothing Sacred, a tattoo shop where Carly also works (she has nine tattoos). [6]

Carly Smithson auditioned for American Idol in Las Vegas during the show's fifth season; she made it to Hollywood but was disqualified because the paperwork for her work visa was delayed.
Carly Smithson auditioned for American Idol at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on July 30 and July 31, 2007. She advanced with a unanimous vote after singing "I'm Every Woman." Simon Cowell noted that he remembered Smithson from her Season 5 audition. In Hollywood, she sang Heart's "Alone" for her audition and received unanimous praise from Randy, Paula and Simon. Smithson was one of the first foreign contestants to make the Top 12 (along with Michael Johns, an Australian). Smithson was eliminated on April 23rd, 2008. Her final performance on American Idol was considered one of her best by the judges.
Smithson successfully auditioned again for Season 7 of American Idol and made the top 24. Shortly thereafter, articles appeared in the mainstream press, criticizing her selection because of her previous record deal. Smithson acknowledged her previous record deal on the February 20, 2008 episode of American Idol, and stated that the record label 'imploded'.
Smithson was eliminated after performing Superstar from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar on April 23, 2008. The day before she was eliminated Simon Cowell stated, "I thought that was the best performance of the night so far." After Simon stated that comment, Smithson pulled out a t-shirt sent to her by her fans with a sign on it that says "Simon Loves Me (this week)."
After Ryan Seacrest announced the elimination Cowell said:[4]

I apologize for giving you a compliment last night—kiss of death, but let me tell you, Carly, you can leave with your head held high.

Smithsons' 6th place elimination 'shocker' on April 23rd, 2008 prompted an unprecedented reaction, with angry bloggers questioning the popular program's credibility amidst reports from fans of busy signals throughout the voting period[7][8][4][9][10]. One writer for Entertainment Weekly coined the show "America's Embarrassing Lapses In Judgement," saying "Carly Smithson was sent packing, despite a rendition of "Jesus Christ Superstar" that Jesus himself would have been hard-pressed to top" [11]. There were renewed claims of "fixing" and calls for the show to publish precise voting totals, resulting in a release credited to Fox and show producers: "The network and producers will not disclose voting tallies for the competition, as the release of such information would only serve to create additional rumor and speculation", conflicting with executive producer Ken Warwick's claim that they were open to scrutiny, quoted "No one is saying you can't look at them."[9]
Another controversy involving Smithson is that Randy Jackson worked for MCA during the same period of time that Smithson was signed[12][13].

Performances and results
"I'm Every Woman"
Chaka Khan


"Alone (Heart song)"
Heart (band)

Top 50

"When I Need You"
Leo Sayer

Top 24 (12 Women)
"The Shadow of Your Smile"
Tony Bennett
Top 20 (10 Women)
"Crazy on You"
Top 16 (8 Women)
"I Drove All Night"
Cyndi Lauper
Top 12
"Come Together"
The Beatles
Top 11
The Beatles
The Beatles
Bottom 31
Top 10
Year They Were Born
"Total Eclipse of the Heart"
Bonnie Tyler
Top 9
Dolly Parton
"Here You Come Again"
Dolly Parton
Top 8
Inspirational Music
"The Show Must Go On"
Bottom 32
Top 7
Mariah Carey
"Without You"
Top 6
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Jesus Christ Superstar
Note 1: Smithson was saved first from elimination.
Note 2: When revealing the results, Ryan Seacrest simultaneously declared Smithson and Syesha Mercado safe.

After she was eliminated on American Idol, Smithson made many appearances on shows, such as: Live with Regis and Kelly, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Access Hollywood, and Today
During her appearances on Access Hollywood and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she sang "Alone" by Heart. She also appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly performing the song "Here You Come Again", which she had previously performed during the Top 9 Dolly Parton week.
Smithson stated, in a June 15 blog on her Myspace page, that "I have gained so much confidence from this experience", but she also noted that "[it] is very hard to continue believing in yourself when [you] are being judged through a microscope by the world on a weekly basis but having all of [my fans] behind me and believing in me has helped me get stronger each day. The one thing [I] have learned through this whole experience is that perfection is ugly. I found so many imperfections about myself in the past year that I didn't see before. I hated them and tried to cover them up. It took me a while to understand this but [my flaws] are part of my character and make me who I am. I have learned to embrace them and you should too."[17]
She has filmed a commercial with fellow finalists, Syesha Mercado and Brooke White.
Smithson completed the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008, which ran from July 1, 2008 to September 13, 2008. She sang "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence, "Crazy On You" by Heart, and "I Drove All Night" by Cyndi Lauper.
Two new songs called "Lay With Me" and "Let Me Fall" have been recorded and are in a video of Carly recording songs for her album. more

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