: At a recording studio in this gritty neighbourhood, Walt Disney Co. executives are putting the finishing touches on a project of pressing importance: grooming a 15-year-old Texas girl as a possible successor to Miley Cyrus, star of the Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana” and myriad other entertainment ventures.
As a rare spring thunderstorm clatters outside, executives from Disney’s Hollywood Records huddle with Demi Lovato and her management team to complete her debut solo album, to be released this fall. By that time, the company hopes Ms. Lovato will already be a household name in the tween world, thanks to a multimedia blitz that is aggressive even by Disney standards.
For Disney, there are few more crucial tasks than finding and developing talent that appeals to 8- to 12-year-olds and perpetuating the pipeline of clean-cut Disney Channel stars whose singing, dancing and acting can be exploited across multiple platforms. “Hannah Montana” has spanned hit albums, blockbuster concert tours, a 3D concert movie that grossed $65.3 million in North America, and, down the road, a theatrical movie and a book deal. In addition, Ms. Cyrus’s concert tour last year helped launch Disney’s heartthrob boy band, the Jonas Brothers, now one of the hottest acts in pop.
Photo by crazytales562 from Flickr
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