For all the success Marilyn McCoo has enjoyed, she continues to pursue a multi-dimensional career as a singer and entertainer, an always-in-demand host and respected actress.
An extremely successful female recording artist, Marilyn’s combined record sales, as a solo performer, a member of The 5th Dimension and a part of a duo with husband, Billy Davis, Jr., ranks her among the top 10 black female vocalists of the “rock era.” This places her among such greats as Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight.
Marilyn has won a total of eight Grammys. When she sang with The 5th Dimension, the group won six Grammys. Marilyn and her husband, Billy Davis, Jr., won a Grammy (Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo) for You Don’t Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show). Her eighth Grammy was for participating as a guest artist on Quincy Jones’ Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration (Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album). Her first gospel album, The Me Nobody Knows, was nominated for a Grammy and the title single went to #1 on the gospel charts.
Marilyn and her husband, Billy Davis Jr., celebrated their 38 years of marriage in 2007. In 2004 they wrote a critically well received book, which shares their secrets of staying happy and committed to each other in Hollywood. It’s entitled Up, Up and Away…How We Found Love, Faith and Lasting Marriage in the Entertainment World. It was written in collaboration with Mike Yorkey and was released by Northfield Publishing Company. In it, they talk about how they met, their successful musical careers, and their major struggles behind closed doors, offering practical marriage advice and spiritual encouragement along the way.
In the last ten years Marilyn has united with her husband, Billy Davis, Jr., for a tour of concerts across the country entitled It Takes Two, a celebration of great rock and soul duets from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The first three months of 1999 the couple joined in the celebration of the Duke Ellington Centennial by touring in the successful production Hit Me With A Hot Note! – The Duke Ellington Songbook. And, midst her heavy touring schedule, Marilyn guest starred in a recurring role on the WB’s popular “Jamie Foxx Show” with Billy. In recognition of their 40th anniversary in the music business, they are currently presenting a special musical tribute to the hits and productions that have made up their multi-faceted careers.
From Presidential galas to television specials to headlining live performances, the demand for Marilyn’s talents as an entertainer extraordinaire have been non-stop. As a solo performer she has headlined successful engagements at major venues in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Atlantic City, as well as concert theatres across the country. Her tour, It Takes Two, with Billy Davis, Jr., premiered at the Las Vegas Hilton.
Certain to be at the center of important events both on a national and global level, Marilyn was a favorite of President and Mrs. George Bush. At their request she performed for the heads of state at the First Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations in Houston and along with Billy was invited to perform at one of the Inauguration Gala Balls. When the Pope came to the United States in 1987, Marilyn and Billy were asked to perform for the Pontiff.
Many of the special events she has been featured in were also televised specials. Marilyn has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra for the “live” PBS special, “The National Memorial Day Concert,” a musical salute to those who served in the Persian Gulf War. She was featured in “The Constitution Bicentennial” for CBS-TV. And, as sole performer on the “ABU Popular Song Contest” in New Zealand, Marilyn was viewed by more than 400 million people around the world.
In recent years Marilyn has put an emphasis on exploring her considerable acting skills. She starred as Julie in the Broadway revival of Showboat to rave reviews and critical acclaim. The run was so successful that when the show moved to Chicago, Marilyn was invited to reprise her role there. Her other forays in musical theatre include roles as Effie in Dreamgirls and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha. All garnished overwhelmingly enthusiastic reviews. Marilyn starred in Anything Goes, the inaugural production of the Hirschfeld Theatre in Miami Beach, FL. Also on stage, she starred in A…My Name Is Alice. Again, she received rave reviews.
In addition to live theatre, Marilyn’s acting career includes guest starring roles in television series and movies-of-the-week and a recurring role on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.” Most recently, Marilyn co-starred with Billy on WB’s popular “Jamie Foxx Show.” Playing the affluent parents of Jamie’s girlfriend, a highlight of the show was Marilyn’s a cappella serenade of Wedding Bell Blues, one of their gigantic hits with The 5th Dimension. Other television acting credits include guest starring roles in the ABC-TV movie “The Fantastic World of D.C. Collins,” “Night Court,” “The Fall Guy” and “Punky Brewster,” among others.
For five years Marilyn shined as host of “Solid Gold,” one of the most successful TV-music shows of the ’80s. She is one of the most sought-after female host/co-host in the entertainment community.
Sea World Star Spangled Summer (ABC)
Worlds Largest Concert (PBS)
Live Aid Concert
Pre-Grammy Special (FOX)
America’s Junior Miss
International Magic Awards
McDonald’s Gospelfest Lou Rawls’ Parade of Stars
Children’s Miracle Network Telethon
Cherry Blossom Parade (anchor)
Agents of Change: A Blackboard Revolution (PBS)
Man of La Mancha – Pasadena Civic Auditorium
Anything Goes – Hirschfeld Theatre
A…My Name is Alice – Burt Reynolds Theatre
Days of Our Lives (NBC) (recurring role)
The Fantastic World of D.C. Collins (ABC MovIe-of-the-Week)
The Fall Guy
Love American Style
TELEVISION SPECIAL APPEARANCES
The National Memorial Day Concert (PBS)
Night of 100 Stars (NBC)
Christmas in Washington (NBC)
The Constitution Bicentennial (CBS)
Happy Birthday Hollywood (ABC)
Motown Returns to the Apollo (NBC)
Miss America Pageant (NBC)
Placida Domingo, Steppin’ Out With The Ladies (ABC)
Happy New Year America (CBS)
20th Anniversary Songwriters’ Hall of Fame (CBS)
Tennessee Ernie Ford’s America (PBS)
ABU Popular Song Contest
American Music Awards
Golden Globe Awards
Arsenio Hall Show (FOX)
Good Morning America (ABC)
The Tonight Show (NBC)
The Mike Douglas Show
The Merv Griffin Show
The John Davidson Show
The Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Show (CBS)
1989 Inaugural Ball
1989 papal Visit
Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations
American Film Institute’s 25th Anniversary Celebration