Best Known For
Michael McDonald is an American singer and songwriter best known as a former member of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Michael McDonald was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 12, 1952. In 1975, he began performing and recording with the bands Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers. During his time with the Doobie Brothers, McDonald recorded hits including "Takin' It to the Streets" and "What a Fool Believes." He is also well known as a solo artist and a songwriter.
Michael McDonald was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 12, 1952. McDonald played in several bands as a high school student. In 1970, he moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a career in music.
McDonald initially worked as a studio musician in Los Angeles. In 1975, he joined the band Steely Dan as an in-studio adjunct member. He participated as a background singer and keyboardist on the Steely Dan albums Katy Lied, Aja, The Royal Scam and Gaucho. McDonald also toured with the band in the 1970s.
In addition to his work with Steely Dan, McDonald began playing with the Doobie Brothers in 1975. McDonald performed with the band as a temporary replacement for singer Tom Johnston. The other members of the band were so impressed with McDonald, however, that they asked him to stay on as a permanent member. During his time with the Doobie Brothers, McDonald recorded hits including "It Keeps You Runnin'," "Takin' It to the Streets" and "What a Fool Believes." The latter yielded a Grammy Award (song of the year) for McDonald and Kenny Loggins. McDonald also collaborated with contemporaries including Bonnie Raitt and Toto during this period in his career.
After the Doobie Brothers disbanded in the early 1980s, McDonald continued to perform and collaborate as a solo artist. He released his first solo album, If That's What it Takes, in 1982, and penned songs for acts as diverse as Carly Simon and Van Halen. "On My Own," a duet with Patti LaBelle, reached the top of the charts in 1986.
McDonald has enjoyed a long and successful career due to his versatility and ability to work with a wide range of artists. In 1991, he released "Ever Changing Times" with Aretha Franklin. He received two Grammy Award nominations in 2003 for an album paying tribute to the Motown sound of the 1960s and '70s. He has also continued to tour sporadically with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers.
Michael McDonald remains active as a singer, songwriter, and industry professional. In 2000, McDonald co-founded a record label, Ramp Records, with Chris Pelonis and actor Jeff Bridges. He toured with Donald Fagan and Boz Scaggs in 2010 under the name the Dukes of September Rhythm Revue. He has also performed with the electronic group Holy Ghost!, and contributed performances to the television shows 30 Rock and American Idol.
McDonald has spoken out about his recovery from alcoholism, and has performed in benefits to support recovery organizations including Alcoholics Anonymous.
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Michael McDonald profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Famous Aquarians 598 people in this group
They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
Famous Singers 782 people in this group
Famous Songwriters and Composers 463 people in this group