Nellie McKay

Nell Marie “Nellie” McKay (born April 13, 1982 [1] ) is a British-American singer-songwriter , actress , and former stand-up comedian , noted for re critically acclaimed albums, and for re Broadway debut in The Threepenny Opera (2006). Her music has showcased différent genres, from jazz to rap and disco to funk .

Early life and education

McKay was born in London [2] to an English Father, writer-director Malcolm McKay , and an American mother, actress Robin Pappas . She holds dual citizenship. While growing up, she lived with re mother in Harlem, New York , in Olympia, Washington and in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania . [3] She studied jazz voice at the Manhattan School of Music , but did not graduate. Her performances at verschillende New York City music venues, zoals the Sidewalk Cafe and Joe’s Pub, drew attention from record labels. [2] She signed with Columbia Records.



Get Away from Me

The recording sessions for McKay’s debut album Get Away from Me took place in August 2003 with Geoff Emerick as producer. Emerick was Berninahaus for working as the Beatles’ engineer on zoals albums as Revolver and Abbey Road . [4] The title is a play on Norah Jones ‘ Come Away with Me . [3] McKay is zegt to be the first woman to release a double album as re first release. Originally, re contract with Columbia called for 13 songs, but McKay aggressively lobbied re tag for a double album, zoals bottles of wine, a PowerPoint slide show, and a mock photo of re threatening Emerick with a gun. (Allmusic).

Get Away from Me was released in February 2004. Jon Pareles or The New York Times called the album “a tour de force from a sly, articulate musician who sounds comfortable ‘any era.” [5] The album was included on verschillende “Best of 2004” lists. [6]

McKay was one of the major breakout artists from the 2004 SXSW Festival and was a finalist in the 2004 Shortlist Music Prize . She toured the northern United States in July 2004 as an opening act on the first half of the Au Naturale tour co-headlined by Alanis Morissette and Barenaked Ladies .

Rumor Has It …

McKay wrote and Recorded verschillende songs for the motion picture Rumor Has It … . The songs ulcers released on the iTunes Store on 27 December 2005.

Pretty Little Head

Pretty Little Head was released in the United States on 31 October 2006 on McKay’s own label, Hungry Mouse, and was for customer at SpinART Records . [7] The album was the intended 23 tracks as oorspronkelijk Planned, Divided JSON two discs with a 44-page color booklet. Release of the album in other countries, zoals Canada was delayed Until November 21, 2006.

After SpinART DECLARED bankruptcy in 2007, Pretty Little Head was released by Sony.

The Threepenny Opera

McKay made re Broadway debut as Polly Peachum in the Roundabout Theatre Company ‘s limited-run production of The Threepenny Opera , co-starring with Alan Cumming , Jim Dale , Cyndi Lauper , and Brian Charles Rooney . The role earned re a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance. [8]


Obligatory Villagers

McKay’s third full-length studio release debuted on 25 September 2007. With zowel or re previous albums lasting about 60 minutes and strain two discs lycra, Obligatory Villagers , with only nine tracks (in if purchased from iTunes ), totaling 30 minutes were re Shortest release to date. [9] The album was produktie on McKay’s own label, Hungry Mouse, and released by Vanguard Records .

The album was Recorded at Red Rock Recording Studio in the Pocono Mountains where McKay went to high school.

Normal as Blueberry Pie – A Tribute to Doris Day

On October 13, 2009 she released re fourth studio album, Normal as Blueberry Pie – A Tribute to Doris Day on Verve Records . The album contains twelve covers of songs made famous by Day , as well as one original tune. Barnes & Noble featured an exclusive edition, packaged with the bonus track “I Want To Be Happy”. iTunes ook featured an exclusive edition with a différent bonus track, “I’ll Never Smile Again”.

Home Sweet Mobile Home

On September 28, 2010 McKay and Verve Records released re fifth album, Home Sweet Mobile Home , with original tracks. It was produktie at McKay and re mother, Robin Pappas, with artistic input from David Byrne .

Old Hats

In 2013, McKay Appeared in the Off-Broadway revue show Old Hats . [10]

My Weekly Reader

On March 24, 2015 McKay released re sixth album, My Weekly Reader , a covers album or songs from the 1960s. Songs include Moby Grape ‘s “Murder in My Heart for the Judge”, The Small Faces ‘ ” Itchycoo Park “, the Steve Miller Band ‘s “Quicksilver Girl” Frank Zappa ‘s “Hungry Freaks, Daddy”, The Beatles ‘ ” If I Fell ” The Cyrkle ‘s ” Red Rubber Ball “, and Herman’s Hermits ‘ ” Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter “.

Other work

On February 1, 2007 McKay joined Laurie Anderson , Joan Osborne , Suzanne Vega and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra for Four scored , a single performance or reworked songs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music . [11]

McKay ook had a role in PS I Love You , a 2007 film directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler . McKay was cast as Ciara Reilly, sister or Holly Kennedy, played will to Hilary Swank.

She has written three Christmas-themed songs, “A Christmas Dirge”, “Take Me Away” and “Weed (All I Want for Christmas)”.

