Press release from ABC Entertainment, Aug. 30, 2016:
The celebrity cast of “Dancing with the Stars” are slipping on their dancing shoes and getting ready for their first dance on the ballroom floor, as the 23rd season kicks off on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. This season’s lineup of celebrity dancers includes two Gold medal-winning U.S. Olympians, a multi Grammy award-winning musician, a star of one of the most iconic television programs ever, one of the greatest wide receivers of all time, and the former governor of Texas, to name just a few.
As announced this morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the celebrities with their professional partners heading to the ballroom this season (in alphabetical order) are:
- Amber Rose with Maksim Chmerkovskiy
- Calvin Johnson Jr. with Lindsay Arnold
- Jake T. Austin with Jenna Johnson
- James Hinchcliffe with Sharna Burgess
- Jana Kramer with Gleb Savchenko
- Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds with Allison Holker
- Laurie Hernandez with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
- Marilu Henner with Derek Hough
- Maureen McCormick with Artem Chigvintsev
- Rick Perry with Emma Slater
- Ryan Lochte with Cheryl Burke
- Terra Jolé with Sasha Farber
- Vanilla Ice (Robert Van Winkle) with Witney Carson
Amber Rose is a proud mother, activist, entrepreneur, spokesperson, talk show host, model, actor and published author from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. MUVA, as she is affectionately known, has quickly become the unapologetic face of neo-feminism. Initially, accredited mostly to her striking appearance and keen fashion sense, the former Ford Model’s rise to massive popularity is now largely attributed to her controversial yet impactful voice on women’s issues. At the core of the Amber Rose brand is her non-profit, The Amber Rose Foundation, dedicated to women empowerment and equality.
Rose is currently the executive producer and host of “The Amber Rose Show” on VH1. Her other television credits include ABC’s “black-ish,” “Selfie” and “Inside Amy Schumer.” On film she appeared in “School Dance” and starred in the movie “Sister Code.”
In 2012, Rose debuted her first single, “Fame,” followed by her second single, “Loaded.” She had previously appeared in several videos with the who’s who in music, including Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa. She has been credited on albums with Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa and Drake, among others.
Rose’s 2016 release of her emoji app MuvaMoji quickly shot to number one, and her first book, “How to Be a Bad Bitch,” from Simon and Schuster, offers advice and personal anecdotes on finances, career, love and fashion. It was ranked #2 in iTunes audiobook sales. She was recently named the face of Flirt Cosmetics (Estee Lauder). The first product from the line is Flashes, which will be available September 15.
Last year, Rose rallied her massive social media following to help produce the largest “Slutwalk” in the world, drawing over 10,000 people to stand with her at this inaugural event with millions streaming online. The Slutwalk this year will be held in Los Angeles on October 1 and is now becoming an annual event.
Rose is lives in Los Angeles with her three year-old son, Sebastian, and mother, Dottie Rose.
CALVIN JOHNSON JR.
Calvin Johnson Jr. was born in Newnan, Georgia. He is known to many as one of the NFL’s best wide receiver of all times. Most people in the football world know him as “Megatron.” He is also a philanthropist and a family oriented man. Johnson’s journey to where he is today is credited to his parents, Calvin Johnson Sr. and Dr. Arica R. Johnson. They instilled in Calvin at an early age that putting God first, maintaining good grades in school, being obedient, possessing good character and striving toward a purposeful mission in life are some of the necessary ingredients to life success.
Johnson never forgot what his parents taught him, because his actions continue to speak louder than words. During his years at Sandy Creek High School as a scholar, stand-out, all-state speedy wide receiver athlete, Johnson became the nation top recruit and helped his team win the regional title in 2003. He was named one of AJC’s Super 11 in 2003 as a junior for the best football players in the state of Georgia (34 receptions, 646 yards, and 10 touchdowns as a junior and added 40 receptions for 736 yards and eight TDs as a senior). He also received many awards and trophies. One in particular was the highest award given to a member of the senior class on graduation day, the Atlanta Journal Cup for excelling, showing leadership in community activities, arts, athletics and academics. As a tribute to Johnson, Sandy Creek High School retired his number 81 jersey in 2010. After being recruited in 2003 by top Division I schools, highly publicized signee Johnson decided to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2004, he was rated as one of the nation’s top 10 record breaking performance wide receivers and top 100 players virtually by every recruiting analyst during his senior season.
