Asher Monroe Book (born Sept 18, 1988), known professionally as Asher Monroe, is an American singer-songwriter, dancer, and actor. Born in Arlington, a small county in the commonwealth of Virginia, his career began at the age of 7 years old when he landed the role of Tiny Tea Cup in the first national tour of the Broadway Production of Beauty and The Beast. In 2006, after starring in an extensive run of national tours including The Sound Of Music, Oliver, and The Prince And The Pauper, Monroe signed to Warner Bros. Records, under which he released his first top 40 single "Love Struck" as lead singer for the boy band V Factory. From 2006-2009, he starred in multiple prime time TV & film roles including Parenthood on NBC, the MGM remake of Fame, and The Mentalist on CBS, after which he signed on as the flagship solo artist to the music label D Empire Entertainment. In 2011, under new label and management, he was named one of MTV's Top Ten Artists, alongside other artists such as Frank Ocean, Lana Del Rey, and Avicii. In December 2012, he graced the sponsored cover of Billboard magazine with a spotlight feature article, after he which he released his two latest singles "Here With You" (co-written by Monroe & produced by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder) and "Hush Hush" (co-produced by Monroe). Both singles quickly broke the top 10 on the Billboard dance charts as Monroe began recording collaborations in late 2013 with Chris Brown and Sean Kingston in Los Angeles, Ca for his upcoming debut solo album.
Born in Arlington, Virginia in 1988, Asher started working professionally when he was seven years old. His first big break was at the age of seven when he landed the role of tiny teacup Chip in the national tour of the Broadway production of "Beauty and the Beast." He continued working on show after show, which led him to New York City, where he attended the Professional Performing Arts School in New York from 2000 to 2002, before moving to Los Angeles. He has an older brother and an older sister, and is an uncle to four. He is now dating Rachel Whalen. The two have been dating since late 2013.
Monroe was born on September 18, 1988 in Arlington, Virginia to parents Arnold and Holly Book. He grew up in Falls Church and Fairfax County. As the youngest of three children (an older brother and sister), he was exposed to a diverse mix of Oldies, Rock, R&B and displayed amazing vocal prowess from a very young age.
He started singing and acting professionally at the age of seven after attending an open call audition at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Amongst thousands of applicants, Monroe was selected by the head of Disney to play the role of Chip the teacup in the US 1st national Broadway tour of "Beauty and the Beast." Using the financial compensation to help support his family, he continued booking new shows & toured nationally alongside acting and musical theater veterans. During this time, Asher played the principal lead role of Oliver in Oliver, the lead principal role in The Sound Of Music starring Richard Chamberlain, and starred as the Prince in the musical adaptation of Mark Twain's The Prince and The Pauper alongside musical theater legend Marc Kudisch.
Monroe later moved to New York City, where he attended the famed Professional Performing Arts School from 2000 to 2002. Notable alumni include Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, and actor Jesse Eisenberg. From 2002-2004, Monroe attended Manhattan's other most acclaimed performance arts program at the Professional Children's School. Notable alumni include Scarlett Johansson, Shia Labeouf, and Christopher Walken. During these junior high years, Monroe secured a modeling contract and quickly became the face of a series of national brands including Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger, and Macy's. Monroe also did numerous voice-overs, starred in multiple national TV commercials for Kohl's, Morgan Stanley, and most notably a 2 year run as the face of Sylvan Learning Center.
In 2004, Monroe moved to Los Angeles, CA and was scouted by the head of A&R at Warner Bros. Records, Tommy Page, to be the front man for pop/r&b/boy band V Factory.
Presented with the choice to continue pursuit of a B.A. degree in business or sign a record deal with Warner Bros. Records, Monroe decided on the former and became lead singer of V Factory shortly after high school. On April 29, 2008, their These Are The Days EP was released on iTunes, including "Round and Round", "She Bad" (featuring E-40), and the namesake, "These Are the Days." In May 2008, V Factory performed on Johnny Wright's Bandemonium Tour alongside Menudo and NLT. V Factory's first single, "Love Struck", was released to iTunes on February 3, 2009.3 The single broke top 40 on mainstream radio peaking at #37 and #70 on the Pop 100.4 The song was produced by Swedish production team Twin. V Factory shared the stage with other notable artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Pitbull, M.C. Hammer, and Flo Rida before ultimately disbanding in 2009.
