Elegantly sophisticated one moment, powerfully gutsy the next and always translucently pitch-perfect, Maureen McGovern is a superstar with a lifetime of music that spans Broadway, Grammy nominations and an Oscar-winning International #1 Gold Record. Her concerts offer fresh insight into trademark tunes showcasing her skillful play on rhythm, meter and beautifully extended phrasing. A storyteller at heart, she offers introspections and humor about love, life and her own experiences through a very long and winding career.
While retiring from touring in 2022, Maureen’s voice continues to speak for itself as she takes listeners on a nostalgic musical journey. With her own recipe of panache and artistry, she captivates audiences across the country with her wide vocal range and intimate reinvention of classics from The Great American & American Pop Songbooks, film, theater, jazz and inspirational music.
A multi-Grammy nominee, recording artist, Broadway performer and superb songstress, Maureen first came to fame in 1972 with her Oscar-winning hit song, “The Morning After” from the film The Poseidon Adventure. That garnered her first Grammy nomination for “Best New Artist.” In 1975 she recorded another Oscar-winning hit “We May Never Love Like This Again” from the film The Towering Inferno. Maureen made history in 1975 as the first singer to have recorded and introduced two Oscar nominated songs in the same year with “We May Never Love Like This Again” and “Wherever Love Takes Me” from Gold. Other hits include, “Can You Read My Mind” from the film Superman and “Different Worlds” from the TV series Angie. Maureen holds International Gold Records from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the Philippines, as well as the Grand Prize Award from the 1975 Tokyo Music Festival.
Since then, Maureen has recorded more than 25 albums throughout her career, including songwriter tributes to George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers and Alan & Marilyn Bergman. Her solo album, The Pleasure of His Company, with Emmy/Grammy-winning, jazz pianist, Mike Renzi, earned her a second Grammy nomination for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal” in 1999. She was also a featured guest artist on the 2005 Grammy Award-winning Songs from the Neighborhood: The Music of Mister Rogers.
Maureen’s work as a singer has brought together incredible collaborations with such artists as Mercer Ellington & The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Mel Torme’, Doc Severinsen and Garrison Keillor. As one of the most popular pops artists with symphony orchestras across the globe, she has partnered with conductors John Williams, Keith Lockhart, Skitch Henderson, Eric Kunzel, Jack Everly and such noted organizations as the Boston Pops, New York Pops, Baltimore Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony and the National Symphony, and many more.
Some of her most noted collaborative performances and recordings include Of Thee I Sing/Let ‘Em Eat Cake (1987), Amen! A Gospel Celebration (1994), Happy Birthday, George Gershwin (1997) and Disney’s Pulse (1999), among countless others. Prestigious recordings include the duet “A Love Until the End of Time” with Placido Domingo, Leonard Bernstein’s “Glitter and Be Gay” and Faure’s “Pavane” with the Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York. Maureen has also worked with numerous choral groups throughout the nation, including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Moving away from mainstream commercial label recordings, Maureen began to focus on recording a series of successful solo albums that include Another Women in Love (1987), State of the Heart (1988), Baby I’m Yours (1992), Out of This World: McGovern Sings Arlen (1996), The Music Never Ends: The Lyrics of Alan & Marilyn Bergman (1997), the children’s album I Want to Learn to Fly (1981), her popular CBS Masterworks tribute recording to Gershwin, Naughty Baby (1989) and Sony Music holiday album, Christmas with Maureen McGovern (1998).
Her PS Classics album, A Long and Winding Road, has been praised by The New York Times as “…a captivating musical scrapbook from the 1960’s to the early 70’s. Ms. McGovern’s vocal technique is second to none.”
Other recordings that Maureen created to bring awareness to important societal issues include Help Is on the Way in partnership with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Works of Heart: Songs of Hope as a gift of hope to those who face insurmountable odds. Works of Heart addresses emotional and inspirational needs of patients and caregivers. Her recordings and work in this area have led to special performances for hospice, children’s organizations, prisons, and health programs.
Her most recent release, You Raise Me Up: A Spiritual Journey, is an intimate yet powerful recording. McGovern says, “We are all a part of something much greater than ourselves and connected to each other, soul to soul, we are all one family.”
