While still in her early teens, a demo she and her family had self-produced, made its way to an aunt working as a songwriter in Nashville. Eventually, the recording found the ear of producer and Virgin CEO, Matt Serletic, and by the time Partlow was 14, she had signed her first contract. Her first album, titled Who We Are, was released September 6, 2005. Her first on-screen national exposure was performing a song from the album on the September 9, 2005 edition of The Tonight Show with the song Sick Inside. Prior to the release of her album, her song, Whatever Comes Our Way, was the theme to the The WB comedy Living With Fran, starring Fran Drescher. In the summer of 2005, she toured with Jesse McCartney, acting as his open act. In November 2005, as part of the label's restructuring, Virgin made the decision to drop Partlow's contract.
Hope's music remained on iTunes, and she appeared on such outlets as teen network The N to promote her album. In February 2007, Hope announced on her Myspace blog that she has given up waiting for a record label to sign her. Prior to that, she announced an upcoming acoustic album and a tour, which is set to start in April 2007. In April 2007, Hope announced, also on Myspace, that she had teamed up with guitarist Ryan Wilson to form a new duo act, Hope & Ryan.
The new Myspace profile featured a demo by the two, titled "Try." Just three months later, Hope announced through a Myspace announcement that while seeking a female harmonist and musician to join her and Ryan, they found Sara Rachele and have now decided to become a trio, called The Love Willows. Since then, Sara has left the group. On April 24, 2008 The Love Willows announced on Myspace that they have officially been signed by Decca Records/Universal Music Group. Their first full-length album will be out later this year. In 2007, The Cheetah Girls covered Hope's first single Who We Are on their album TCG.
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