These really are the days for Ashley Parker Angel.
The former O-Town member, who was recently unveiled as the S'more on The Masked Singer, reflected on leaving Hollywood in the early aughts and what he's done in the years since, which included time on Broadway, a newly discovered passion for fitness coaching and raising his son Lyric, 18.
"After I did my last Broadway show—I did Wicked the musical, played my dream role, Fiyero—I went home to focus on being a dad," Ashley, 42, told E! News in an exclusive interview. "I just love being a dad so much. And for 20 years of my life, I traveled around the world, singing and acting and performing. But I was really looking to kind of settle down for a little bit, be there through his whole high school chapter."
In fact, despite his past as a beloved popstar, being a dad to Lyric—who he shares with his ex-fiancée Tiffany Lynn—is his "greatest achievement."
"When you're a parent," the Making the Band alum reflected, "it's unlike anything you'll ever experience in life, it's the most rewarding and the most demanding job on the planet. On a soul level, it really changes every aspect of how you think of yourself, and how you think of life. It's a different kind of love than you'll ever experience."
However, after so many years building a life outside of the spotlight, Ashley was ready to revisit his past—and he couldn't have been more ready to do it with The Masked Singer.
"Perfect project at the perfect time," he explained. "I was a huge fan, a lot of my family's obsessed with the show. And if I'm gonna come back and perform after years of taking a break, I wanted it to be something that would be really fun. And when I got the call, I was like, 'Hell yes, I'm in.'"
But while he was excited to return to his boy band roots through the show, he isn't willing to go all the way down memory lane. After all, he passed on an opportunity to rejoin O-Town when the band reunited back in 2014. And it sounds like a decision he would make again today.
"I used to say, you know, never say never," Ashley said of possibly joining an O-Town tour. "But as time has gone on, I just feel like it hasn't been something that's been exciting to me because I feel like I got a chance to do that in my life."
He added, "I feel really grateful for that time, though, and I'm always looking for ways to celebrate my past by doing something fun and new and creative. And I felt like The Masked Singer was really the perfect way to do that."
Don't miss the rest of Season 10 of The Masked Singer, which airs Wednesdays 8:00-9:00 p.m ET/PT on FOX and is Hulu, Fox.com, Tubi and On Demand. Meanwhile, keep reading to meet the cast and see who else has been revealed so far.