Johnson was rookie of the year, player of the year, best wide receiver in the nation by IGN.com, a two-time all-American wide receiver, Paul Warfield Trophy recipient, Biletnikoff Award winner, and 10th 2006 Heisman Vote for 76 receptions, 1,202 yards, 15.8 Avg, and 15 TDs.
Johnson was a first round NFL draft pick by the Detroit Lions and later broke Jerry Rice’s single-season record for receiving yards, which had previously been 1,848. He also set NFL records for consecutive 100-yard games (eight) and consecutive games with 10 or more receptions (four). He also tied Hall of Famer Michael Irvin’s record for most 100-yard games in a season with 11.
During Johnson’s off season, he devotes a lot of time to his foundation. Founded in 2008, The Calvin Johnson Jr. Foundation, Inc. (CJJRF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education, training, and social development of at-risk youth, along with providing financial assistance to community organizations.
JAKE T. AUSTIN
Whether appearing on TV/film or lending his voice to animated characters, 21-year-old Jake T. Austin is a multitalented actor who has showcased his talent across the board in the entertainment industry. From 2007 to 2012, Austin starred on Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning series “Wizards of Waverly Place,” as Max Russo, the youngest wizard of three. The hit show returned to Disney Channel for a one-hour TV reunion special, “The Wizards Return: Alex vs Alex.”
Austin previously starred in Freeform’s “The Fosters,” portraying the role of Jesus Foster. His television guest-starring roles include “Law & Order: SVU” and “Drop Dead Diva.” On the big screen, he was last seen in Garry Marshall’s “New Year’s Eve,” starring opposite Abigail Breslin and Sarah Jessica Parker; “Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn,” starring opposite Joel Courtney as Huck; “Hotel For Dogs,” opposite Emma Roberts; the indie drama “Grantham & Rose,” and his first ever live-action feature film, “The Perfect Game.”
Expanding on his talent in front of the camera, Austin has lent his voice to several movies and television shows. Most widely recognized for his starring role as the voice of Diego in Nickelodeon’s “Go, Diego, Go!” Austin’s voice can also be heard in films, including “Rio” and “Rio 2,” “Khumba,” “Everyone’s Hero” and “The Ant Bully.”
A driven and talented young actor, Austin is equally committed to using his public profile to raise awareness for those less fortunate, supporting and devoting his free time to the Ronald McDonald House New York as its first-ever Youth Spokesperson. He was honored at Variety’s 2013 Power of Youth for this significant contribution.
When Jake isn’t acting, you can find him in New York where he resides with his family and hanging out with friends.
James Hinchcliffe is arguably one of the most popular drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Currently in his sixth racing season and second for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, the affable Canadian has four Indy car wins, 10 podiums and one pole position to date. He was voted IndyCar’s Favorite Driver in 2012 by the fans and was 2011 Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year.
In 2015, the 29-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries from a practice crash for the Indianapolis 500, which ended his season after only five races. After a long road to recovery and rehabilitation, James returned to racing this year in even better shape than before. He earned his first IndyCar pole at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, the venue that almost destroyed his career.
The self-proclaimed Mayor of Hinchtown, his internet civilization, also is the namesake of Hinchtown Hammer Down Ale, a craft beer from Flat12 Bierwerks in Indianapolis. Away from the track, James is a certified Scuba diver and will often be found below the surface getting some “me time.” However he can still find a way to live dangerously, having swum with the sharks in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos.
A collector of guitars and lighters, he counts Eric Clapton, Joe Walsh, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy among his favorite guitarists and boasts a collection of lighters dating back to the 1930s, including some soldier-issued World War II lighters.
Jana Kramer is an award-winning country artist. Her platinum debut single, “Why Ya Wanna,” soared to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2012, making her the most played new artist of that year, and her self-titled debut album hit No. 5. In 2013, the Academy of Country Music honored her with its Top New Female Artist Award, and Blake Shelton picked her to open on his “Ten Times Crazier” tour.
In 2015, Jana released her highly anticipated sophomore album “thirty one,” in which she co-wrote over half of the tracks. The album debuted at No. 3 on the country albums chart and No. 10 on the Billboard Top 200 all-genre chart. Her gold-certified Top 3 single, “I Got the Boy,” was named one of the 25 Best Country Songs of 2015 by The New York Times, one of the Best Songs of 2015 by Rolling Stone, and one of the Top 40 Country Songs of 2015 by Spin Magazine. Jana was honored as one of CMT’s Next Women of Country and co-headlined their first-ever female-powered tour.
In 2016, Jana received nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Academy of Country Music Awards, Breakthrough Female of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year from the American Country Countdown Awards, and Female Video of the Year from the CMT Music Awards for “I Got the Boy.”
