Velvet Empire was a Canadian pop music group that was formed through the second edition of the Global TV show Popstars, entitled "Boy Meets Girl." The group was formed in the spring of 2002. They recorded their first and only album in Toronto at Metalworks Recording Studio.
The group were winners of a 10-month competition, intended to form a pop group comprising both male and female members, were Alex Price, Justin Humes, Janelle Belgrave, Lacey Block and Ryan Hamilton. The new group called itself Velvet Empire and released its self-titled debut album and debut single, "Frontin' On Me," in 2002. Despite the single receiving much radio and video play, the album's sales were not as expectated. As a result, the group disbanded by 2003.
Alex Price was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, on February 14, 1980. She is a citizen of both Canada and Australia since both of her parents are from Australia. Alex has always been interested in the arts, and has been dancing since she was five years old. Alex Price discovered her singing ability when she was 11 years old. She joined the school choir and began to learn the basics of singing. In 1993, she moved with her mom to Oregon where she attended The Delphian School. She became involved in musical theatre and realized that she was truly meant to sing.
Alex was influenced by Lauryn Hill, Sarah McLachlan, Jack Johnson, Ella Fitzgerald, K-OS, John Mayer, Fiona Apple, Pearl Jam, and India.Arie
Justin Humes was born in Montreal, Quebec on December 23, 1979. Justin speaks fluent English and French. Music has always been a huge part of Justin's life. During high school, Justin was a member of the Montreal-based band, Ryde. He left the band to join Popstars and Velvet Empire. Justin attended McGill University from 1999 to 2001, majoring in Environmental studies.
Justin also plays drums and guitar.
Janelle Belgrave was born in Toronto, Ontario, on May 20, 1983. Janelle comes from a culturally diverse background. Her mother is Filipino and her father is Bajan. Janelle started singing when she was only three years old and she also started dancing when she was four. She has studied ballet, jazz and tap. Janelle attended the Etobicoke School of the Arts. Her major was Musical Theater and has participated in school musicals. Janelle also loves sports and was the captain of the basketball and volleyball teams. The biggest love in Janelle's life right now is performing.
Janelle is currently recording for her solo career.
Lacey Block was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, on April 30, 1983. Lacey has a very strong musical background. She plays piano and has been composing songs since she was seven years old. Lacey was enrolled in the jazz program at Humber College as both a vocalist and pianist, before leaving to join Velvet Empire.
Lacey also does karate, draw, write poetry, and shop.
Ryan Hamilton was born October 3, 1982 in Edmonton, Alberta. Ryan was home schooled when he was in grade five to grade nine, to allow more time to focus on traveling and singing. Ryan went back to high school where he graduated from Percy Page High School in Edmonton in 1999. Singing has always been a huge part of Ryan's life, which caused for a passion to sing and perform for the world.
Ryan moved to Calgary in 2000 to attend school when his father's job caused the family to relocate to the United States.