Born Tiffany Ryan Montgomery on November 21, 1982 in Sunland, California, Ryan Starr
became best known for her often sexy performances in the first season of singing competition American Idol
, where she ranked seventh. She has likewise appeared in various movies and television, both of the reality and scripted varieties. Of French, Colombian and Peruvian descent, she worked as a teenager for free as a waitress at clubs so she could sing on stage afterwards. Her love for music was so intense that she decided to put college on hold to pursue it.
On American Idol, she was quite consistent with her performances, so when she was eliminated earlier than judge Simon Cowell
thought she deserved, he told her to give him a call anytime, vowing to give her any help she would need. When the season ended, she was signed up, along with eventual winner Kelly Clarkson
, by RCA in partnership with American Idol.
After breaking free from American Idol, she released an iTunes exclusive “My Religion” which peaked at #1 in the Billboard charts. The same single put her in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2005 for the most exclusive single downloads in iTunes.
In 2004, Starr was cast in VH1 show The Surreal Life
season 3. The show features celebrities who are said to be past their primes and puts them in a Hollywood Hills mansion for two weeks. As if this is not enough, unforgiving cameras also follow their every move. In this season, Starr had to face challenges, such as taking surfing lessons and recording a group single. Initially uncomfortable with the surreally colorful characters she'd be living with, she got a boost when her girl friends dropped in on her for an unexpected visit. Also memorable, meanwhile, is singer Jordan Knight
's botched attempt to get intimate with Starr.
(Photo courtesy of VH1)