Jana is no stranger to the spotlight with her impressive resume of movie and television roles. She is best known for her role as the fire cracker actress Alex Dupre on the television series “One Tree Hill,” where she had the opportunity to debut multiple songs, including hits “Holding Out for a Hero” and “Whiskey.” She has also made memorable guest appearances on “All My Children,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice,” “CSI: NY,” “Friday Night Lights,” “90210” and “Entourage.”
Jana currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with her daughter, Jolie Rae.
KENNY “BABYFACE” EDMONDS
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, the 11-time Grammy Award winner, channeled the magic of his storied career with “Return of the Tender Lover,” his first solo album in seven years, which is a nod to his RIAA triple-platinum album “Tender Lover.” That 1989 definitive breakthrough spun off four R&B/pop crossover hits, including the R&B No. 1’s “It’s No Crime” and “Tender Lover” plus “Whip Appeal” and “My Kinda Girl.”
Music has always come first for Babyface. It’s the backbone of an award-winning, multi-faceted pop/urban career that includes the consecutive multi-platinum landmark albums “Tender Lover,” “For the Cool in You” (including such signature hits as “Never Keeping Secrets” and “When Can I See You”) and “The Day” (“Every Time I Close My Eyes”). As co-founder with L.A. Reid of LaFace Records in 1989, Babyface nurtured the careers of such megastars as TLC, OutKast, Usher and Toni Braxton.
Paralleling those achievements is Babyface’s extensive songwriting and production credits from the ‘90s forward. He has produced and written/co-written hits for everyone from Whitney Houston, Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson to Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, P!nk and Beyoncé, among countless others. That hit list boasts such smashes as Madonna’s “Take a Bow,” Clapton’s “Change the World” and Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You.” His most recent productions include collaborations with Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Ledisi, Colbie Caillat, Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande.
The prolific music man counts more than 150 top 10 R&B and pop hits, 42 R&B No. 1 hits and 51 top 10 pop hits (including 16 No. 1’s). In turn, those stats have generated cumulative single and album sales of more than 500 million units worldwide. And that’s not counting the numerous awards that Babyface has received. A triumphant first tour of South Africa with Braxton this year yielded a double-platinum award for the duo’s “Love, Marriage & Divorce” (featuring the urban AC No. 1 “Hurt You”). This brought Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds his 11th Grammy with this year’s win for best R&B album. That latest accolade joins a host of other honors, including the Soul Train Music Awards, BMI Awards, NAACP Image Awards, American Music Awards, BET Walk of Fame Award, and receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013.
Music isn’t the only way that Babyface gives back. The passionate philanthropist is very active in supporting Carousel of Hope, which benefits the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, and Larry Ruvo’s “Keep Memory Alive,” committed to improving the lives of patients and their families facing the challenges of brain disorders. He has performed at several fund-raising events on behalf of FasterCures and personally donates generously to VH1 Save the Music. In addition to contributing to other worthwhile organizations, including the United Negro College Fund, Babyface is a former national spokesman for Boarder Babies and helped raise more than $500,000 for a transitional home, The Little Blue House, in Washington, D.C. He is also a dedicated supporter of the David Foster Foundation for organ transplant patients and the Mike Milken Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Laurie Hernandez burst onto the Senior Elite gymnastics scene in 2016, just in time for the Rio Olympic Games where she won Silver in the individual balance beam and secured Gold in the team All-Around. Her goal had always been to make an Olympic Team, and her dream came true!
Hernandez started gymnastics at the age of six when she asked her mother to enroll her in the sport, because she had so much energy and always wanted to experience the feeling of flying. She enrolled in Monmouth Gymnastics, where she met her coach, Maggie Haney, and they have been together ever since.
The turning point in Laurie’s career happened in 2014 when her progress was stalled due to multiple injuries. She returned stronger than ever by becoming the 2015 U.S. Junior National Champion, and has been on the rise since then.
Other career highlights include All-Around Silver; beam Gold and floor Bronze at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, and Bronze in All-Around, floor, beam, and uneven bar at the 2016 National Championships.
Hernandez is known for her dazzling floor exercise routine, where she has been nicknamed the “human emoji” for her outgoing facial expressions and for her grace and artistry on the balance beam.
