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Katharine McPhee looks so different in then-and-now photos as American Idol alum turns 40

The actress and singer is married to David Foster, 74

Katharine McPhee turns 40 glam
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
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Katharine McPhee is ringing in a milestone birthday today warranting a walk down memory lane in her honor.

The star has come a long way from her days on American Idol when she was runner-up to winner, Taylor Hicks, on season five.

Despite narrowly missing out on the win, Katharine  went on to carve out a successful career in the entertainment industry as both an actor and a singer. 

She's also happily married to music producer, David Foster, 74, and they adore parenting their son, Rennie, three.

Here's how she's blossomed in her style, career and personal life since she burst onto the scene at the age of 21.

Katharine McPhee and David Foster attend the 9th Annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on April 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California© Getty
Katharine with her husband David

American Idol 

Katharine was convinced to audition for American Idol by her eventual husband, Nick Cokas, and her parents.

She was an instant hit when she rocked up to the San Francisco auditions and sang "God Bless the Child".

Katharine McPhee on American Idol in 2006
Katharine on American Idol in 2006

Her cute, girl-next-door style was virtually eclipsed by her megawatt voice, but the whole package resulted in 'McPheever' for viewers, who couldn't get enough of her.

Although she didn't win, she walked away with a fanbase and incredible connections which would help mold her future.

Katharine McPhee glammed up her appearance after American Idol success
Katharine glammed up her appearance after American Idol success

Katharine met her future husband, David, on the show as he was introduced as a guest mentor for Top 6 Week.

Andrea Bocelli was also a mentor and Katharine went on to work on various music projects with both men after Idol.

Katharine's divorce

Katharine tied the knot with Nick in Beverly Hills, on February 2, 2008. But she was hit with scandal when she was photographed kissing Smash director, Michael Morris in October 2013.

Katharine McPhee and her ex-husband Nick Cokas© Getty Images
Katharine and her ex-husband Nick Cokas

Several months later, Katharine filed for divorce from Nick and said she had been separated from Nick for a years. 

Her divorce was finalized in February 2016.

Katherine and David's 35-year age gap

After meeting David on American Idol, Katharine remained friends with him and they continued to work together. 

In 2018, they announced their engagement and made it official in June, 2019. 

Katharine McPhee is married to David Foster who she met on American Idol
Katharine first met David when she was on American Idol

Talking about the 35-year age gap between her and her husband, 

"We all have the ability to label things and to look at something for the way that it looks or face value and make a judgment," she said during an interview on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy Podcast. "So I totally get the judgment initially, but things are never as they appear, things are never exactly as they appear and I'm in love with our love story and that's all that matters."

Selfie of Meghan Markle and Katharine McPhee© Instagram
Katharine has known Meghan Markle since school


Katherine and David welcomed their only child together, son Rennie, in 2021.

But he is a father to five daughters. Allison, Amy, Sara, Erin, and Jordan and there's 50 years difference between his oldest child and his youngest. 

Katharine McPhee puts on a glamorous display at the Grammys 2024
Katharine puts on a glamorous display at the Grammys 2024

The couple have praised David's daughters for "embracing" and their "unique situation".

While Katharine has only just entered her 40s, David is now in his mid 70s. However, she's eager to have more children. 

katharine mcphee david foster holding son rennie
Katharine and David welcomed their son, Rennie, in 2021

“I would love to have another baby, but we'll see," she told Jennifer Hudson. "We're not in any crazy rush, but I hope so."

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