Danity Kane's MTV fame reels in marketers

Tue Sep 9, 2008 11:47pm EDT
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By Kamau High

NEW YORK (Billboard) - As sales of recorded music plummet, extending a music act's brand into a variety of endeavors provides an alternative means to generate income and broaden the potential audience for its music.

But what happens when it's unclear what that brand represents?

It's a question that comes to mind when you consider the recent success of Danity Kane.

The quintet was put together during MTV's "Making the Band 3," a reality show premised on Sean "Diddy" Combs finding the next big thing.

The act's August 2006 self-titled debut album bowed at the top of the Billboard 200 and went on to be certified platinum for U.S. shipments in excess of one million units.

Danity Kane's second album on Bad Boy, "Welcome to the Dollhouse," has sold 529,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The lead single "Damaged" reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year, and recently received a pair of MTV Video Music Award nominations.

Along the way the group has released a line of denim jeans through apparel maker Dollhouse, been named the latest face of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) long-running "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" advertising campaign and will have its own branded Visa debit card this fall.

Danity Kane member Aubrey O'Day is performing on Broadway in the musical "Hairspray," while bandmate Dawn Richard is working with an illustrator to release a comic book this fall. The group is tentatively set to go into the studio in October to record an album that will come out next summer. In addition, it has plans for fragrance and makeup lines and gets an occasional mention in the New York Post's Page Six gossip column.   Continued...

<p>Music group Danity Kane arrives at the Warner Music Group Grammy after-party in Los Angeles February 11, 2007. REUTERS/Max Morse</p>