On The Enduring Legacy Of The Legendary Danity Kane

Hey Pop Thinkers! I’m Sam Lansky, OG Making the Band Stan, and this is my column,Pop Think.” This week we’re going back through time to meditate upon the legacy of The Most Important Musical Group Of All Time (besides Pussycat Dolls) — the inimitable girl group Danity Kane, the members of which have since scattered to various corners of the sonicverse with varying degrees of success.

But things are looking up for several of Danity Kane’s members, with Aubrey O’Day wrapping up production on the video for her refreshingly strong single “Wrecking Ball,” and an out-of-this-world gorgeous new track from Dawn Richard — plus a recent club banger from D. Woods. The legacy of Danity Kane lives on, y’all, and my heart may be damaged without them, but they might just turn out to be more powerful as solo stars than they were as a band.

Danity Kane in the glory days of 2006, the way I like to remember them.

Confession time, you guys: I miss Danity Kane. And I know I’m not alone in this sentiment. The girls, who were dazzling and ephemeral as fireworks in the night sky (this is emotional for me, OK?), may have only released two albums before they broke up in 2009, but they still get a ton of play ’round these here iTunes. (Anyone who doesn’t think that “Damaged” is one of the best pop songs of the last 10 years needs to see a doctor.) But even if their music never commanded a ton of critical respect, the girl group formed on MTV’s “Making the Band 3” had attitude and showmanship for days, and that’s paying off now that the girls have gone their separate ways.

Read more about the vital importance of Danity Kane after the jump.

Aubrey was the breakout star from the group, so it stands to reason that she’d have the easiest road pursuing a solo career, and to some extent, that’s been true — her own reality show, a spot on “Celebrity Apprentice,” a record deal and a series of singles have kept her in the spotlight. Aubrey’s last single, “Wrecking Ball,” is a killer pop-rock cut, and she’s now gearing up (at long last!) to release the video for the single, which looks promising based on the behind-the-scenes footage.

For her part, D. Woods has also stayed pretty busy, appearing in music videos and working in the studio. Her 2009 jam “Legalize Me,” from her EP The Gray Area, was a memorably chilly R&B track. And her latest single, “2 the Bottom,” is a certifiable club banger that sees D. Woods spitting rhymes like Twista over a sinister bass line.

To my surprise, though, the group’s shining-est talent may just turn out to be Dawn Richard, who maintained a friendly enough relationship with Diddy to be invited into his follow-up group, Diddy-Dirty Money, alongside fellow R&B chanteuse Kalenna. The group was also short-lived but brilliant — their wild, overstuffed, deliriously enjoyable 2010 debut album was a stunner, and just try not to dance to a song like “Ass On The Floor” or “Hello, Good Morning.”

But after hitting pause for a minute, Dawn absolutely blew me away this week with her new track, “Pretty Wicked Things,” a haunting swirl of influences with ambient piano chords set to minimalist trance collapses into chaotic dubstep. Sonically, it’s the most sophisticated thing I’ve heard from any of the Danity Kane ladies — a standout track for sure, and one that bodes well for her upcoming full-length LP, Goldenheart.

The other two members of the group have gone in other directions: Shannon Bex may have not garnered much attention for her country single “I’m Out,” and Aundrea Fimbres claims she’s out of the business for good. Still, I’m stoked to see these ladies keeping the dream alive, showstoppin’ as ever.

Sam Lansky is a writer and editor from New York City. He goes hard for Swedish pop music, “Real Housewives” GIFs and juice. Follow him on Twitter or Tumblr.