Named the “Best Secret Weapon” by Rolling Stone in 2011, McKee, a former Seattle resident, was encouraged by Sub Pop Records co-founder Jonathan Poneman to write songs at age 12. At 16, a demo of McKee’s original songs was heard by radio host Nic Harcourt, who subsequently played her song “Somebody” on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic.” The demo led to a deal with Reprise Records and the release of McKee’s debut album,Trouble, in 2004. Co-produced by GRAMMY-winning producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day) and GRAMMY-nominated engineer/producer Bob Power, Trouble featured 12 tracks written by McKee, including “Somebody,” which cracked the Top 40 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart.
In 2009 McKee was introduced to GRAMMY-nominated producers and songwriters Dr. Luke and Max Martin and the trio subsequently began writing songs together. McKee has co-written songs for artists such as Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, and Britney Spears, garnering multiple No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles chart, including Katy Perry’s “Roar,” “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls.”
In 2012 McKee signed a deal with Antonio “L.A.” Reid’s Epic Records, which will issue her sophomore album in early 2014. The album’s first single, “American Girl,” peaked at No. 10 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart. The promotional lip-sync video for the track features guest appearances by artists such as Carly Rae Jepsen, Ke$ha, Kiss, Macklemore, and Perry, and has more than 1.6 million views on YouTube.
Some artists have been in the collective consciousness so long that we forget the first time we became aware of them. Here is a list of five iconic performers that many of us first saw catapulted into our world after an amazing night at the GRAMMYs.
- Bonnie Raitt - 32nd GRAMMY Awards, 1990 Telecast. Won all 4 GRAMMYs that she was nominated for including Album Of The Year for Nick Of Time. It was her first time winning after 3 previous nominations over the years. She was 40 years old at the time.
- Ricky Martin - 41st GRAMMY Awards, 1999 Telecast. Won Best Latin Pop Performance for Vuelve, performing an instantly legendary version of “La Copa De La Vida” that made him an overnight international star.
- Christina Aguilera - 42nd GRAMMY Awards, 2000 Telecast. Won Best New Artist despite having only released one single and not considered a front runner for the award. Beat out Macy Gray, Kid Rock, Britney Spears and Susan Tedeschi.
- Norah Jones - 45th GRAMMY Awards, 2003 Telecast. Won 5 GRAMMYs including Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year and Best New Artist. Her album Come Away With Me was eventually certified diamond and remains Blue Note Records biggest-selling release.
- Miguel - 55th GRAMMY Awards, 2013 Telecast. Nominated for 5 GRAMMYs, Miguel won Best R&B Song for “Adorn.” His electric performance on the telecast caused Kelly Clarkson to give him a shout-out during her acceptance speech later in the evening.
42nd GRAMMY Awards held February 23, 2000