There’s been a change of plans for Danity Kane.
Aundrea Fimbres announced Friday during the first date on the No Filter tour in San Francisco that she was engaged and leaving the female pop band to start a family. The news came less than 10 months after four of the five members of the group — which were first assembled by Diddy on MTV’s “Making the Band” in 2005 — officially announced they were getting back together to record an album and tour.
This leaves Aubrey O'Day, Dawn Richard and Shannon Bex as the only remaining members of the group (Wanita “D. Woods” Woodgett was not part of the reunion). O’Day said Fimbres will continue performing with the band on the current tour, including Wednesday’s show at the House of Blues. She will not, however, join the band on stage for its new songs, such as “Lemonade,” which features rapper Tyga and was released last week.
“I can only speak for myself, but it’s overwhelming,” O’Day said over the phone Saturday while driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles. “Part of me was disappointed, but part of me had to be mature and grow up and realize you can’t make everybody want the same thing as you. People aren’t always going to be what you want them to be in life.
“Any adult in their 30s who has been in relationships, whether you’re in love, business partners or friends, know you can never change somebody. You have to accept who they are and what’s best for them, whether you agree or not. Unfortunately, it affects us drastically business-wise. But we’re incredibly strong as three and strong enough to continue and strong enough to let somebody who wants to be somewhere else go and explore the things that make them happy.”
O’Day said Fimbres told the group of her plans a week before the tour began. In addition to sitting out the new songs on the tour, Fimbres will not appear on the new album either, which O’Day believes will be available after the tour wraps. What will the album be called?
“We’ve definitely been dreaming up all kinds of directions to go with it,” O’Day said. “And now with the drastic changes in the bottom of the ninth inning with Drea, we want to restructure the sound a bit. With Drea being gone, we want to rethink our ideas. Drea not being on the new album marks the end of an era for Danity Kane.”
Danity Kane (named after a superhero created by Richard) saw its first two albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it the first female group to accomplish the feat. Despite its success, Diddy kicked O’Day out of the band in 2008 because he felt she had let fame get to her head and had become too difficult to work with. “D. Woods” was also removed from the group, leaving them with three members. They opted to disband rather than continue without O’Day and D. Woods.
All five members continued their music careers, either as a solo artist or in a group, with O’Day releasing a pop EP, “Between Two Evils,” in addition to competing on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” and starring in her own reality show on Oxygen, “All About Aubrey.” Richard joined Diddy’s group “Diddy — Dirty Money” before releasing a solo album, “Goldenheart.” Bex released a country EP, “I’m a Woman.”
O’Day said she had a feeling the group would reunite eventually.
“I don’t think any one of us was willing to end on Diddy’s terms,” O’Day said, adding that getting the group back together was no easy task. “Some girls were apprehensive, some were ready to go right away. Everybody knows how special and talented this group is. We know what we’re able to do when we’re together and how meaningful our music is to our fans. I think it was just a matter of everybody dropping what they had going to commit.”
The tour was named the No Filter tour because the band members are moving on without Diddy or a major label to make decisions for them. O’Day said their solo careers made them more hands-on and better prepared for the new Danity Kane album.
“I think you’ll see it come through in the writing and the production,” O’Day said. “We were never able to pick tracks we made for the albums the way we wanted to (under Diddy), unfortunately. … Now that we’ve done solo projects, each of us understand the importance of creating the picture you want to create as an artist. Being able to make all those journeys come together is the fun part, but it’s also the most difficult.”
The show in San Francisco was only the group’s second time in concert since reuniting (they performed together in December in Los Angeles). O’Day compared performing to riding a bicycle, in that it comes natural to the group even after all the time apart. Sure, she wishes there would have been a full dress rehearsal before the show to get all the details down, from the sound to the lights, but she thinks the show went well, all things considered.
“Being next to these girls feels rewarding,” O’Day said. “The thing about girl groups is they take the strengths of the women and put it all together and create a super group — a super woman. And that’s what Danity Kane has always represented.”
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When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn Street
Tickets: $36.55-$57.60, houseofblues.com/chicago