Birth name Katharine Hope McPhee
Born March 25, 1984 (age 27)
Origin Los Angeles
Genres Pop, R&B
Occupations Singer, actress, model, song-writer
Years active 2006–present
Katharine Hope McPhee (born March 25, 1984) is an American pop singer, songwriter, actress, model, and television personality. She gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of the Fox reality show American Idol in 2006, eventually finishing as the runner-up.
Her self-titled debut album was released on RCA Records on January 30, 2007 and debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200; it has sold 381,000 copies to date. The album's first single, "Over It", was a Pop Top 30 hit and was certified gold in 2008.
Her second album, Unbroken, was released on Verve Forecast Records on January 5, 2010 and debuted at #27 on the Billboard 200. The album featured the single "Had It All", which peaked at #22 on the Billboard AC chart. It has sold 45,000 copies to date. Her third album, the holiday-themed Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You, was released on October 12, 2010. The album debuted at #11 on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart while the single "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" peaked at #16 on the Billboard AC chart. The album has sold 23,000 copies to date.
McPhee has also established an acting career, for example co-starring in The House Bunny in 2008 as the hippie sorority sister Harmony, and co-starring in the upcoming NBC series Smash.
Born in Los Angeles, California, McPhee moved with her family to Sherman Oaks at age 12. McPhee has been singing since the age of two. Her mother, Patricia Burch McPhee (stage name Peisha Arten), a vocal coach and accomplished cabaret singer, recognized her daughter's musical talent and decided to train her. Her father, Daniel McPhee, is a television producer. McPhee has an older sister, Adriana. McPhee is of Irish, Scottish, and German descent. McPhee attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, where she performed in school plays and musicals. She graduated in 2002. She attended Boston Conservatory for three semesters, majoring in musical theater. She left college on the advice of her manager and returned to Los Angeles to try out for television pilots.
McPhee has struggled with eating disorders in the past. She told People magazine that at age 13 she began starving herself and exercising compulsively, and she became bulimic at age 17. McPhee gained weight in college due to her binging. After seven years of illness, she finally entered a three-month rehabilitation program after successfully passing her American Idol audition; her rehab stint ended just before the Idol semifinals started in February 2006. During her run on American Idol, she lost 30 lb (14 kg) due to eating better as part of her treatment. Now, as she told Teen Vogue in May 2007, "I eat whatever I crave—I'm just really careful about portions." McPhee and her sister appeared on debut of The Dr. Keith Ablow Show on September 18, 2006, to discuss her struggles with bulimia and her childhood fear of her father. On the show, McPhee stated that she was misdiagnosed with a learning disability during her middle school years but was finally correctly diagnosed with a vision problem that caused her to have trouble reading in class. McPhee claimed she was known as the "pretty, but stupid" girl in school because she had trouble reading.
Main article: American Idol (season 5)
McPhee was persuaded by now-husband Nick Cokas and her parents to try out for the television series competition, American Idol. She auditioned in San Francisco and sang "God Bless the Child", originally performed by Billie Holiday.
After the first round of Hollywood week, she sang "I'll Never Love This Way Again" by Dionne Warwick which earned favorable comments from the judges. During the second round, she performed in a group, singing "I Can't Help Myself" by The Four Tops, forgetting the words, but the judges decided to advance the entire group. During the third round, she sang a capella of "My Funny Valentine" and advanced to the top 40. She was mad when fellow group member Crystal Stark didn't make the top 24. When she was told that she would be advancing, she kissed all three judges on the lips.
McPhee's run on American Idol led to the use of the term "McPheever". The inclusion of producer David Foster and singer Andrea Bocelli as guest mentors for Top 6 Week turned out to be a fortuitous introduction for McPhee, as she has worked on various music projects with both men post-Idol.
In May 2006, McPhee visited her alma mater Notre Dame High School for her hometown celebration. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visited the school and proclaimed the day Katharine McPhee Day.
Katharine McPhee WireImage Portrait Gallery At Comic-Con in San Diego July 21
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Katharine McPhee at Shark Night 3D VIP Party in San Diego july 20
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