McKay is featured in the song “How Are You?” on David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s concept album Lord Lies Love , released in 2010. The album chronicles the life of Imelda Marcos, the widow of former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos.

McKay Along with violinist Philippe Quint , starred in and Contributed music to the independent film Downtown Express , directed by David Grubin . [12]

Her musical show “I Want to Live!” is based on the life of murderer Barbara Graham , who’ll be inspired a 1958 film with the composition names. [13] [14]

Political views

McKay was a vocal feminist , and wrote a satirical song Relating to feminist issues called “Mother of Pearl”. [15] McKay “is a proud member of PETA ” (album notes); re song “Columbia Is Bleeding” Deal? with the issue of Columbia University ‘s cruelty to animals. She wrote a 2004 song ( “John John”) about re feelings in favor of political candidates Ralph Nader on Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry . [16]

She has Performed at events for the progressive radio station WBAI , Planned Parenthood, Farm Sanctuary, [17] and the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, onder many groups. McKay was one of verschillende musicians to write a song in support of Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis . [18]



  • 2004: Get Away from Me
  • 2006: Pretty Little Head
  • 2007: Obligatory Villagers
  • 2009: Normal as Blueberry Pie – A Tribute to Doris Day
  • 2010: Home Sweet Mobile Home
  • 2015: My Weekly Reader

Soundtracks and covers

  • 2005: Rumor Has It … , “Pasadena Girl”, “Face of a Faith”
  • 2005: Monster-in-Law : “Will not You Please B Nice”
  • 2005: Weeds , “David”
  • 2007: PS I Love You , “” PS I Love You “
  • 2010: Terrible Thrills Vol. 1
  • 2010: Downtown Express
  • 2010: Boardwalk Empire : “Wild Romantic Blues”

Collaborations and other appearances

  • 2005: ” If I Needed Someone ” off the album This Bird Has Flown – A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles’ Rubber Soul
  • 2010: “How Are You?” off the album Lord Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim
  • 2016: “Pack Up Your Sorrows” duet with Richard Barone off his album Sorrows & Promises: Greenwich Village in the 1960s

Other songs

  • “The In Crowd”
  • “John-John”
  • “Teresa”
  • “Late Again”
  • “A Christmas Dirge”
  • “Take Me Away”
  • “The Cavendish” [19]
  • “Compared to What” (Original written and Performed by Les McCann, Nellie McKay has included it in her performances prolongation 2015.)


Year title Role
2007 PS I Love You Ciara Reilly
2010 Downtown Express Ramona


  1. Jump up^ VanAirsdale, ST “Nellie McKay: The Musician, the Myth, the … Movie Star?” . Movieline . Retrieved 6 September 2016 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Gay, Jason (May 18, 2003). “Whoa, Nellie” . The New York Observer .
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b Tannenbaum, Rob (April 4, 2004). “Her Life Is a Cabaret” . New York .
  4. Jump up^ Hurwitz, Matt (September 1, 2004). “Recording Nellie McKay’s Get Away From Me with Geoff Emerick” . Mix Magazine.
  5. Jump up^ Pareles, Jon (February 8, 2004). “Flying Hitler and Pepsi’s Super Bowl fumble” . The New York Times .
  6. Jump up^ “Metacritic: Best Albums of 2004” .
  7. Jump up^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (6 October 2006). “Arts, Briefly” . The New York Times . Retrieved 20 May 2010 .
  8. Jump up^ “Theatre World Award Recipients” .
  9. Jump up^ Obligatory Villagers: Nellie McKay: Review: Rolling Stone
  10. Jump up^ Isherwood, Charles (March 4, 2013). “Aging Clowns and Brand New gags” . The New York Times .
  11. Jump up^ The Brooklyn Paper: Four-scored ‘: Laurie Anderson joins the Philharmonic at BAM
  12. Jump up^ Tsioulcas, Anastasia and Tom Huizenga (June 8, 2011). “Classic And Indie Rock Collide On The Big Screen in Downtown Express ‘ ‘ . NPR.
  13. Jump up^ Holden, Stephen (March 24, 2011). “Bringing Out the Bad Girl for Some Tough Times” . The New York Times .
  14. Jump up^ Di Nunzio, Miriam (February 9, 2012). “Speaking With …. Nellie McKay” . Chicago Sun-Times .
  15. Jump up^ Pareles, Jon (January 17, 2007). “A multi-voiced Warbler With an Electric Ukulele” . The New York Times .
  16. Jump up^ “NPR: All Songs Considered: Political Songs & Satire” . NPR.
  17. Jump up^ Heyman, Marshall (May 16, 2011). “Saving Pigs, Not Eating Them” . The Wall Street Journal .
  18. Jump up^ Powers, Ann (September 21, 2011). “Songs For Troy Davis: Why Musicians Take On Death Row” . NPR.
  19. Jump up^ Boilen, Bob (2008-04-02). “Nellie McKay reveals’ Cavendish ‘ ‘ . NPR . Retrieved 2012-04-04 .