An original member of the Backstreet Boys, vocalist Phoenix Stone launched a short solo career after being ousted from the group's lineup in 1993. As a high school freshman, the Tampa native had won the lead role in a school production of Grease, which led to a recurring role on a television comedy for young adults. In his sophomore year, he was offered a scholarship to study voice at the University of South Florida and ending up attending the school for one semester. Realizing that operatic singing wasn't for him, he turned his sights toward pop music instead.
Able to read music and play by ear, Phoenix Stone eventually landed a publishing contract. His relationship with Trans Continental Records (whose founder, Lou Pearlman, had assembled the Backstreet Boys several years earlier) allowed him to secure tours with Britney Spears and Deborah Cox. Universal Records soon signed Phoenix, and his self-titled debut was released in the summer of 2000. Meanwhile, he served as a consultant during Pearlman's assembly of another pop band, O-Town, and later ran his own label in Los Angeles. In 2010 Stone released the single "Proud to Be (Born Again American)," his first foray into contemporary country. In 2012, Stone returned with the EP Honky Tonk Superstar. ~ Roxanne Blanford & Andrew Leahey, Rovi