Your Guide To Danity Kane, Aubrey O’Day’s Former Girl Group
What a week it has been for girl groups! Fifth Harmony is basically over, Little Mix continues to thrive across the pond, and Danity Kane has somehow crept back into our national conversation. Well, perhaps not Danity Kane in full, but still. Aubrey O'Day, a former member of the defunct girl group, has become front and center of yet another Trump & Co. sex scandal.
This time, it's courtesy of Donald Trump Jr. Sources close to O'Day say the Danity Kane alum and president's son had an affair between 2011 and 2012 after meeting on the also defunct reality show, Celebrity Apprentice. (O'Day was a contestant on the fifth season.) Trump Jr. was married to Vanessa Trump at the time. That marriage is also now defunct, with Vanessa filing for divorce. What a ride, eh?
It's been fascinating seeing people ask who Danity Kane is considering it's been less than five years since their collapse. Here's what you need to know so you can impress your friends tonight after forcing them to listen to O'Day's new song that is definitely not not about Trump Jr., "DJT."
So, who was Danity Kane?
Danity Kane was a girl group formed by Diddy (who now goes by Love) on the third season of Making the Band. O'Day, Dawn Richard, Shannon Bex, D. Woods, and Aundrea Fimbres were the original five; D. Woods didn't return for their reunion in 2013 and Fimbres announced she was leaving the group after their first reunion tour stop in 2014. Richard went on to be one of the more progressive pop-R&B crossover artists out there, releasing a series of concept projects and popping up on Dirty Projectors songs. O'Day went on to reality television.
What was Danity Kane known for?
The iconic song "Damaged" for one! Their sophomore album, Welcome to the Dollhouse, became their second No. 1 release following 2006's self-titled debut. (This made them the first girl group in Billboard history to have two No.1 album releases.) They were Bad Boy Records' answer to The Pussycat Dolls: a little pop, a little R&B, a little sugar, a little sass. They didn't have the rhythm of The Pussycat Dolls, but they certainly had the charisma and nerve. "Show Stopper," off of Danity Kane, is a piece of mid-2000s gold. Listen to the original "Keys" version with Yung Joc, though. It's a relic of all things Girl Group Gone Bad™.
Okay, so they had, like, two popular songs but what happened?
Like all groups formed by record labels (excluding Little Mix), Danity Kane wasn't designed for longevity. There were always going to be the solo breakouts (Richard) and those who thought they could go solo (O'Day). Rumors of certain members boosting their vocal tracks over others escalated to the point that Richard punched O'Day. Yes, really. "We could have done something really revolutionary," Richard told The Breakfast Club in 2015. "It would have been dope to be a part of that. Before all of this, we were just known as that girl group with that really dope song—that was positive! Now we're a joke: 'Oh, you punched that girl.' 'Oh, that TMZ story.' That wasn't what we built." Indeed.