At age seven, Monroe was chosen from an open casting call to portray tiny teacup Chip in the first national tour of Beauty and the Beast, followed by the lead roles of Oliver in a regional U.S. production of Oliver!, Kurt in the Sound of Music, and the Prince in The Prince and the Pauper. In 2004, he appeared in the ABC television movie Pop Rocks alongside Gary Cole and Sherilyn Fenn, played the voice of the Prince on Nickelodeon's Dora The Explorer, and starred in the film Come Away Home alongside Lea Thompson and Thomas Gibson. This was followed by guest roles on Nickelodeon's Zoey 101, alongside Jamie Lynn Spears, NBC's Medium alongside Patricia Arquette and CBS's Close to Home. In 2009, Monroe landed the lead role of Marco, an aspiring singer, in the MGM and Lakeshore feature film Fame, a remake of the classic 1980 musical film of the same name. Acting alongside, Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth, and Megan Mullally, this role along with the film's soundtrack served as Monroe's first internationally recognized exposure. In 2010, Asher had a recurring role as Steve in the NBC television series Parenthood, directed by industry veterans Ron Howard & Brian Grazer. That same year in August 2010 he booked a role on CBS' Emmy-Award winning TV drama The Mentalist, starring Simon Baker. In late 2010, Monroe took a brief hiatus from acting to focus on the beginnings of his solo music recording career.
Solo recording career:
In 2011, under the shortened name 'Asher Monroe', he began co-writing/producing new songs with various Los Angeles based talent. When Monroe's first solo music video for "Like I Do" hit YouTube, it created a fan frenzy... racking up more than 1.6 million views, half of them within the first 24 hours alone. Passing the million view mark days after the January 2012 release, his second music video "Hello Baby" led to features on the Huffington Post, Forbes, Just Jared and a slew of other trend-hunting sites. His third video "Every Night" (released in late February) surpassed the 2.5 million mark as Monroe embarked on a 20-city co-headlining tour across the US. Upon completing the tour, Monroe officially started independent music label D Empire Entertainment with global activist and entrepreneur Diana Jenkins. Monroe then headed back into the studio with Grammy-Award winning frontman for One Republic, Ryan Tedder to craft new material and gear up his next release, 'Here With You."
The August 2012 release of his first official radio single "Here With You"6 (a co-write between Monroe and Grammy-Winning producer Ryan Tedder, Alon Levitan, and Noel Zancanella at Tedder's Patriot Studios in Denver, Colorado) debuted on MTV Buzzworthy and helped land Monroe the title as one of MTV's Top 10 Artists to Watch. The song was added to full rotation on nationally broadcast radio station Sirius XM, and quickly broke the top ten on the Billboard's charts. In Feb, 2013, Monroe released a remix EP for "Here With You" featuring remixes by Grammy nominated DJ, Dave Aude and Sick individuals.
Monroe co-wrote/produced his next July 2013 release "Hush Hush" alongside Alon Levitan at his personal home studio in Hollywood Hills, CA. After receiving the song's final mix from Grammy-award winning mixer Serban Ghenea, Monroe immediately headed from LA to Bosnia Herzegovina to film the "Hush Hush" music video with Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film in 2001, Danis Tanovic. After receiving 1.7 million views on VEVO and multiple features on MTV, Perez Hilton, award shows, etc., "Hush Hush" broke the top ten on the Billboard charts. In September 2013, Monroe released an extensive remix EP for "Hush Hush", including remixes by Dave Aude, Justin Prime, and Gregor Salto. "Hush Hush" also marked Monroe's first D Empire Entertainment release with new distribution partner Ingrooves/Fontana.
Shortly thereafter, D Empire Entertainment secured a joint venture/album collaboration between Monroe, Grammy-winning multi-platinum recording artist Chris Brown and Senior VP of A&R for Def Jam, Bu Thiam (A&R for Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch The Throne and Rihanna's Talk That Talk).
In late 2013, Monroe began writing and recording new material with Chris Brown and Jamaican-American recording artist Sean Kingston at the Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA. On November 19, 2013, Monroe released a teaser video on his YouTube channel featuring audio/visual clips of his upcoming music video featuring Chris Brown for his single "Memory (co-written by Monroe, Justin Tarin, and Chris Brown). In December 2013, Monroe released his "Christmas Is Here To Stay" EP on iTunes, featuring the title track as well as the ballad "Warm Winter Night". Both songs garnered a music video directed by world renown artist and photographer Giuliano Bekor, the former of which trended as the #4 video on YouTube's homepage.