Rebel With a Cause: How Ricky Rebel is Defying Expectations, crafting a Musical Legacy, and Keeping Audiences Guessing

When 16-year-old Ricky Rebel burst onto the scene in 1997, few could have predicted the gripping, tumultuous journey this dance-pop artist would go on over the next two and half decades. But having produced some of his era’s most pulsating dance tracks, he found himself as an unlikely, central voice in America’s political and cultural upheaval. Ricky Rebel has shown time and time again that he’s not interested in boring predictions or outsider expectations. If he does something – he, does it for himself. Now, as he gears up for the release of his new album, Veronica – he continues his new role as a permanent co-host on iHeart Radio/NBC News affiliated talk show “Get Balanced with Dr.Marissa” Ricky is known as ‘The Hollywood Rebel Report’ with Dr. Marissa- rise of an artist who has truly earned the title of ‘Rebel.’

Back in the late 1990s, pop music was undergoing a revolution that would reshape American music for decades to come. Britney Spears was about to reach her ascendancy, Destiny’s Child was taking off, and VH1 and MTV were offering windows into the heady world of all our favorite artists. 

During this pop music explosion, American boyband No Authority emerged as a four-piece to rival the Backstreet Boys. It was with No Authority that Ricky Rebel (then known as ‘Ricky G.’) got his first break. As the band’s lead vocalist, Ricky was front and center as No Authority toured with 98 Degrees, Destiny’s Child, Aaron Carter, and Jessica Simpson, among other dominant acts of the era. 

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The band was welcomed into a cloister of pop acts that were causing waves throughout the world. Rodney Jerkins (who has produced Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, and Justin Bieber) produced No Authority’s acclaimed first album, Keep On, while Michael Jackson gave his stamp of approval by signing the band to his own MJJ Music custom label at Sony in 1998.

In 2000, No Authority moved to Madonna’s Maverick label, where they released their second album. The self-titled record was a solid final farewell, reaching #18 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart. At the same time, their signature hit, ‘Can I Get Your Number’, peaked at #33 on the Billboard Top 40. The band then embarked on a tour with Britney Spears (the first step in Ricky Rebel’s long association with Britney) before disbanding. 

Ricky Unchained: How The Artist Found His Voice in the New Millennium 

Following the break-up of No Authority, Ricky undertook several different roles as he worked on finding his voice and musical style. He went under the guise of ‘Ricky Harlow’ for several years and became the lead vocalist of his own rock band, ‘Harlow’, from 2004 to 2009. Under this moniker, Ricky released the album Unstoppable with Grammy-winning producer Randy Cantor (Ricky Martin). 

At the same time, he was moving into film and soundtracks. He lent his voice to films such as Apollo 13, Anywhere but Here, and Anatasia. Meanwhile, he appeared in starring roles on episodes of TV shows such as American Dreams and Boston Public. He also starred in Debbie Allen’s ballet Pepito’s Story, which opened at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. 

Amongst all the success, Ricky sometimes found himself frustrated by the limitations being put on his career. He had a flair for making uninhibited dance music, and, after years of working on what others wanted, he desperately wanted to move his solo career in the direction he saw fit. 

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Just months after co-starring in two music videos for My Chemical Romance in 2010, the artist fully committed himself to a new title and new musical outlook for the decade ahead; thus, Ricky Rebel was born. The change was a positive one, not just for Ricky personally – but also for his artistry. In 2012, Ricky had two landmark moments: he won the Artist of the Year award at the RAWards, and he released his first solo album, Manipulator, which featured the hits ‘Geisha Dance’, ‘Get It On’, and ‘You Need a Woman’. The album had a sound unlike any others his fans had heard before – full of unrestrained synth and big dance-pop hooks and choruses. It set the stage for future success.

Two years later, Ricky released his next record, The Blue Album, which contained the single ‘Boys & Sometimes Girls,’ one of the defining dance tracks of the era that reached the Billboard Top 40. Three years later, fans received the follow-up album, The New Alpha. It was considered for a Grammy nomination in 2017 by the Grammy Foundation. It was ranked 67 on Louder Than War’s top 75 albums of 2017. This LP contained the song ‘If You Were My Baby,’ which also reached the Billboard Top 40.

With each passing year, Ricky was being further catapulted into the limelight. He toured The New Alpha throughout the States and Europe (raising money for several charities in the process). 

In between his own tour dates, he performed with GRAMMY-nominated and GRAMMY-winning artists such as Kesha and Patti Labelle; selected tour dates with O-Town and Blood on The Dance Floor, and guest live appearances at Matinee Las Vegas and Matinee San Diego. 

In 2018, Ricky – who was by this stage proudly out of the closet and a pioneer for many LGBTQ+ artists – performed at New York Pride on the Univision TV network float (where Lady Gaga also performed). This was to be one of several high-profile Pride events during these years in which Ricky Rebel was a clear highlight. 

