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American Idol

Who is Katharine McPhee From Smash and American Idol?

Many singers hit the American Idol stage for their initial audition and then we fast forward to years later and they look completely different. Such is the case with Katharine McPhee, who almost looked a bit frumpy at her initial Season 5 tryout. Cut to 2013, and the Smash star is all glam, all the time.

The gorgeous Idol alum was born in LA into a showbiz family. Her father, Daniel, is a TV producer, and her mother, Peisha, is an accomplished cabaret singer and now a vocal coach on American Idol. Interestingly enough, Kat’s older sister, Adriana, was also recently brought on as an Idol vocal coach. Oh, how they’ve come full circle!

Katharine McPhee became as well known on American Idol for her gorgeous face and beautiful dresses as her chilling ability to sing a ballad like a crafty veteran. She wasn’t a one-trick pony, however, and many likely recall the time she sang KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse And The Cherry Tree” while seated on the ground.

The stunning singer came with an emotional backstory, revealing that she suffered from bulimia since she was 17 years old. While on the show, she began practicing smart nutrition and, ultimately, lost 30 pounds. She also caused quite a stir with her boyfriend (now husband), Nick Cokas, who is 19 years her senior.

In the end, she came in second, losing to Taylor Hicks.Since her time on Idol, Kat has proved that runner-ups can be more than successful. In fact, she recently landed on Forbes’ list for the top ten highest-earning Idols. On the heels of her success, she nabbed a role on the popular web series, lonelygirl15. Since then, she’s had guest starring roles on Ugly Betty, CSI: NY, Community, and Family Guy, before landing one of the starring roles on NBC’s Smash. She’s also gotten a few movie roles, including playing Harmony on The House Bunny and Masha on You May Not Kiss the Bride.

Katharine recently returned to the Idol stage to perform “If I Lose Myself” with One Republic. The band’s frontman, Ryan Tedder, is co-writing and producing selected tracks off Kat’s next album. The two had already paired up for a duet before, singing “Touch Me” as part of her role on Smash.

What did you think of Katharine McPhee’s recent performance on Idol?

04.2.2013 / 01:01 PM EDT by Marnie Brodersen
Related: American Idol, Katharine McPhee

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