Katharine McPhee

An accomplished actress and singer, Katharine McPhee, first burst onto the scene during a storied run on Season 5 of American Idol (2006), finishing in second place. As an actress, she is well-known to television audiences for starring in the CBS drama series Scorpion (2014-2018), and also as one of the leads in the NBC musical drama Smash (2012-2013), executive produced by Steven Spielberg. She starred in the Netflix comedy series, Country Comfort (2021). McPhee’s feature film credits include The House Bunny, Shark Night 3D, You May Not Kiss the Bride and Bayou Caviar.

Born in Los Angeles to a father who was a television producer and a mother who became a noted vocal coach, McPhee showed early musical talent and she was encouraged and even trained by her mother. She attended Boston Conservatory for three semesters, majoring in musical theatre, but left college before graduation and returned to Los Angeles to try out for television pilots. In March 2005, McPhee starred as Annie Oakley in a Cabrillo Music Theater production of the musical Annie Get Your Gun. But it was her successful audition and appearance on American Idol in 2006 that initially introduced her to a worldwide audience.

As a singer, Katharine is renowned for her powerhouse presence and show-stopping performances. In 2006, her first single, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/My Destiny,” debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Hot Singles Sales chart. Propelled by the gold-certified single, “Over It,” her 2007 self-titled album debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200. 2010 saw the release of two records, Unbroken and Christmas is the Time To Say I Love You. That year, her rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” also climbed the charts as a top-five holiday hit. She went on to independently release 2015’s Hysteria to much fan praise. In 2017, McPhee reimagined, recharged, and reinvigorated a host of timeless standards on her fifth full-length album, I Fall In Love Too Easily, produced by Don Was. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. A sought-after performer, Katharine has taken the stage for various PBS broadcasts throughout the years, including Foster and Friends, Chris Botti In Boston, and headlining her own SoundStage special. In Spring 2018, McPhee made her Broadway debut starring as Jenna in the hit musical Waitress, featuring music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles. She then moved on to originate the leading role in the West End production of the show in London from February through June 2019. She later returned to star in the show one last time during the final weeks of its original run on Broadway from November 2019 through its closing on January 5, 2020.

In addition to her acting and singing career, McPhee is a passionate philanthropist, having served as an ambassador for organizations such as BuildOn, Malaria No More and Feeding America. In recent years, she has been performing with her husband—the keyboardist, composer and producer David Foster—in a production they call The Kat and Dave Show.

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