Ross grew up with his father who was an alchohalic after his parents divorced when he was about 3 years old. In an earlier article of the Rolling Stone magazine, Ryan mentioned that he used to listen to country and dress up like a cowboy. As he grew up, Ross started listening to more mainstream rock with his close friend Spencer Smith. Ross and Smith met when they were 6 and 5 years old, respectively. Smith recalls in the January 2007 issue of Rolling Stone that Ryan was hitting golf balls across the yard into the neighbors' yards.
Ever since then, the two were best friends. When Ross was twelve, he asked his parents for a guitar for Christmas, thus starting his first collaborations with Smith who was given a drum set. In the first few years, Ross and Smith mostly covered blink-182 songs with Ross on vocals. Their band was called Pet Salamander at that time. Their earlier bands were named Summer League and Pet Salamander before being changed to Panic! At The Disco. After Ross, Spencer Smith, and Brent Wilson finished with their band, Summer League, the three added Brendon Urie to begin Panic! at the Disco.
After his high school graduation, Ross attended the University of Las Vegas for one semester before dropping out to pursue his musical career. Panic was eventually heard by Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz, who signed them to his record label, Decaydance, a child label of, Fueled by Ramen. Panic eventually released A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, which included two songs that Ryan wrote about his relationship with his father. A Fever You Can't Sweat Out became a hit, with its first single, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" winning the Video of the Year Award at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards and peaking at #7 on the US charts. However, on May 17, 2006, the band officially announced the departure of bassist Brent Wilson.
A friend of the band, Jon Walker, filled in for Wilson on one of the upcoming tours and eventually became his replacement. A Fever You Can't Sweat Out eventually went platinum, and the band began a world tour in the later part of 2006. The band also covered "This Is Halloween" on Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack and the Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight" on a tribute LP. Ryan Ross joined up with Fall Out Boy on their song, "The Take Over, the Breaks Over", from their album Infinity on High. Ross led the guest guitar solo. The band began writing their follow-up album in early 2007, but started from scratch in July 2007.
After writing until the beginning of 2008, the band announced they would be mixing their album at Abbey Road Studios. On January 9, 2008, the band announced they would drop the "!" from Panic! at the Disco, being referred to as Panic at the Disco from that point on. The next day, January 10, the album name was officially confirmed as being Pretty. Odd.. Ryan Ross dated Sugar and Spice dancer Keltie Colleen, whom he had met during rehersal of the 2006 Video Music Awards.
She was in attendance for his 21st birthday at Pete Wentz's bar and club, Angels & Kings in New York. The two split in 2008 after he allegedly cheated on her. Has two tattoos on his wrists, reading "Mad as a hatter" and "Thin as a dime". The tattoos reference a Tom Waits song. He also has a tattoo of the letter Q and a question mark on the backs of his upper arms. Ryan also has a younger half-brother and half-sister from one of his mother's previous relationships. He was previously in a relationship with independant photographer Jac Vanek in 2005. Read more on Last.fm.
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