Pia Ann Rose Toscano (born October 14, 1988) is an American singer from Howard Beach, New York. Toscano finished in ninth place on Season 10 of American Idol. She is now one half of the group 7West along with singer Jared Lee.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Toscano was born in 1988 and grew up in Howard Beach, New York. She is of Italian descent. She started singing when she was four and had performed the National Anthem at her junior high school by the time she was twelve. Prior to Idol, Toscano worked as a make-up artist and as a wedding singer in a band called "Current Affair". In 2006, she graduated from LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts in New York City. Fellow Idol contestant Karen Rodriguez also attended this school. Toscano won the New York Mets annual "Anthem Search" competition in 2008 and sang the national anthem at a July 2008 game. She has also opened for the Barenaked Ladies.
She cites her musical influences as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Etta James, and Luther Vandross.
American Idol[edit | edit source]
Toscano has previously auditioned for American Idol twice before. She made it through to Hollywood in Season 6, but was eliminated. In 2010, she auditioned for the tenth season of American Idol in East Rutherford, New Jersey and was put through to Hollywood, this time making it through to the Top 24. She impressed the judges with her rendition of "I'll Stand by You" during the semi-finals, receiving the first standing ovation of the season and earning her a place in the Top 13. The judges even said she had one of the best performances on the show in Idol history. However, over the course of her time on the show, Toscano got praised for her singing but got criticized for her song choices, which consisted mostly of balleds, which did allow her to showcase her impressive vocal range. When she did manage to perform an uptempo song, fans and critics seemed to notice that Toscano seemed uncomfortable moving around on stage. The result of her choosing an uptempo song was that she was eliminated, much to the shock of many.
Elimination shocker[edit | edit source]
Toscano was eliminated on April 7, 2011. The anger and outrage over her elimination had caused her fans to start a petition drive, demanding that she be brought back on the show. She got eliminated even though they told her before that one of her perfomances was one of the best perfromances in Idol history. Some even accused the judges of wasting the "judges' save" on contestant Casey Abrams instead of saving it on Toscano, whom the judges did appear to favor.
Music Career[edit | edit source]
2011–present: First studio album[edit | edit source]
Following her elimination, Toscano appeared on several talk shows. She performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on April 8, 2011. She continued with Live with Regis and Kelly on April 11, followed by The Today Show on April 12, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show on April 14. She performed "I'll Stand by You" on the April 26, 2011 episode of Dancing with the Stars. On May 25, Toscano appeared on Rachael Ray along with Stefano Langone and Paul McDonald. Furthermore, Toscano performed the National Anthem and "I'll Stand by You" at the Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC held on May 29, 2011. Less than 24 hours after being eliminated from American Idol, Toscano was reported to have signed a recording contract with Interscope Records. However, her representative said that chatter about a done deal was "all rumor," but confirmed that Interscope wanted to produce a single with Toscano and release it while the current season of Idol was still on. According to Billboard, Pia is hard at work on her debut album with producer Rodney Jerkins. In addition, Toscano has worked with Rock Mafia on two songs titled "Counterfeit" and "Dreamgirl". On July 5, 2011, it was announced that Toscano has officially signed with Interscope Records. Her debut single titled "This Time" premiered July 11 and was released digitally on July 13. Total sales for the track remain at just 51,000. Toscano performed the single on So You Think You Can Dance on August 4, 2011, Good Morning America August 12, followed by a performance on Live with Regis and Kelly on August 16. Toscano is currently being managed by Red Light Management, alongside fellow Idol contestants Haley Reinhart and James Durbin. Toscano toured with the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2011, which began in West Valley City, Utah on July 6, 2011 and ended in Manila, Philippines on September 20, 2011.
Toscano was featured on a single by DJ Jenaux called "Renegades", which was released on March 9, 2015.
Parting ways with Interscope[edit | edit source]
On September 4, 2012, Toscano announced that she was leaving both 19 Management and Interscope Records. Toscano recently signed with Underdog Entertainment and is working on her debut album.
7East[edit | edit source]
Toscano teamed up with singer-songwriter Jared Lee to form a group called DUO which was later renamed to 7EAST. They are currently working on music together and are posting videos on their YouTube channel. Their debut single, "I Don't Believe It", was released on October 7, 2014.
Return to Idol[edit | edit source]
Tour[edit | edit source]
Toscano hit the road with Jennifer Lopez for a summer concert tour that kicked off on May 30, 2014 in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
Before her elimination, Toscano was rumored to be dating professional dancer Mark Ballas. The rumors were further fueled when he showed up at an Idol taping to support her. After her elimination, Toscano got the chance to sing on Dancing With the Stars, singing "I'll Stand by You", while Ballas performed a dance routine with fellow dance pro Karina Smirnoff. Despite some denials, Ballas and Toscano were spotted out and about Los Angeles frequently. The relationship didn't last, ending in the summer of 2011.
Toscano married dancer Jimmy R.O. Smith on January 7, 2017.
Discography[edit | edit source]
- TBA (2015)
- "I Don't Believe It" (2014) (single)
- "This Time" (2011) (non-album single)
- "Renegades" (collaboration with DJ Januax) (2015)
|Scotty McCreery · Lauren Alaina · Haley Reinhart · James Durbin · Jacob Lusk · Casey Abrams · Stefano Langone · Paul McDonald · Pia Toscano · Naima Adedapo · Thia Megia · Karen Rodriguez · Ashthon Jones|
|Jovany Barreto · Kendra Chantelle · Robbie Rosen · Jordan Dorsey · Clint Jun Gamboa · Tim Halperin · Brett Loewenstern · Lauren Turner · Ta-Tynisa Wilson · Rachel Zevita · Julie Zorrilla|