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Katharine McPhee

David Foster and Katharine McPhee Bring Iconic Music to Ruth Eckerd Hall

| Vicky Sullivan |

It was a special evening at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida.  David Foster and Katharine McPhee put on quite a performance.

David Foster is a pop song master! Foster has produced and written for most of the biggest artists in the world, including the late Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Kenny Loggins, and Kenny Rogers, just to name a few. Starting in the 70’s, Foster produced albums for The Tubes, Earth, Wind & Fire. He produced two albums for pop duo Hall & Oates, “Along the Red Ledge” and “X-Static.” Moving into the 80’s, he wrote with Boz Scaggs and the rock band Chicago. He has won 16 Grammys and has been nominated 47 times! Foster opened the show with the love theme instrumental hit from the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire.” He and his band also played with Kenny G via video screen.

Katharine McPhee

Katharine McPhee came to national attention on American Idol Season Five in 2006 as runner-up to winner Taylor Hicks.  Ironically, she and David Foster met during Idol as he was the guest mentor that season, although they were only acquaintances. McPhee went on to star in the NBC hit “Smash” regarding a fictional Broadway show “Bombshell” about the life of Marilyn Monroe. After Smash, she starred in the CBS series, “Scorpion”. In 2018, she went on to star on Broadway in the hit show “Waitress’. After dating Foster for two years, they married in 2019, and they have a son together, who was in the wings but wouldn’t come out on stage for this show.

Katharine McPhee

McPhee performed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a hit for her and one of the most memorable performances of American Idol! You can catch it on YouTube. The couple work together well onstage, trading fun barbs at each other and telling their story of their friendship over the years that evolved into marriage, in-between tunes.  Joining them is guest vocalist Daniel Emmett who appeared on America’s Got Talent and who has toured with Marie Osmond.  Kat & Daniel performed the beautiful song “The Prayer,” written by Foster and made famous by Celine Dion and Josh Groban. McPhee took the audience to Broadway with her version of “Used to Be Mine” from “Waitress” and “Let Me Be Your Star” from Smash’s “Bombshell.”

Katharine McPhee

There was a funny segment of audience participation to sing for David. Singing to the tune of Elton John’s “Bennie & the Jets,” the fan sang “David & the Kat”. Laughter from the audience as David said this was not a setup. Another audience member sang Michael Bublé’s “Home” and was quite good after getting over her initial nerves of singing for David Foster.  The entire audience sang the first verse of “Amazing Grace,” which was a nice moment. Of course, Foster has the best musicians playing with him, including bass player Keith Nelson, Beau Cooper on keys, and famous drummer John “JR” Robinson. Robinson is one of the most recorded drummers in history, working with artists including Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Frampton, and Lady Gaga. Foster & McPhee pay tribute to his work. Bringing back Daniel Emmett to sing Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” was an amazing vocal by Emmett.

Closing the show with Foster’s co-written hit cover of Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real” had the audience up and dancing in the aisles with McPhee shaking hands with fans and dancing across the stage. The great thing about this show is setlist choices are endless due to Foster’s work and Katharine is a great singer for it! A fun, extremely entertaining show for all!

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