In 1999 Colleen Fitzpatrick, better known as Vitamin C, simply exploded onto the music charts, and garnered world wide popularity with the release of her self-titled debut solo album. The first single off of that album was “Smile”, the highest charting single she has had in her career, reaching the #18 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was this song that made Vitamin C a household name.
The second single from the album, entitled “Me, Myself & I”, failed to chart, but the follow up third single called “Graduation (Friends Forever)” peaked at number 12 on the Top 40 Mainstream Chart and number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Australia, the song peaked at number 2 on the ARIA Charts and was certified Platinum. That song has served as an anthem for seemingly every high school senior graduating class across the world since it’s release in 2000.
In the height of her success Vitamin C was marketed through collaborations with a number of high profile brands. In 2000, Mattel produced a Vitamin C doll, and a Vitamin C lipstick shade was made by Tommy Hilfiger. She also wrote and recorded “Vacation”, which became the opening theme to the short movie Pikachu’s Vacation (from Pokémon: The First Movie). The 2001 video game EA Sports Triple Play featured Vitamin C as an animated baseball player.
In 1988, Vitamin C made her screen debut under her real name in the feature film Hairspray as Amber Von Tussle, the on-screen daughter of co-stars Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono. She made her first musical outing as the lead singer of the alternative rock band Eve’s Plum, named after The Brady Bunch actress Eve Plumb, formed in 1991. She formed the band with Michael Kotch in 1991. A year later the group signed a record deal with Epic Records in 1992, releasing two albums and seven singles between 1993 and 1995. It was in In 1998, Colleen Fitzpatrick launched a pop music solo project as “Vitamin C” and signed an album deal with Elektra Records. So why the name Vitamin C? “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” she told Craig Kilborn in an interview in 2000. “I wanted to do something with my first initial, like C+, but that would be average and bad.” Instead, she explained, Vitamin C “is good for you. Everyone knows it. Everyone likes it.”
So where is she now?
In 2005 she wrote a song called “We Are Gonna Happen” which appeared on the soundtrack for Nickelodeon’s television show Unfabulous. Vitamin C also co-wrote a song for Miley Cyrus, called “Let’s Get Crazy” which appeared on the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack. In 2009 she wrote a song called “One and the Same” for a couple of other one-time Disney stars in Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. That song appeared in the Disney Channel Original Movie Princess Protection Program. After her performing career slowed down, Colleen started a production company called VCR in 2006, where she worked more with these nickelodeon stars and 2012, Colleen became Nickelodeon’s vice president. In this position she was overseeing all musical content across the Nickelodeon brand as well as handling the A&R and management of Nickelodeon artists. From their she landed a job at Netflix in 2019.
She spoke with E! News about the opportunity she landed; “If there’s a particular show, and it’s a musical, I work on casting the composer and the music supervisor and work with the internal creative teams and the external creative teams on original songs, and how the written word, if you will, ends up being executed on the music side,” she shared. “If it’s something that’s more score-facing, I work internally with people to get the right composer on board and work with the creative to set up the scores and songs.”
Fitzpatrick, who also starred in films like Liar Liar, said she became focused on writing music rather early on in her life, which lead her down the path she’s on now in her career.
“Where my talent limitations could hold me back as an artist, they didn’t necessarily hold me back if I were writing for other people,” she said. “I could imagine a world far greater than my own, far different from my own. That led me into artist development.” “There are a lot of different ways to look at music,” she shared. “It’s not just as simple as, ‘Oh, there’s a song in the show.’ What does that song do? What do we want that song to represent? And how do you get there?”
Now she lives quite a low profile, but Vitamin C has cemented herself a legacy in the world of pop that will live on forever.
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