Passionate about making an impact on children and exposing youth to arts opportunities, Maureen wrote I Want to Learn to Fly (1995) a Scholastic book/cassette, with longtime lyricist and collaborator, Judy Barron. Later, Maureen composed the children’s concert I’m Mad at the Moon from the lyrics of Mary Grace Dembeck. In 1999, Maureen co-created, co-composed and starred in The Bengal Tiger’s Ball, her children’s musical, sponsored by Disney. Following the events of 9/11, Maureen developed the song Born in the Heart as a message for society about keeping children at the center of our hearts and minds. She also performed on the Disney Record’s 2003 Grammy-nominated Winnie the Pooh celebration Take My Hand: Songs from the 100 Acre Wood.
In addition to hearing her music in films and television, McGovern was the singer in the film The Towering Inferno, played the role of “Sr. Angelina” in the iconic comedy film Airplane! and Airplane II: The Sequel, and “Rachel” in DreamWorks animated Joseph: King of Dreams with Ben Affleck. Television credits include roles on One Life to Live, The Tracey Ullman Show, Pacific Blue, Duckman, Beyond Belief and appearances on over 60 television specials and live concerts with PBS, CBS, ABC, and programs ranging from talk shows, award shows, tributes and more.
Her Broadway credits include a list of stage premieres and national tours. Maureen made her Broadway debut in 1982 as “Mabel” in The Pirates of Penzance and then starred as “Luisa Contini” in Nine with the late Raul Julia. Another featured performance included her 1989 role as “Polly Peachum” in Three Penny Opera with Sting. In 1984 she originated the role of “Mary” in Brownstone and delighted critics and audiences with her definitive portrayal of her role of “Mrs. Anna” in the 1998 Broadway National Tour of The King and I. She received the Drama Desk nomination for her 2005 performance in Little Women, The Musical, originating the role of “Marme,” which she reprised for the 2005-2006 Broadway National Tour.
Maureen performed in the West Coast Premiere of William Finn’s Elegies at the Canon Theatre and then starred as “Countess Aurelia” in the historic revival of the Jerry Herman musical Dear World at the Sundance Institute Theatre. One of Maureen’s personal favorite roles was originating the character “Eleanor Bridges” in the world premiere of Letters from Nam in Boston in 2001. Also, that year she made her dramatic debut as “Eleanor of Aquitaine” in The Lion in Winter at the Carpenter Square Theater. Other credits include “Madame Emery” in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and “Mary Turner” in Of Thee I Sing/Let Them Eat Cake. She starred in productions and tours of “Nellie Forbush” in South Pacific, “Agnes” in I Do, I Do, as “Maria” in The Sound of Music, and “Sarah” and later “Adelaide” in Guys & Dolls.
Maureen has developed strong artistic partnerships in the music industry that have led to her incredible sound and unique style, giving her the title of “Stradivarius Voice.” Her musical career includes collaboration with such artists as composer/jazz pianist Mike Renzi, composer/arranger/pianist Jeff Harris, bassist/performer Jay Leonhart, music director/pianist Lee Musiker, jazz pianist/singer Michael Shirtz, lyricist Judy Barron, song-writers Alan and Marilyn Bergman, 4 Girls 4 with leading ladies of Broadway that include Donna McKechnie, Andrea McArdle, Faith Prince, and other artists featured on her recordings and concerts.
For over 35 years, Maureen served the Muscular Dystrophy Association as an active Board Member, Vice President, and Chairperson of the record-breaking Shamrocks Against Dystrophy campaign – serving as a regular featured artist on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. An equally passionate supporter of music therapy, Maureen had a long history serving as an Artist Spokesperson for the American Music Therapy Association. Currently, Maureen serves as a Board Member of Medicine and the Arts/Humanism in Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
In 2004, Maureen received an honorary doctorate from Youngstown State University and is also the recipient of the 2007 Imagination Award presented by the Imagination Stage for her work with children, arts and philanthropy. McGovern has also received the Mabel Mercer Award, Playbill’s Nightlife Legend Award, and MAC Award. Maureen was honored by the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists with the 2008 AMEE Award In Sound Recording for lifetime achievement in entertaining and informing audiences.