Born in 1984 to a TV-producer father and a vocal-coach mother, Katharine McPhee was destined to be a singer and actress. The L.A. native started early, regularly performing in school productions before attending college as a musical-theater major. She dropped out to try her luck professionally, with minor success. McPhee finally got her big break in 2006, as a contestant on the fifth season of 'American Idol.' The striking brunette with the beautiful voice caused "McPheever" among her multitude of fans, but she finished second to that season's winner, Taylor Hicks. Her 'Idol' single, 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow/My Destiny,' was the second-best-selling song of the year. Among her many TV and movie appearances, she starred as showbiz hopeful Karen Cartwright on the short-lived series 'Smash.'
Selected discography: ‘Katharine McPhee’ (2007), ‘Unbroken’ (2010), ‘Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You’ (2010)
Related artists: Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Jordin Sparks
Further reading: Katharine McPhee’s Celebrity Look Alike, Then + Now: ‘American Idol’ Winners, Favorite ‘American Idol’ Winner Poll