St. Petersburg Times: Super Bowl XXXV
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Super Bowl XXXV Tampa, Florida 2001
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  • The Road to Super Bowl XXXV

    printer version

    Want to be a pop star? Start at Super Bowl

    PYT, a teen group from Tampa, hopes that a pregame performance will be the boost

    By DAVE SCHEIBER

    © St. Petersburg Times, published January 19, 2001


    It's not a bad little gig for a foursome of teenage girls from Tampa.

    The pop act known as PYT has had its share of high-profile concerts in its two years together -- most often as an opener for 'N Sync and Britney Spears. But the group gets its single biggest blast of exposure Jan. 28 in the Super Bowl pregame show at Raymond James Stadium.

    The girls -- Tracy Williams, Lauren Mayhew, Lydia Bell and Ashley Niven -- will perform a remake of the Bee Gees tune You Should Be Dancing (singing to a prerecorded track). They also were given the green light to create their own choreography for the number and will be joined by a large troupe of dancers on the field.

    "We're so excited," said Tracy, 14. "It'll definitely be the biggest crowd we've performed for."

    "It's great -- especially with the artists we'll be appearing with -- 'N Sync, the Backstreet Boys, Aerosmith," said Lauren, 15. "I don't know if our song will be televised; but even if it's not, it'll still be so cool playing in front of such a large crowd."

    The Super Bowl showcase comes at a good time for PYT, co-managed by 'N Sync and Spears guru Johnny Wright and New York-based Jelly Baby Group. Last May, the act flew to Los Angeles and made its first music video for its single PYT (Down With Me). The song fared respectably in selective markets throughout the country in early release. But for a video to have a shot on MTV's Total Request Live -- the make-or-break video forum for pop acts -- the tune first needs to create a serious buzz on radio and the charts.

    Neither the song nor the video made it out of the box. In fact, just as the single hit record stores during the summer, Epic Records recalled the song and sent PYT back to the studio with a new single -- entitled Same Ol Same Ol. The R&B/pop-tinged tune is set to be released to radio shortly and be in stores March 6. Their debut album, slated for release three months ago, is planned for this summer.

    "We recorded (the single) over the summer, and we just loved it so much," said Tracy. "The other song was good, too, because it mentioned PYT so many times in the song. But after we heard Same Ol Same Ol, we really felt it was a better song to represent us."

    PYT members have stayed busy in recent months, performing the national anthem at sporting events such as the Outback Bowl and doing spot TV appearances. They placed a song, Anywhere USA, in the Sandra Bullock movie Miss Congeniality. And they are featured in an array of Internet fan pages, with message boards filled with the latest PYT tidbits.

    But mostly, the members have been readjusting to life as students after spending much of the 1999-2000 school year touring. All four entered area high schools in September.

    "It's been a nice change of pace -- new friends, homecoming, things like that," Tracy said.

    But soon they could be back on the road pursuing their music dream.

    PYT flew last week to Chicago to tape a segment for The Jenny Jones Show (set to air Jan. 23). The group will perform Jan. 27 at Gasparilla on a WFLZ-93.3 bill with 98 Degrees and several other teen-pop acts. A spot on a new tour could fall into place this spring or summer. Should the next single fare well on radio, PYT likely would return to Los Angeles to film another music video.

    "We've definitely learned the meaning of patience," Lauren said. "Right now, everything is in the works, getting ready to come out. People may not have known what's going on behind the scenes, like all the recording and things. But in a couple of weeks, I think they'll see it's all been heading in the right direction."

    Recent coverage

    The Starmaker(October 23, 2000)

    Shrink-wrappinga girl group (July 2, 2000)

    Teen singers try out new key -- to city of Tampa (October 14, 1999)

    Like, wow (August 1, 1999)

    Living the teen dream (July 4, 1999)

    Today's Super Bowl story lineup

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