WASHINGTON - Moonlighting as an actress may help Kate Voegele become a pop star.
The singer-songwriter recently wrapped up a six-episode stint as back-up singer "Mia" on the CW's "One Tree Hill." Since she appeared on the show, her album shot up the iTunes chart (she's currently in the top 10), and song plays on her MySpace site increased by a million in one week. She rereleased her debut album, "Don't Look Away," on MySpace Records the day her character debuted on the teen-oriented drama.
"It's a great launching pad," the 21-year-old told The Associated Press. "I think it's just going to be an awesome foundation for my career going from here. I'm thrilled."
Voegele said she's only done bit parts in school and was surprised to get the role. She had her doubts about how welcoming the cast would be, but she said everyone was friendly. That includes Kevin Federline, who also appeared in the show as the lead singer. Voegele had nothing but praise for the ex-Mr. Britney Spears: "He was a great guy."
Voegele has been involved in music since her teen years. She started writing songs at 15; she recalls her father teaching her to play guitar while her family was on vacation in Naples, Fla. She wrote her first songs on the 1,200-mile drive back to her native Cleveland.
"Some of my best stuff is stuff that I go back to years after I've just written down a random idea," she said. "Some of my songs that are on my record are some of that first material that I just kind of was pulling out of nowhere."
Voegele spent two years at Miami University in Ohio but missed the end of her sophomore year to go on tour. While she has not decided whether to finish her degree, she said: "I wanted to have that semblance of a normal life because I think that it really fueled a lot of my songwriting.
Now on tour again, Voegele is eager to see her career take off.
"It's going to be a great year, and I'm going to be trying to promote the record on the road as much as possible," she said. "I'm so excited to keep getting the music into more people's hands and to go out there and reach everybody ... through the record and the show."
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MTS Centre, Winnipeg - May 26, 2008