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Danity Kane savoring  new musical freedom

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When: 7:30 p.m., May 21

Where: House of Blues Chicago, 329 N. Dearborn

Tickets: $45

Info: (312) 923-2000;

Updated: June 17, 2014 10:53AM

The last time most people took much notice of the ladies of Danity Kane, they were a group of five girls following the commandments of the almighty Sean “Diddy” Combs on MTV reality show “Making the Band.” They were told how to dance and what to wear and meticulously adhered to an urban/pop music formula that ultimately led them to the top of the charts with songs such as “Show Stopper” and “Damaged.”

And then everything came to a screeching halt.

Conflicts arose and Wanita “D. Woods” Woodgett left, and before they knew it, Danity Kane was out of the Bad Boy Records family. But that was then. Now out from under the power of Diddy and the glare of the reality show, the four remaining women of Danity Kane say the time is right to reunite ... and take back their power.

“The first time around, we were just dolls in a dollhouse, like puppets with their strings being pulled,” says Danity Kane member Aubrey O’Day, referring to the title of their 2008 album “Welcome to the Dollhouse.” “The young women we once were are now grown women who have taken the time to figure out our own individual personalities and found a way to continue on this journey of music together.”

After a five-year hiatus that kept the gorgeous quartet of O’Day, Shannon Bex, Aundrea Fimbres and Dawn Richard cautiously testing the waters of individual solo careers, the members of Danity Kane now say they are committed to “keeping it real” this time around, which will mean doing much of the real work themselves, from budget sheets to travel arrangements.

“We have no management or system in place ... we are just girls that are really hungry to get out there and reward our fan base,” explains O’Day, who joins her bandmates on the “No Filter” tour, including a show at Chicago’s House of BluesWednesday. “Being out here on our own has been extremely challenging and rewarding. We might have had No. 1 singles under the former situation we were in, but now if we reach No. 20 or even No. 50, it’s going to be so much more rewarding because we have literally done everything ourselves.”

Granted, the idea of Danity Kane has mostly been kept on life support via the public’s addiction to the drama that seems to follow the group. “We are at a time and an age in the entertainment industry where drama matters more than talent,” explains O’Day. “Those things always seem to be looked at more strongly than the art. But now is an exciting time because we are committed to make the art good enough that it will become the most important thing.”

“We never imagined that we would be able to take the name of Danity Kane and create whatever we envisioned for ourselves,” adds Bex, who briefly waded into the country music pool before rejoining her Danity Kane bandmates in 2013. “Just because you have success under a label doesn’t mean you are doing what you really want to do. We are across the board when it comes to our musical tastes, and we are so ready to flourish in that freedom.”

With “special announcements” and a new single on the horizon and a full album of material coming out later this year, Danity Kane says that the reason they are back is simple — the fans. “The fans are the ones who prompted us to come back around,” explains Bex. “The fans were so adamant. They missed Danity Kane, and it was something we felt ourselves. We didn’t want to ignore that feeling anymore. We couldn’t deny the fact that we wanted to come back.”

“It’s no longer important to us to go out on tour with some $10 million dollar budget for costumes and lighting and spectacles that have nothing to do with connecting with your audience,” concludes O’Day. “This time is going to feel much more vulnerable and personal.”

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