The remarkable talent and awe-inspiring vocal prowess of the incomparable Audra McDonald turns 53 today. Renowned as a vocal genius, Audra has captivated audiences worldwide with her extraordinary range, impeccable technique, and unmatched stage presence. Throughout her career, she has continually pushed the boundaries of what is possible in musical theater and opera, amassing an impressive collection of awards and accolades.
As we honor this iconic performer on her special day, let us explore five moments solidifying Audra McDonald's status as a true vocal powerhouse.
"Empire State of Mind"
At the 2013 Tony Awards, Audra McDonald delivered an operatic version of Jay Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind." Watch above with Neil Patrick Harris rapping!
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
It's not easy to become Billie Holiday but McDonald did just that in 2014. The performance earned her a sixth Tony -- she has won more Tony than any other actor, and is the only person to win in all four acting categories.
"Over The Rainbow"
Back in 1999, McDonald tackled "Over The Rainbow," a song popularized by Judy Garland in the 1939 film Wizard of Oz but mastered by Patti LaBelle. Listen to McDonald's pitch-perfect notes above.
"Climb Ev'ry Mountain"
In 2013, performed in The Sound of Music Live, which included Carrie Underwood. McDonald wowed audiences with her rendition of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain."
At the start of the pandemic, in March 2020, Audra McDonald brought some joy to her fans when she belted out "Smile," a song made popular by Nat King Cole.
Happy birthday, Audra McDonald!