Born in 1987, performer Jesse McCartney ascended to child stardom during his grade-school years and demonstrated an unusual degree of versatility for one his age. By his 13th birthday, the prodigious young entertainer had already sung and acted on Broadway, landed a gig in a boy band, and essayed an ongoing role on a blockbuster daytime soap -- all formidable accomplishments for a middle schooler. McCartney first attained recognition by taking an early on-camera bow at age 11 as the young teenage version of rebellious "J.R." Chandler on All My Children (a role he held from July 1998 to August 2001). Beginning in 1999, McCartney joined the boy band Dream Street (alongside Christopher Trousdale, Greg Raposo, Frankie Galasso, and Matt Ballinger); that ensemble's eponymous debut (released in October of 2000) went platinum and helped spin off McCartney's solo recording career.
At about the same time, McCartney extended his acting resumé into prime-time activity, with occasional guest appearances on such programs as Law & Order and (a few years later) prime billing as Bradin Westerly, an orphaned Kansas transplant raised by his aunt (Lori Loughlin) in Southern California, on the WB's family-oriented series drama Summerland (2004-2005). McCartney moved into big-screen activity as well, but for several years placed a stronger emphasis on vocal and musical contributions to films, such as his duet with Anne Hathaway, "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart," on the soundtrack for Ella Enchanted, and his assignments voicing the characters of Theodore in the 2007 Alvin and the Chipmunks and JoJo in the 2008 Horton Hears a Who. In the following years, McCartney would find success in grown up movies like Chernobyl Diaries, and on TV series like Young Justice.