Ricky Rebel has always been one to defy other people’s expectations (after all, he doesn’t carry the ‘Rebel’ part of his name lightly). He has been an unabashed supporter of the LGBT community – but hasn’t been afraid to express himself and his unique views in the specific way he chooses. 

In recent years, Ricky Rebel has continued to reinvent himself and secure his musical and artistic legacy. He released his high-custom jewelry line ‘Ricky Rebel Renaissance’ in 2018; he found his song, ‘The New Alpha,’ nominated for a global music video awarded at the prestigious New Renaissance film festival in Amsterdam. He has continued to tour and release exciting new music – including the compilation album The Royal Collection (which showcased his incredible versatility over the years). Ricky released his fourth album, Wild Reality, in the fall of 2022, which was well received by his fan base, including those in Japan, where the country was treated to The Wild Reality Tour in June of 2023.

Among this, Ricky has stuck to his artistic and personal convictions, blending his diverse values into his art and expression, even if they’ve sometimes seemed unorthodox. Ricky has proudly campaigned for LGBT issues and teamed up with numerous LGBT media channels and organizations. 


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Ricky Rebel’s music video, “Sonic Boom,” has been making waves in the international film festival circuit, already winning four prestigious awards. The video (directed by Daisuke Tarutani, cinematography by Yuto Takamori, editing by Reina Masuyama, and produced by West East Production) has garnered recognition for its artistic vision and captivating storytelling, solidifying Ricky Rebel’s position as a rising star in the music industry. The “Sonic Boom” video was created during the national Wild Reality Tour that kicked off in Tokyo, Japan. 

Ricky’s “Sonic Boom” attained the status of Best Music Video at the Europe Music Video Awards by On-Studio International Season Music Video Festival, marking the first time a Japanese team received an award from the Europe Music Video Awards. The success of “Sonic Boom” continued with its recognition at the Golden Lion International Film Festival, where it was awarded the prestigious “Best Music Video” title. In addition, The Rohip International Film Festival acknowledged the excellence of “Sonic Boom” by awarding it the “Best Music Video” honor. These accomplishments demonstrate Ricky Rebel’s ability to create visually stunning and emotionally impactful music videos that resonate with audiences.

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Now, as we head towards summer 2024, all eyes are on Ricky Rebel once again as he celebrates the release of his long-awaited fifth album, Veronica. Mostly self-produced and mixed, Ricky also worked with producer Christopher Coiro on multiple cuts on the record including the single “Fantasy Control,” which made the Top 40 on the iTunes Pop Chart, Grammy Nominated platinum selling producer PJ Bianco (The Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Avicii), the production team 808 Annie and Mason Rose, and longtime collaborator and friend Wayne Fowks on additional co-writing and visual art for the album. He shared news about the LP ahead of performing at an exclusive Oscars party event back in March 2024. 

Ricky explains that he delves into realms both sensual and raw, embodying this record with a captivating blend of sexual allure and poignant vulnerability, as if Prince and Madonna had a musical baby.’

The Veronica album presents Ricky’s aggressive sexuality on display alongside the vulnerable emotions of revealing his innermost feelings and desires. Ricky Rebel shares: ‘At first, I wrote sexual songs about women, even though I’m primarily attracted to men. It dawned on me later that I was singing about Veronica, my alter ego. I shared with my therapist, and she encouraged me to confront and embrace this side of myself that I was ashamed of, my shadow, which became a pivotal theme reflected in this album. To me, freedom means I can dress however I want to and still be who I am. The album explores themes of lust, power, control, and vulnerability. I sing about Veronica in the perspective of the men and women who lust for her.’

The new album comes at an interesting time for Ricky. He has taken up a new role as co-host of “Get Balanced with Dr. Marissa” as “The Hollywood Rebel Report,” which airs Fridays with Dr. Marissa Pei. The show streams on iHeartMedia and is the #1 talk show on NBC/CNBC News Radio station KCAA AM 1050 / FM 106.5, streaming to Spotify, Apple, iTunes, Amazon Music, YouTube TV, and 30+ platforms globally.

From his early days at the heart of the late ’90s boyband and pop era to now, Ricky is perhaps one of the few artists who can genuinely call himself “rebellious” and not leave any doubt that it’s the right word to use.

Ricky promises to continue creating music that captivates and inspires his fans and supporters. He is dedicated to pushing boundaries, creating groundbreaking music videos, and delivering powerful performances that leave a lasting impact, sharing his unique artistic vision with the world.

Some of Ricky Rebel’s goals as a musician include pushing boundaries and challenging societal norms through his music, promoting self-expression and individuality, and connecting with his audience on a deep and personal level. He also aims to break stereotypes and advocate for inclusivity and acceptance in the music industry.

Ricky Rebel is represented by Sherry Lee at GTK PR Agency, LLC, and talent agent MJB Talent Agency in Los Angeles. With a robust support system in place, Ricky Rebel expands his reach to broader audiences, capitalizing on growth opportunities, optimizing exposure, and navigating the intricate landscape of the music industry.

Veronica Official Music Video:



Twitter: @rickyrebelrocks


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