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Michael McDonald

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Michael McDonald (born February 12, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri) is an American R&B/soul singer (sometimes described as a “blue-eyed soul” singer), known for his trademark husky baritone voice.

McDonald played in several local bands (such as Mike and the Majestics, Jerry Jay and the Sheratons, the Reebtoors, and The Guild) while attending McCluer High School in his hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. He was ‘discovered’ while playing with a group called Blue and consequently moved to Los Angeles in 1970. He first gained wide attention as an adjunct member of the group Steely Dan, providing back-up vocals and keyboards. Michael continued to do background vocals for Steely Dan up to their 1980 Gaucho release.

McDonald was recruited by The Doobie Brothers in April 1975 when lead singer Tommy Johnston became ill during a national tour. As a member of the Doobies, he recorded some of his most memorable songs, such as “Takin’ It To The Streets,” “Little Darling,” “Minute By Minute,” and “What A Fool Believes” (which earned him a 1980 Grammy Award for Song of the Year).

After the Doobies’ first farewell tour, McDonald continued with a very successful solo career. Among his hits are

* “I Keep Forgettin’”, a duet with his sister Maureen, later sampled in 1994 by Warren G
* “Sweet Freedom”, the theme to the 1986 MGM film Running Scared
* “Take It To Heart”
* “Yah Mo B There”, a duet with James Ingram which won a 1985 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals

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