With the energy of a teenager, the wisdom of a sage, and the memory of a superhero, Marilu Henner has deservedly earned the nickname “Perpetual Motion.” Along with starring in over thirty films, six Broadway shows, and two hit classic sitcoms, “Taxi” and “Evening Shade,” this five-time Golden Globe nominee is also a New York Times bestselling author of ten books on health, parenting, memory, and lifestyle improvement. Her books include the recent bestseller “Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer,” “Total Memory Makeover,” “Total Health Makeover,” “Healthy Life Kitchen,” “I Refuse to Raise a Brat” and “By All Means Keep On Moving,” and have changed the lives of millions in her quest to make the world a healthier place.
Marilu Henner can currently be seen in the Hallmark series “Aurora Teagarden,” as well as the Hallmark Channel film “Love on a Limb” and can be seen in the upcoming the theatrical features “In-Lawfully Yours” and “Imperfections,” which will premiere at the Chicago Film Festival in October 2016. Marilu has hosted and executive produced two talk shows, “Marilu” and “Shape Up Your Life.” And as a two-time competitor on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars,” Marilu played for her favorite charities, including The Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and the Alzheimer’s Association. In fact, at PCRM’s 25th Anniversary Gala, she was awarded their Voice of Compassion Award.
As one of only twelve people documented with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, Marilu was the subject of a two-part special on “60 Minutes” and on “60 Minutes Australia,” as well as news programs and newspaper articles around the globe. She also served as the consultant on the CBS series “Unforgettable,” which ran for four seasons. Her ninth book, “Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future!,” was released in 2012 and became an instant New York Times and Publishers Weekly Best Seller.
Her acting career continues to thrive, as Marilu recently appeared in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Crazy Ones,” “The Glades,” and the finale of “Two and a Half Men.” In 2012, she appeared in the feature film “Vamps” and in two holiday movies, “Hitched for the Holidays” on the Hallmark Channel and “High School Holiday Reunion” on Lifetime.
Henner was a pioneer on the Internet, starting her own website, Marilu.com in 1999. In 2000, she began teaching online classes for her growing membership, as well as offering online counseling and support along with her twenty coaches who teach her Total Health Makeover (THM) lifestyle.
Marilu has spoken before Congress on seven occasions on various subjects from dietary supplements and women’s cardiovascular disease to deadbeat parents, and she was one of only two private citizens selected to contribute to the shaping of our government’s food pyramid on 2004 and 2014.
Marilu Henner is married to Michael Brown, CEO of Browntrout Publishers, and is the busy mother of two college-aged sons, Nick and Joey. Because she practices what she preaches, Marilu has truly become the quintessential portrait of what health and fitness can do for one’s life, and she loves to give back to her community in so many ways!
Maureen McCormick is widely known for her portrayal of eldest daughter, Marcia Brady, on the seminal ABC television sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” on which she starred from 1969 to 1974. She later reprised the role in many of the numerous “Brady Bunch” spin-offs and films, including “The Brady Kids,” “The Brady Bunch Hour,” “The Brady Brides“ as well as “A Very Brady Christmas.” But America’s favorite girl next door is way more than the three words she became famous for, encapsulated by “Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!”
McCormcik has also had a successful career in film, as a stage actress, recording artist and author. She co-starred in the iconic feature “The Idolmaker,” toured in the starring role as Wendy Darling in “Peter Pan” and Betty Rizzo in “Grease,” and released four popular studio albums. She portrayed country singer Barbara Mandrell in the television biopic “Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story.” In 2009, McCormick added New York Times bestselling author to her resume with her much anticipated memoir, “Here’s The Story.” Over the past decade she’s guest-starred on select primetime hit series while raising her daughter and enjoying family life.
Maureen is very active in the Best Buddies Foundation that she holds near and dear to her heart. She has previously sponsored kids through Children International, which helps give kids a chance for a better future, and has participated in numerous charity fundraising events throughout the years.
Rick Perry is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a former farmer and the former governor of Texas. He has devoted his adult life to creating prosperity and opportunity for families. As the 47th and longest-serving governor of the Lone Star State, he championed conservative principles that helped Texas become America’s economic engine.
Perry grew up the son of tenant farmers in the tiny West Texas town of Paint Creek. The younger of Ray and Amelia Perry’s two children, he was active in scouting and earned distinction as an Eagle Scout. He was one of the first in his family to go to college, earning a degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University, where he was also a member of the Corps of Cadets and a Yell Leader.
Between 1972 and 1977, Perry served in the U.S. Air Force flying C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in Europe and the Middle East. He is a lifetime member of both the NRA and American Legion Post #75. Prior to being elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998, he served two terms as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and three terms in the Texas House of Representatives.
