With striking looks and a strong singing voice, this California native was born to a cabaret-singer/vocal-coach mother, who groomed her for the spotlight from an early age. Following high school, McPhee enrolled in the music program at Boston Conservatory but dropped out her sophomore year at the behest of a manager who suggested she try her luck as an actress in Los Angeles. Her career stagnated until she won a spot on the fifth edition of American Idol
. Although initially Simon Cowell didn't think she had the necessary singing chops, she began winning him over mid-season with her brassy vocals and telegenic appeal, and ultimately, she was named runner-up to winner Taylor Hicks. While her fans---the Kat Pack and McPhans---happily suffered from McPheever, her critics claimed she was more of an aspiring Broadway baby than a pop star in training. Those criticisms aside, she released the self-titled CD Katharine McPhee
in 2007 and Unbroken
in 2010 while also forging a career in acting, starring in the 2008 film The House Bunny
and making TV appearances on CSI: NY
. Off the stage, she supports humanitarian efforts, working with Feeding America and helping victims of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Katharine McPhee Fast Facts:
- Mother is a cabaret singer and vocal coach who helped Katharine hone her craft.
- At her initial audition for American Idol, sang an a cappella version of God Bless the Child.
- Her Idol fan frenzy was branded "McPheever" but wasn't enough to lift her to the title; she placed second behind Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks.
- Cites Gene Kelly as one of her idols.
- Appeared in 2008's The House Bunny, playing a pregnant hippie sorority sister. Also sang the single from the film, a cover of the Waitresses' "I Know What Boys Like."
- Was among the galaxy of stars who sang on the remake of the charity song "We Are the World," retitled "We Are the World: 25 for Haiti," which raised funds for victims of the January 2010 earthquake in that country.
- Katharine McPhee Relationships:
- Daniel McPhee - Father
- Adriana - Sister
- Peisha McPhee - Mother
- Nick Cokas - Husband
- Attended Boston Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA