Where’d it all go wrong? Well, it went wrong from the moment it began.
A few years ago I wrote a piece catching up with Danity Kane and wondering “Where Are They Now” for my own website, ThisGoesIN. Despite their break up seven years earlier, which became a reality television spectacle for the Making the Band series, the girls were still grinding on their way hoping to realize their dreams to be music stars. Shannon decided to embark on the country route, Aubrey pushed music a few times but her larger-than-life persona eclipsed any real chance of her music being taken seriously, D. Woods released a few major projects that flew under the radar, Aundrea…well she was perfectly satisfied living a normal life, and we all know what happened with Dawn Richard, she prospered as a part of worldwide group Diddy – Dirty Money and released her solo debut, GoldenHeart worldwide. In terms of views, the article was consistently one of our most viewed posts every day for quite some time. It reassured me that there was still an audience for Danity Kane, and an audience who hoped that one day a reunion would bring them back together for new music.
Fast-forward a few months, and my article pretty much was swept under the rug when news finally broke on TMZ that they did meet, not yet as a group — but for a conversation to sweep everything under the rug. Once old wounds were bandaged, then the re-establishing would finally begin (unfortunately without D. Woods). They hopped in the studio, they made an appearance at VMAs, they recorded new music and eventually performed the new music to much fanfare — but were they truly doomed from the start?
Girl groups never truly last in the music industry. They’re as endangered as anything on the World Wildlife Fund list, and a random emergence from time to time is the only reason why people haven’t admitted that they’ve been hit by a meter. There’s several reasons why they don’t last, but the main reason that I’ve observed is that: Girl groups rarely ever are formed because of a true bond between the females, but are basically created by smashing different faces and personas together and hoping that somehow the combination between the look and the voices creates cash. Most never even get as far as where Danity Kane got. Did you even know the 3 groups that Sevyn Streeter was in prior to her solo success? Did you ever hear about the group Tinashe was in before she came out with “2 On”? The list goes on and on. Danity Kane was built on the grounds of Diddy seeking out a group of girls who wanted to become worldwide icons. Built on a reality show that pitted girls together in a competition, and whoever were the 5 best — whether they were friends or not, became the future platinum-selling, stadium-packing girl group. The bonding & friendship would all have to be figured out somewhere down the line. Danity Kane were five different personalities, and they tolerated each other for the preservation of the group, but more so for themselves. But when egos, cliques, and the drama of reality television became too much for it all, they were unable to survive and fell to the wayside like most girl groups. Along with being apart of the endangered species known as a girl group, the fact that there’s no country for the longevity for drama-based reality show acts was another stake to the heart. Beyond chart-success — dictated on the support behind your television show, there hasn’t been any reality-based group who has gone on to be nominated for a GRAMMY or receive any word based on the actual merit of their talent. Despite there being great singers in the group, there’s very little chance they would be recognized for their contribution with that reality show stigma attached to them.
But with the revival of Danity Kane in 2013, more than likely sparked by the nostalgia trip that’s been frequent in the media (Girl Meets World, TLC biopics, Pharrell), they had a chance to start new. They had a chance to establish themselves as musical talents, especially considering one of the members released an album that was critically-acclaimed. But as soon as they got back together, the girls began shopping around for a reality television show, playing back into that comfort zone. Fortunately enough (at least for society), reality shows aren’t as HUGE as they were 10 years ago, with scripted series garnering most of America’s attention in 2014. No network picked up the show, despite the staged fights and issues that were leaked from the show’s pilot, used to garner attention.
Then Aundrea left the group.
From the initial break up during that season finale, it was clear that Aundrea was the lone singer not in it for the fame. “I was never in this to be famous, I just wanted to be in a group,” Aundrea uttered unwillingly. Perhaps she saw it before all of us and decided to leave. The rock of the group left, and arguably the best voice, because no matter how good DK3 sounded with pop harmonies — they’ll never sound the same without the addition of their powerhouse vocalist. From there, tick tick tick tick boom…and it was over.
TMZ broke the article of Dawn hitting Aubrey in the studio. The two members Shannon & Aubrey penned letters on Tumblr that it was over. And suddenly, the powerful statements of female empowerment and overcoming obstacles were nothing more than a sandcastle in the wind. They proved that girls groups can’t last. They proved that reality groups can’t last. They even slightly proved my theory that all women secretly hate one another. Not only have they damaged their reputation as artists, but they’ve damaged the hearts of young females around the world who anticipated new music. Danity Kane lived the life of a goldfish, it lived, it breathed, and it died — it was never meant to survive.