Perry married his childhood sweetheart, Anita, in 1982. They have two children and two beautiful granddaughters.
Ryan Lochte has become a transcendent figure in the Olympic world. He is a four-time Olympian (Athens, Beijing, London, Rio de Janeiro) and a 12-time Olympic medalist (including six Gold, three Silver, and three Bronze). His seven individual Olympic medals are second all-time in Men’s Swimming, and he is the current world record holder in the 200 individual medley. Ryan has been named both American and World Swimmer of the Year twice in his career (2010 & 2011) and has a total of 70 medals in major international competition, including 45 first place finishes.
As a Florida Gator, Ryan was a two-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year, 24-time NCAA All-American, and seven-time NCAA Champion. Lochte’s accomplishments in the pool along with his committed fan base (1 million+ Twitter and Instagram followers and over 658k Facebook fans) have helped him gain pop culture status outside the pool.
Terra Jolé (pronounced Jo – lay) is an American actress, producer, singer, and TV personality. Since 2014, she has gained recognition both nationally and internationally as the star and executive producer of Lifetime’s hit TV Shows “Little Women: LA” and “Terra’s Little Family.” Terra also serves as executive producer on the popular spin-offs, “Little Women: ATL” and “Little Women: NY,” and she is currently a member of the Producers Guild of America.
Prior to her recent success in the Reality TV world, Terra has appeared in TV and Film productions such as “Jackass 3D,” “The Hungover Games” and “CSI” and in the theatrical production of “Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular.”
In 2014, following on-stage performances with Miley Cyrus, Cyndi Lauper and T-Pain, Terra wrote and released her own original music singles, “Booty Bee” and “Imma Let You Know.” This year, Terra released “Penny’s Playlist,” a full album of children’s songs dedicated to her daughter, which was recorded in a groundbreaking contemporary musical style. As part of this unique project, Terra has also launched MiniMama.com, a website that features original content for both mothers and kids alike.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Terra now resides in Los Angeles, California, where she is married to fellow “Little Women: LA” and “Terra’s Little Family” star, actor and musician Joe Gnoffo. In March 2015, they welcomed a daughter named Penelope Charlevoix Gnoffo and in August 2016 they welcomed their son, Grayson Vincent D’artagnan Gnoffo.
Terra also supports and volunteers for the non-profit organization “Forte Animal Rescue.” Throughout the years, she has personally adopted, fostered and cared for dozens of pets without homes, which is something she is very passionate about.
The iconic Robert Van Winkle – aka Vanilla Ice – exploded on the Rap/Pop music scene in 1990/91, selling 10 million albums in four months and hitting number one on the Billboard charts with the number one single “Ice Ice Baby” and number one album positions. His worldwide album sales are over 20 million, and individual songs total over 160 million, and are still selling.
Vanilla Ice won two MTV Awards, a People’s Choice Award and was nominated for a Grammy. He has starred or appeared in the movies “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze,” “Cool As Ice,” “The Helix Loaded,” “The New Guy,” “The Bros,” “Big Money Hustlas,” “That’s My Boy” and “Ridiculous Six,” with Adam Sandler. His TV credits include “Celebrity Boxing,” “Hollywood Squares,” “The Farm – UK,” “Surreal Life,” “Celebrity Bull Riding,” “Dancing On Ice 6,” “Canada Sings,” seasons one and two, and the DIY shows “The Vanilla Ice Project,” seasons one, two, three, four, five and six, three episodes of “Ice My House,” and series “Vanilla Ice Goes Amish,” seasons one and two. Vanilla Ice is working on season seven of “The Vanilla Ice Project,” airing early 2017. He performed pantomime live on stage as Captain Hook in “Peter Pan” in the U.K., as well as doing a 20-city “Dancing on Ice” skating tour.
Vanilla Ice has had great success in real estate and has launched Vanilla Ice Real Estate.com with mentoring courses in Real Estate investments, as well as upcoming live seminars around the U.S. His current TV show, “The Vanilla Ice Project,” on DIY won The Factual Award for the Best Home TV Show.
Hosted by two-time Emmy Award-winning host Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews (sports host and “Dancing with the Stars” season 10 finalist), “Dancing with the Stars” is the hit series in which celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which are judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts. The all-new season of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres Monday, September 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT).
“Dancing with the Stars” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Rob Wade and Ashley Edens-Shaffer are executive producers. Phil Heyes directs. “Dancing with the Stars” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound. This program carries a TV-PG, L parental guideline.