Aubrey Morgan O'Day (born February 11, 1984) is an American singer, actress, fashion designer, television personality, and former member of the girl group Danity Kane. On an October 2008 episode of the reality show Making the Band, O'Day was declared no longer a member of the girl group.
O'Day has also modeled for magazines such as Blender and Playboy, and has performed on Broadway in Hairspray.
O'Day was discovered in 2004 on the MTV reality show Making the Band 3, founded by Sean "Diddy" Combs, and emerged as the show's breakout star. During Season 2 of Making the Band 3 while the competition was still ongoing, Blender magazine contacted O'Day to pose for their September 2005 issue. The magazine described her as the contestant "who bared calm resolve and tanned hip bones in beating out almost 10,000 girls for the chance at singing and strutting in a P. Diddy–steered girl group". O'Day expressed anxiety about competing to be in the group. "I’ve been in the ‘cut’ situation several times," she stated. "It’s hard to stand in a room and know that the dream I want is all in [Combs’s] hands." O'Day had dropped out of college in order to participate in the competition. She had been thinking of attending Columbia Law.
After seeing her dance, Combs was convinced that O'Day had "Black in her family" and further expressed this sentiment after watching her sing a version of "At Last" at a club during Season 1 of the show. This, along with what viewers saw as natural charisma, helped endear her to become a consistent favorite among judges and fans. Former Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync manager Johnny Wright, who served as one of the judges on the show, stated from her first audition in Los Angeles they knew that she was "a star". "It’s extreme," O'Day relayed of the competition. "There’s a lot of ‘I love to be in the spotlight’ types—including myself." In response to being told that Combs wanted the type of stars who were stars when they were age 2, O'Day stated, "Well, I was Aubrey when I was 2. A diva from the beginning."
O'Day was eventually chosen to be in the group, and was the first member included. The band became known as Danity Kane, and their first album debuted on August 22, 2006, at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts. The group was the opening act for Christina Aguilera on the U.S. leg of her Back to Basics Tour with the Pussycat Dolls.
O'Day's fame and physical features found appealing by magazines helped her broaden her career beyond the group. In addition to other musical projects, she posed for several "sexy" magazine spreads. On the August 28, 2008 episode of Making the Band, due to being consistently frustrated with O'Day's "oversexed" new image, Combs called O'Day "one of the worst dancers" in Danity Kane. He told O'Day that she no longer looked like the girl he signed and that she used to be one of the best. Combs bluntly accused O'Day of trying to expand her fame at the expense of the entire group, and that she liked flaunting her breasts and wearing big hair — referring to an incident where she had rubbed her cleavage on the arm of a television host.Furious, Combs asked himself on television why he was keeping O'Day in the group.
On the October 7, 2008 episode of Making the Band, after continued debate with O'Day about the well-being of the group, Combs declared O'Day no longer a member of Danity Kane. An official announcement, however, had not been made from Bad Boy Records. When asked by Boston Herald whether she was still in the group, O'Day was reluctant to answer and stated, "I can’t comment on anything, I’m sorry."
Speculation arose that Combs firing O'Day was a ratings ploy and that he had no intention of truly dismissing her. When discussing her career, O’Day would still refer to herself as a "member of a girl band" and "the official party girl of Danity Kane". On the October 14, 2008 episode of Making the Band, however, O'Day's departure from the group was confirmed, as well as fellow bandmate and then-best friend D. Woods. In the live section of the episode, Combs explained that the reason he let O'Day go was that she was not the same person he signed, that the fame had changed her. When O'Day came on to reply, she stated: "I would rather be hated every damn day of my life for being real than loved for being something I'm not."
MTV News gauged fan reactions to the dismissals of O'Day and Woods. Fans left impassioned, long and detailed comments on the MTV News site about their discontent regarding the group's breakup. The 2009 season of Making the Band was expected to include new members auditioning as "replacements" for O'Day and Woods in Danity Kane, but instead showed the official end of the group. The complete breakup of the group was originally thought to be the result of O'Day and Woods, along with group member Shannon Bex, declining the offer to return to the series and the group. This was later argued by O'Day, who stated that while she was unsure if Woods was asked back, she herself was not asked to return. O'Day said that if offered, she would have returned and is not against returning. She was officially released from her Bad Boy Records contract by Combs in the April 16, 2009 episode of Making the Band.
In the April 23, 2009 finale of the show, O'Day returned with three former members of the group to clear up any misconceptions about the group's breakup. She said that she has forgiven being released from the group, and people who blamed her for the group's demise. Combs said that if he ever puts the group back together, O'Day and the group's other four members would be returning as Danity Kane.
O'Day landed the role of Amber Von Tussle in the Broadway musical Hairspray on July 16, 2008. She appeared in the 2009 comedy American High School costarring Nikki Ziering, and is currently reading scripts for consideration in starring in feature films. Recently, she has been pursuing a solo music career, and has been in the studio with Shanell Woodgette, as well as producer Maestro, recording a remastered version of Sharam's remix hit "Party All the Time". She released a track titled "Never Fallin", and also joined the cast of Jerry Mitchell's musical Peepshow in the role of "Peep Diva" at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from September 2009 to late December 2009. Additionally, O'Day was featured on Donnie Wahlberg single "I Got It."
On the April 23, 2009 finale of Making the Band, O'Day revealed that she would have her own reality television show for which she would be filming in the spring of 2010. The show entitled All About Aubrey premiered on March 7, 2011 on the Oxygen Network.
O'Day's debut single, the Adonis-produced "Automatic" was released on April 12, 2011. O'Day recorded over 50 songs for her debut album on SRC/Universal Motown, which will come out in late 2012. As of March 2012, she has also been a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice.