An all new cast of celebrities hits the dance floor on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars
" with the highly anticipated two-hour season premiere Monday, March 9, 2009 on ABC.
Season Eight introduces 13 new stars, including the youngest competitor to date, an NFL legend, a computer icon, a female rapper, three music artists, and a "Wildboy." Additionally, "love is a battlefield," when for the first time three real life couples take the ballroom floor. Husband and wife, Ty Murray and Jewel
, compete for bragging rights while newly engaged professional dancers, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff, go head-to-head. To top it off, country crooner, Chuck Wicks teams with girlfriend and two-time "Dancing with the Stars" champ, Julianne Hough
As announced this evening on ABC's "All Night Name Drop," in alphabetical order, the 13 stars making their ballroom dancing debut are:
- Belinda Carlisle is not only known as the lead singer of the Go-Go's
, the most successful all-female band of all time, but also as one of the late 80's most glamorous adult pop soloists.
David Alan Grier
-- Grier is often recognized for his work in television and film - in TV he is known from roles in "In Living Color
," "Life With Bonnie
" with Bonnie Hunt
, "DAG," and most recently, "Chocolate News" for Comedy Central.
-- She grew up on a remote ranch in Alaska where her family were original pioneers. From poverty and teen homelessness, to the triumph of international stardom, the three-time Grammy nominee has enjoyed career longevity rare among her generation of artists and has sold twenty-seven million albums worldwide.
- The youngest ever competitor on "Dancing with the Stars," 17 year-old Olympian Shawn Johnson was the gold medalist in balance beam at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing where she also earned 3 silver medals in the team, floor exercise and individual all-around categories.
- Born Kimberly Denise Jones, Lil' Kim, is a Grammy Award winning multi-platinum rapper, singer, actress, and fashion icon.
-- Gilles Marini exploded onto the scene as Dante, the Casanova living in the beach house next door to Kim Cattrall's Samantha in the "Sex and the City: The Movie,
" a role which has earned him international recognition.
-- Ty Murray has been labeled the most accomplished rodeo athlete in the century-long history of the sport. Now retired from competition, Murray spends his time with his singer-songwriter wife, Jewel, on their 2,100-acre private ranch in Stephenville, Texas.
-- Determined to build a career in television and film, Steve-O, a.k.a. Stephen Glover, sent his self-produced videos to anyone he thought might watch them including Jeff Tremiane (MTV's "Jackass
" creator/director/producer). Steve-O also starred in his own show for MTV - "Wildboyz
- The co-Anchor of Access Hollywood, O'Dell has contributed reports to NBC's Today Show and Dateline NBC. Beyond covering events such as The Oscars, The Emmys, The Grammys and The Golden Globe Awards, O'Dell has been chosen by NBC for the last eight years to host two of their big annual network broadcasts, The Golden Globes Arrivals Special and The Tournament of Roses Parade.
-- Known for her roles in films such as "Wild Things
" and "Starship Troopers," Denise Richards got her start as a fashion model before making her way into television and movies.
- Widely regarded as the greatest defensive player in the history of the National Football League, Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor rewrote the record book and built a legendary following during one of the most storied careers in the history of American sport.
- A gifted songwriter and vocalist, Chuck Wicks made a compelling impression with his Top 5 smash, "Stealing Cinderella," the fastest-rising single by a debut country act in 2007.
-- A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for the past three decades, Steve Wozniak, a.k.a. "The Woz," helped shape the computer industry with his design of Apple's first line of products, the Apple I and II, and influenced the popular Macintosh.