Jennette Michelle Faye McCurdy (born Friday, June 26th, 1992) is an American actress, producer, screenwriter and singer-songwriter. She used to star as Sam Puckett in the popular Nickelodeon TV show, iCarly until the show ended in 2012. She has also guest starred in a number of other television series, including Malcolm in the Middle, Zoey 101, Will and Grace, Strong Medicine, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI, True Jackson: VP, and Victorious.
Jennette was born in Garden Grove, California to parents named Debra and Mark McCurdy, and has three older brothers: Marcus, Dustin, and Scott. She is of Puerto Rican and Irish decent. She gained interest in acting after watching Harrison Ford in the original Star Wars Trilogy (as Han Solo), and gained inspiration from those movies after her mother recovered from breast cancer. She started her acting career at age 8 in 2000.
After 15 years of the disease in remission, her mother's cancer returned. Jennette wrote a moving account in The Wall Street Journal of what it has been like and how inspired she is by her mom's determination to beat it again. She unfortunately had to cancel some of her live performances recently, even as her latest and most successful single, Generation Love, was climbing the charts. Her mother Debra died on September 20, 2013.
In 2012, Jennette voiced support for Roseanne Barr for the 2012 Presidential Campaign. Barr ran under the Green Party.
Jennette's first appearance on television was in 2000 on MADtv at the age of eight. Since then she has starred or guest starred in several television series, including CSI, Crime Scene Investigation, Malcolm in the Middle, Lincoln Heights, Will & Grace, Zoey 101 and True Jackson V.P. In 2003, she had the chance to act with her inspiration, Harrison Ford, in the movie Hollywood Homicide. In 2005 she was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Television Series - Guest Starring Young Actress for her performance in Strong Medicine. She has also appeared in several commercials such as one for Sprint and another commercial for crossing the road safely.
From 2007 to 2012 she had a starring role in the Nickelodeon TV series iCarly as Carly Shay's best friend Sam Puckett. In 2008, she was nominated for a Young Artist Award for her work on iCarly, and for her performance as Dory Sorenson in the TV movie The Last Day of Summer. She also starred in the Nickelodeon show "Brain Surge" various times. Her biggest success on the show was when she came in fifth.
On April 7th, 2011, she became the spokesperson for the Rebecca Bonbon fashion line (imported from Japan) of clothing and accessories. She will have in-store signings at Sears and K-Mart throughout the U.S. and Canada as part of the brand's marketing campaign. The brand appears in July 2011 at those stores.
She turned to country music, co-writing songs, producing a debut album (The Story of My Life) and hit single "Generation Love" on the Capitol Records (Nashville) label.
Jennette has an upcoming role in "The Goree Girls" an upcoming musical film set in the 1940s which tells the story of eight Goree Prison inmates who form a country-western band. Filming was set to take place during January 2010, but was pushed back to accommodate Aniston's filming of Just Go With It. Ellen Pompeo also agreed to put off production in order to spend more time with her daughter, Stella. The film will take place in Lubbock, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; Dallas, Texas; and Harlingen, Texas.
The film is based on a 2003 article in Texas Monthly magazine by Skip Hollandsworth.
This film is produced by and stars actress Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Landon, Jennette McCurdy, Kelly Rowland, Melissa DiMarco, Pam Tillis, and Jimmy Bennett.
McCurdy is cast to play the role of Billie Crow.
Jennette was signed as a lead role in Dan Schneider's next show for Nickelodeon "Sam & Cat" alongside Ariana Grande. The pilot aired in 2013.
In June 2008, she announced on her official website that she was working on her debut album, due for release around June 30th, 2009. The first single, "So Close", was released on iTunes on March 10th. It reached the number 16 position on the iTunes country chart, and number 53 on the iTunes pop chart.
The second single, "Homeless Heart," a cover of a song originally by Amanda Stott, was released on Tuesday, May 19th, 2009. Within the first week of release, it reached #43 on the iTunes Country charts. The song was for McCurdy's recently deceased friend Cody Waters, and 20% of proceeds were donated to the Cody Waters Foundation. Due to the popularity of these singles, she was noticed by professional music producers and led to a contract deal with Capitol Records Nashville, a major break for her music career.
On April 16th, 2010, samples of select songs from Jennette's upcoming debut country album were released to the public. Those songs were "Not That Far Away," "Never Let Me Down," "Break Your Heart," "Better," "Stronger," and "Put Your Arms Around Someone." The songs were released early in order for fans to vote for which one they believed should be McCurdy's first single. "Not That Far Away" won, and was released to country radio on May 24th, 2010 and iTunes on June 1st. She released an EP on August 16th/17th, 2010, which added other songs including "Stronger," "Put Your Arms Around Someone," "Break Your Heart," and "Me with You." It has also been stated that another of her songs, "Stronger", was released in "NOW That's What I Call Music! Vol. 35" on August 31st, 2010.
The music video for her single, "Not That Far Away", premiered on Nickelodeon in a special "Just Jennette" night featuring two iCarly episodes sandwiched around two previous (January 9th and May 16th in 2009) "True Jackson VP" episodes of her as "Pinky Turzo", and also on CMT on August 14th, 2010.
On August 16th/17th, Jennette's EP for "Not That Far Away" was released on iTunes and reached #4 on the iTunes country charts. It got to #21 overall, and Jennette thanked all her fans via Twitter and a SayNow message from her. On the Billboard Charts, it reached a high of #3 on the Top Heatseekers Albums and #32 on the Top Hot Country Songs.
She was named one of the 12 Artists Slated for Fame in 2011 by AOL Music.
Originally her full album was set to launch in January 2011, with new songs that were produced by Jay DeMarcus of the country band Rascal Flatts. The album was released in 2012.
The first single from the album came out in March 2011 and its name was "Generation Love".
The digital download for her single, Generation Love became available on March 15, 2011.
There was also a music video for the single (as tweeted).
Before it came out there was also a preview on the internet, (which came out being not released by Capitol Nashville), and fans who had uploaded the preview on Online Platforms (example: YouTube) were asked to remove it.
Jennette kicked off her 'Generation Love for St. Jude' multi-city mall tour on March 4, 2011. The tour, which is named for the singer's single of the same name, included a performance by McCurdy as well as an autograph session.
Fans that came out for "Jennette McCurdy's Generation Love For St. Jude" tour could purchase a charity CD package for a $10 donation with all proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Fans that purchased the charity CD package, which included an 8x10 photo and 2 songs - "Generation Love" and "Put Your Arms Around Someone", got an autograph by McCurdy.
McCurdy's music video for "Generation Love" premiered on March, 24th, 2011 on CMT.
Her tour raised $139,643 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which was almost $40,000 more than her goal.
Nickelodeon was supposedly going to premiere her music video April 23, 2011, but instead they only showed about 30 seconds to one minute of it, which caused a lot of negative buzz towards Nickelodeon on Twitter. McCurdy seemed really offended by it, and also retweeted and favorited a lot of tweets by annoyed fans. TEENNICK played all of "Generation Love" (April 24, 2011) between episodes of Zoey 101.
After these tweets by annoyed fans Nick told Jennette they would play the music video on the weekend of April 30–31, which they did. To be nicer, they also played it over the whole upcoming week on Nickelodeon.
"Generation Love" hit #44 in her 3rd week on the Billboard Country Music Chart (May 16, 2011), up from #50 the week before (May 9) her 2nd week. Unfortunately, it dropped to #45 the next week.
The music video for "Generation Love" reached #2 on the iTunes Country Charts.