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Michael McDonald

With his husky, soulful baritone, Michael McDonald became one of the most distinctive and popular vocalists to emerge from the laid-back California pop/rock scene of the late '70s. McDonald found the middle ground between blue-eyed soul and smooth soft rock, a sound that made him a star. He initially essayed his signature style with the Doobie Brothers, ushering in the group's most popular period with hits like "What a Fool Believes" and "Taking It to the Streets." McDonald disbanded the group in 1982 to pursue a solo career, which was initially quite successful, but by the end of the decade his popularity had faded away, since he was reluctant to work regularly and hesitant to update his sound to suit shifting popular tastes.

After singing backup on several Steely Dan albums in the mid-'70s, Michael McDonald joined the Doobie Brothers in 1977. He was largely responsible for moving the group away from boogie rock and toward polished, jazzy blue-eyed soul. Prior to the Doobies' farewell tour in 1982, he sang harmony on several hit singles, including tracks by Donna Summer, Toto, Kenny Loggins, and Christopher Cross. As it turned out, McDonald's solo work was a cross between the Doobie Brothers' white-bread soul and Cross' adult contemporary ballads.

McDonald released his solo debut, If That's What It Takes, in 1982. The record climbed to number six on the strength of the number four single "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)," which also crossed over into the R&B Top Ten. In 1983, he had another Top 20 pop hit (and a Top Ten R&B hit) with his duet with James Ingram, "Yah Mo B There." McDonald didn't deliver his second solo album, No Lookin' Back, until 1985. The record wasn't as successful as its predecessor, producing only one moderate hit in its title track. He bounced back the following year, when his duet with Patti LaBelle, "On My Own," shot to number one and "Sweet Freedom," his theme for the Billy Crystal/Gregory Hines comedy Running Scared, climbed into the Top Ten.

Instead of capitalizing on his revitalized success, McDonald didn't release another album until 1990. The resulting Take It to Heart was a bomb, peaking at number 110. Two years later, his fortunes were revived somewhat when he sang on Aretha Franklin's minor hit "Ever Changing Times" and toured with Donald Fagen's New York Rock and Soul Revue. The following year, he released Blink of an Eye, which was ignored. In 1994, "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)" was sampled heavily in Warren G's smash hit "Regulate." By 1996, McDonald had returned to the Doobie Brothers, touring the oldies circuit with the reunited group. The following year, McDonald released Blue Obsession, his first album of new material in three years. He released a Christmas album (In the Spirit: A Christmas Album) in 2001, and began a series of recordings devoted to the Motown catalog with 2003's Motown. Motown Two and Soul Speak followed in 2004 and 2008 respectively. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Love Michael Mcdonald! :)
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Rovi your review of MICHAEL McDONALD'S work was soggy as a wet corn flake. He was one of the few "blue eyed" ones as you refer to him to cross over into R&B and Soul. The voice is complex and versatile. The songs are memorable and the motown albums we smash grammy favorites. Come on get it right!
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I love Michael McDonald
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Handsome, handsome, dreamy, sexy, beautiful voice, wonder where he is now. Please look me up if you are not married. Hope you have a hit song again soon.
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hi from same name, but not a perforner. Only 18 years of enlisted service..U.S . ARMY.. Followed your career...rea l l y good..$!!!.
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Beautiful music love this song
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Man has one hell of a voice
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love him! best voice ever!!
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dragonlady60 8 8
Grt. Song......
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Bring back so many good time and so much fun.I miss them days.
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Smooth...now THIS is music!
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This has to be one of the top 10 coolest sung songs. How many times did you think you sounded just like him when you sung along. Only to find out when your car went under a bridge and the song cut out you were so far from sounding good. But you just kept on singing. Just me.... I'm sorry.
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What a cool dude then and now!
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I also share the same name and hair. Lots of us--you are blessed as a singer/perfo r m e r .
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dragonlady60 8 8
Double Double do..love u michael
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Don't forget his guest appearance on Family Guy! :-)
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I liked him on American Idol a few weeks ago. did not get to see him my state.
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nmac959
Timeless, original, superb.....
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jcriner32
Love my MM
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I could listen to MM all day, everyday
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His talent and unique voice are both undeniable.. . . .
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artist685
Man can really sing!
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Love him. He can blow
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tisafinnessy
i am 70 years old and i love this guy
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Love "sweet freedom" a classic song from the film (Running Scared)
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dragonlady60 8 8
My fave. Song by Michael ..xoxoxoxo
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His voice is amazing. I love it. The industry needed a sound like his.
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I loooove Michael McDonald. He's a legend in his own right!. And a true artist!!!... . I love all his songs!!!.... I play them all the time...
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toncole1
A permanent jam!
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Love it all his songs are amazing
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I'm obsessed with M Squared.
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johnmargie6
Thank You God!
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yellocm11
ahhhhhh sexy

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artist685
WHAT AN ORIGINAL POWERFUL VOCALIST! Love his passionate soul.
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neejiah
Who would've thought I'd be i a situation like this song was made when i was three now thirty years later broken hearted WOW so much pain for so long !
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Michael McDonald? !?!? OF COURSE! !!! : )
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I feel good when I hear this song.
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Remember the movie Running Scared ?
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originality!
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POWERFUL VOICE full of soul and energy
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Tenor, not baritone.
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LOVE HIS MUSIC��
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dragonlady60 8 8
michaels voice...is amazing
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bobnox2
.....bariton e ? ! ? ! ? . . . .
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oh yeah and this sista bought motown two, really nice to add to my collection of music
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....michael mcdonald is such a sexy man, have you seen him lately, hee hee
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Michael McDonald has such a sexy voice
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I'm melting love love love
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The phone book ..I like that one!
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Smooth as a cup of Gevalia Coffee in the morn'
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