Whatever happened to … Amanda Latona

You probably don’t remember Amanda Latona, but you might remember the article.

It ran in the New York Times Magazine in August 2002, an extended profile much publicized and enjoyed among music fans as formally acknowledging the demise of Orlando pop. The article was “Who’s that girl? Building a Post-Britney,” and Latona was the subject. Signed to be a Britney clone, already abandoning a girl-group career to go solo, already through a more popular, boy-band boyfriend, she found herself stuck in the aftermath and seemingly clueless.

A year later, I came across the story again in Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003. It occured to me that I had heard nothing of Latona between my first read and the book. Going searching online, I found I hadn’t missed much. There was a single, but the album was delayed. Repeatedly. Public appearances were minimum, and fan sites were lagging. Things weren’t looking good.

Then I forgot about her again.

And then I remembered, and here we were today, two and a half years after the article’s initial publication. I just spent a while looking up the latest on Latona, and the nature of her decline — and she has indeed declined — was exactly what you might have expected.

Her official site was still on the Web, but the content was circa early 2003 and in uncompleted state. That album of hers never got made. On the unofficial side, the Latona Fans blog wasn’t doing much better. There was album talk last spring, but by fall we had: “I hate that I neglect this community but it’s hard not to when Amanda doesn’t give much news out. Nonetheless my unhealthy obsession with her continues.” Then the poster offered quick pieces of info about Latona’s ongoing fitness/bikini/model competions and her father’s death (see note at bottom).

Also surviving but struggling for content were Amanda Latona Online and Amazingly Amanda. The number of Yahoo groups was surprisingly large, but all were down to sporadic posts or none or were overtaken by spam. More hopeful than most, one fan started an Orkut group on Jan. 4, 2005. Six other members had joined since.

And that was all I could find of Post-Britney.

This post originally stated that her half-brother died; that statement was incorrect. Just as sadly, it was her father who died. Her half-brother was the source of the news for the LiveJournal blog.

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