PYT was a Florida-based girl group in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Unlike many pop groups, P.Y.T.'s formation was not the result of scouting by a talent agency or a series of auditions - instead, these Tampa teenagers - Lauren Mayhew , Ashley Niven, Lydia Bell, Tracy Williams - had all been childhood friends. They had previously performed together in the Tampa Entertainment Revue (through Busch Gardens) and were signed to Epic Records in 1998. The members of P.Y.T. derived their group's name from a Michael Jackson song entitled "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)," though on some occasions the girls used the acronym "P.Y.T." to stand for the slogan "Prove Yourself True." Among the members of the group, Tracy Williams was the alto and sung lower harmonies, Lauren Mayhew and Ashley Niven were mezzo-sopranos and sung the melody line, and Lydia Bell was the soprano who sung higher harmonies. Ashley Niven was the lead vocalist on the tracks on the album PYT (Down With Me).
From bubblegum pop to urban influence
P.Y.T.'s first single was originally planned to be the catchy, pop-inspired ballad "Something More Beautiful," showcasing the vocal talent and harmonization of the group. However, the single was soon switched to match the trends of the quickly-changing music market from a sugary pop piece to a mid-tempo track with an urban flair, the R&B-tinged "Down With Me," featuring mostly the vocals of Ashley Niven, who would go on to sing lead on most future PYT tracks. Though not credited, the members of P.Y.T. appeared as friends of fellow pop singer Mandy Moore in her music video "Candy." To promote their new single and forthcoming album, P.Y.T. toured with the likes of *NSYNC and Britney Spears, but not even a flashy music video for "Down With Me" was enough. The single was switched yet again, this time to the "Same Ol' Same Ol'". A remix version of the song that featured a bassline reminiscent of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg was released with a video, which premiered on Nickelodeon. P.Y.T. continued to tour with popular pop gigs 98 Degrees and Destiny's Child before finally releasing their debut album "PYT (Down With Me)" in August of 2001. Soon after, P.Y.T. was dropped from Epic, and due to this as well as disagreements between members of the group, the girls went their separate ways, and P.Y.T. was disbanded.
A number of other "bubblegum pop" songs left over from the era of "Something More Beautiful," featuring fairly equal shares of vocals by all four group members, were never officially released as they did not match the urban style of the "PYT (Down With Me)" album. A few of those songs were re-recorded and used by girl group Huckapoo in 2006.
Groupmates Lauren Mayhew and Lydia Bell decided to form a new group called Turning Point. Even after adding more members, the group fell apart. Mayhew went on to host The N's teen version of Access Hollywood -- Real Access. She has since had guest roles on television programs such as Joan of Arcadia and American Dreams. In films, Mayhew portrayed the role of Robin in the film Raise Your Voice starring Hilary Duff, and Arianna in American Pie: Band Camp. She is currently attending college in Los Angeles.
Tracy Williams formed the all-girl trio UC3, which has played throughout the United States and performed for US troops overseas.
All P.Y.T. lyrics
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