Vitamin C is a strange exception: The onetime Colleen Fitzpatrick was lead singer of the punk-pop band Eve's Plum first, and then made the switch to explicitly teen-oriented dance-pop when that band broke up, by which time she was well into her late twenties. Fitzpatrick was born July 20, 1972, in Old Bridge, NJ; she was a dancer in high school before becoming a singer in several local bands. She also tried acting, landing a role in John Waters' Hairspray in 1988. In 1991, she and guitarist Michael Kotch met while attending New York University and formed Eve's Plum together; after around a year, they landed a deal with Sony and wound up releasing two albums, 1993's Envy and 1995's Cherry Alive. Fitzpatrick subsequently left for a solo career, also taking on acting roles in The Naked Gun 2 1/2, Liar Liar, The Mambo Kings, Dracula 2000, and Get Over It.
Fitzpatrick refashioned herself as a dance-pop singer and scored a deal with Elektra in 1998. Her debut album, Vitamin C, was released in late summer 1999 and it produced two decent-sized hits in "Smile" (which featured Jamaican dancehall toaster Lady Saw) and "Me, Myself and I." Vitamin C really took off, though, with the impeccably timed release of the third single, "Graduation (Friends Forever)," the most blatantly teen-aimed song on the record. "Graduation (Friends Forever)" became a huge hit in the spring of 2000, hitting the Top Ten and helping push Vitamin C into platinum-sales territory. Fitzpatrick jumped on the marketing opportunities, licensing everything from her own doll to a shade of lipstick matching her signature orange hair. Toward the end of 2000, the second Vitamin C album, More, was issued, sporting a more age-appropriate image and subject matter. Again, it spun off a couple of decent-sized hits in "The Itch" and "As Long as You're Loving Me," but it didn't produce a breakaway smash on the order of "Graduation," and More failed to crack the Top 100.