Life is sweet – and getting even sweeter – for the pop world's favorite girl-next-door. Sure, Hilary Duff starred in a monstrously huge TV show but that's, like, so yesterday 'cause Hilary's exercising her right to change her mind and act her age. No more trying to fit a circle into a square. With her first real pop-rock album, Metamorphosis, and the #1 single "So Yesterday," Hilary is finally free to be who she wants to be.
"Change is a very important and natural thing," says Hilary. "We called the album Metamorphosis because it's about changes that everybody experiences. It's not just about me, but it is very personal. The change might seem a little sudden because most people are used to seeing me as a character through Lizzie McGuire and movie roles that I played. So this music is a good way to get everyone to know the real me. Everyone evolves and changes."
A triple-threat talent, Hilary has become a music, film and television phenomenon thanks to an unbroken string of hits that began with her starring role in the Disney Channel Original Series Lizzie McGuire, the record-breaking #1 show in its timeslot. Hilary made her singing debut on that hit sit-com, lending her fresh vocals and sunny style to "I Can’t Wait" from the RIAA-certified platinum Lizzie McGuire Television Soundtrack. In her motion picture debut, Hilary co-starred with Frankie Muniz in this summer's action-adventure hit Agent Cody Banks. Next came singing and starring roles in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, in which Hilary played – prophetically enough – an American tourist mistaken for a huge singing star.
Proving that life imitates art, Hilary’s singing career is exploding on Top 40 radio, MTV and Top 200 retail charts. Metamorphosis – her amazingly appealing debut solo album of 13 songs – shipped well in excess of gold with 800,000 copies on August 26, 2003 and charted #2 on the Billboard 200 its first week of release. Its debut single, "So Yesterday," became an instant #1 retail hit at Walmart.com, and stormed the pop singles charts on July 29, hitting the #1 spot after quickly making top-request waves at national Top 40 radio and on MTV’s signature program "Total Request Live," where Hilary's "Why Not" music video (from the RIAA-certified platinum The Lizzie McGuire Movie Soundtrack) had already been a Top 10 staple for months.
MTV also hosted a prestigious premiere for the "So Yesterday" music video on its July 21 presentations of Making The Video and TRL All-Star Backyard BBQ and featured Hilary in MTV Diary. Duff recently was a presenter at both the MTV Video Music Awards and the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, where she accepted the trophy for "Favorite TV Show" on behalf of Lizzie McGuire. And although there’s not one molecule of space left for another top award her shelf, "So Yesterday" has become the #1 most-streamed video on AOL.
"I’ve always sung, ever since I could talk," says Hilary. "At home, at school, in the choir, everywhere. But about two years ago I decided to be a real singer, and started working with really cool singers, musicians and songwriters. Best of all, I started working in the studio, experimenting and putting material together. I’ve really fallen in love with the studio. I just know that a lot of my fans relate to the album."
What kind of music can fans expect from Hilary on Metamorphosis? A chameleon-like variety of changing moods, from the romantic ballad "Where Did I Go Right?" to the ultimate break up song, "So Yesterday." From the tough-talkin' "Party Up" to the hard rockin' "Little Voice."
"The music on the album is a little different from the pop songs everyone’s heard from me before, because Metamorphosis has all the kinds of music I like to listen to," Hilary explains. "There are a lot of different sounds, from rock to eletronic – with a whole range of tempos from some deep, slow songs, to some high-energy rock songs to give me a boost. Everybody goes through different moods and different feelings and sometimes when you put on your favorite song it makes you feel a little bit better."
The 13 pop-rock songs on Metamorphosis were produced, arranged, written and mixed by the very best in the business. The album’s behind-the-scenes-talent includes Charlie Midnight (Joe Cocker, James Brown, Joni Mitchell) who contributed to nine tracks; The Matrix (Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera), the producing masterminds behind "So Yesterday," "Where Did I Go Right?" and "The Math"; Chico Bennett (Madonna, Usher, Destiny’s Child); Matthew Gerrard (Nick Carter); John Shanks (Michelle Branch); Kara DioGuardi (Celine Dion, Enrique Iglesias); singer-songwriter-producer Meredith Brooks; plus some of the best pop-rock musicians anywhere.
"Can I tell you how awesome everyone’s been to work with? They are the very best writers and producers and musicians ever, and they’ve been so open to my opinions," Hilary says. "It was important to me that all the songs we recorded really meant something special to me personally. I got to talk with some of the writers and say, 'You know, I feel like this . . .' and they really got it, which is so cool. I loved the whole process. It’s so exciting. I love that the whole album really relates to me and my life."
Two songs were special contributions from Hilary’s number one idol: her talented big sister, Haylie Duff. "Since she knows me better than anyone else in the world, Haylie wrote 'Sweet Sixteen,' a really fun song that totally relates to my life right now. She also came up with 'Inner Strength' and it's really beautiful. Very empowering and uplifting."
Speaking of idols, here's what another one has to say: "Hilary is just completely a light to the world," no less an authority than Britney Spears told Popstar! magazine. "So beautiful and so incredibly sweet. Her music is amazing . . . she should just be herself and never change."
It's difficult to comprehend all that Hilary Duff has accomplished in the past few years. Prior to Metamorphosis, Hilary had already sold 2.2 million albums, spent six weeks in the Billboard Top 10 and earned two platinum album awards. She has starred in one #1 television series, two hit movies, and has already made two more major films (20th Century Fox’s Cheaper By The Dozen with Steve Martin, and Warner Bros.' A Cinderella Story) to be released later this year. Plus, not one but two television specials will honor the big day she turns "Sweet Sixteen."
Not bad for someone who really just wants her driver's license.