Photo by Russell Dreyer
What has (intermittently) red hair, blue eyes and pipes like Avril Lavigne? That'd be 24-year-old superstar-in-training, Ally Burnett (or Ally Cupcake, as she was known to her fans up until earlier this month). Born in San Diego, California, Ally grew up idolizing acts like Queen, Green Day and Blink 182, and knew she wanted to be a professional singer by the time she was four years old. So, natch, she did what any preternaturally motivated preteen would do: She signed up for voice lessons, discovered a secret knack for songwriting and bounced around a few power pop groups (e.g., The Soundtrack) before breaking off on her own (and rechristening herself Ally Cupcake) in 2009.
Unfortunately, when you're a (smokin' hot!) girl trying to make it in the mostly male-dominated world of music, life isn't always sweet. As an up-and-coming artist, Ally's had to deal with countless comparisons to Paramore's Hayley Williams (y'know, rock's OTHER über-talented redhead). "I really like and respect [Hayley]," Ally 'splained to LushBeat.com, "[but] I don’t think it’s fair to put all female artists in the same category...believe it or not, we are not all the same." (Well said, lady!)
The good news? Ally's finally starting to come into her own. In the last two years, she's recorded her debut EP (Talk of the Town) and landed tracks on "Paris Hilton's My New BFF 2" (a show she actually auditioned for herself!), as well as two songs on this season's "Jersey Shore." And despite ditching the Cupcake moniker (an old childhood nickname) and trying out life as a brunette, Ally swears she won't disappoint fans by trying to be something she's not. ("I’m not going to start making metal or dressing like Lady Gaga," she pledged on MySpace. "Make no mistake, I'm still the same artist.")
Next up for the sassy (and oft-tattooed) singer? Promoting her new EP, The Takeover (produced by Rob Freeman) and getting props for her work on "The Seven" (yep, that's Ally's voice rockin' out on the theme song). Hear her tear it up on the show opener below (pssst, you can download the full track on iTunes!), then check out Ally's music on MySpace and become her BTF (OMFG!) on Twitter.