See the Bar Singer From "Ally McBeal" Now at 58
Vonda Shepard's music was a major part of the show.
Vonda Shepard released her first album in the late '80s, and, while she had a decent career as a singer-songwriter afterwards, it wasn't until she made her debut as the bar singer on Ally McBeal in 1997 that her career took off. The singer made regular appearances as herself, performing at the lawyer characters' favorite watering hole, and she also recorded and sang most of the songs on the show's soundtrack, making her the inner voice of Calista Flockhart's Ally. The show's theme song, "Searchin' My Soul" is from Shepard's 1992 album, Radical Light, and she eventually became the show's music supervisor. Read on to learn what she's been doing since Ally McBeal was canceled in 2002.
The show's creator "discovered" Shepard when she was performing.
Shepard landed the role after Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley (who also created Chicago Hope, The Practice, and Big Little Lies, among others) saw her perform at Hollywood's Key Club when he was developing the series. The singer told The Smith Center in 2021 that she had invited him and her friend, Kelley's wife since 1993, Michelle Pfeiffer, to come see her play. At the time, Kelley was looking for an inner voice for Ally and hired Shepard on the spot. "I was playing songs from my album, It's Good, Eve, and those songs really resonated with David," Shepard said. "He ended up using at least 10 songs from that album on the show."
Ally McBeal made her much more famous.
Being a fixture on Ally McBeal shot Shepard into a new level of fame. "I remember one night lugging my keyboard in the rain, into a club that held 30 people [before Ally McBeal]," she told The Smith Center. "Jump to a year and a half later, and I'm touring in Europe, playing a festival for 46,000 people, on the same bill with the Eurythmics, Sting, and Matchbox 20."
And it wasn't just fame and major tours that came from the show. All told, Shepard released four studio soundtrack albums for the series, and she won awards, including two Screen Actors Guild Best Ensemble trophies with the rest of the cast.
She still tours.
Of course, Shepard didn't stop making music when Ally came to an end. Since 2002, she's released four studio albums, with her most recent being 2015's Rookie, and three live albums, including 2019's Vonda: Live. Shepard has also continued to tour both internationally and domestically. In June 2022, she announced that she'll be relaunching her European tour in late 2022 and then heading back to do a tour of the East coast shortly afterwards. You can see tour dates on her official website and catch Shepard performing a mix of songs from Ally McBeal and her other records.
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She's a mom.
Shepard is married to fellow musician and record producer, Mitchell Froom, and has been since 2004. Froom has worked with the likes of Tracy Bonham, Sheryl Crow, Tracy Chapman, and Bonnie Raitt, among many other major names in the music business. He is currently touring with the band Crowded House, who just released a new album in 2021. He's also collaborated with his wife.
The couple have a son, Jack, who was born in 2006, and Shepard is also stepmom to Froom's daughter Ruby, who he welcomed with his previous wife, singer Suzanne Vega.
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