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Vonda Shepard (born July 7, 1963) is an American pop/rock singer. She appeared as a regular in the television show Ally McBeal from seasons 1-5 in which she played a resident performer at the bar where the show's characters drank after work. Her version of Kay Starr’s Christmas classic (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man with the Bag was featured on a season 4 episode of Ally McBeal and has become a popular holiday song. She plays piano, guitar, and bass.
Vonda Shepard was born in New York but her family relocated to California when she was a child. She played piano from an early age. Her father is Richmond Shepard, a mime and improv actor.
After performing as a backing singer for many years she was eventually given her own recording contract. Shepard's first chart appearance was in 1987 when she recorded a duet with Dan Hill entitled "Can't We Try". Before this she tried out for the part of Michael J. Fox's sister in Light of Day but lost the part out to Joan Jett. She was also poised to sing on Peter Cetera's duet "The Next Time I Fall" but he picked Amy Grant instead. She released her first self-titled album in 1989 with little fanfare. The album did yield one chart single, "Don't Cry Ilene", a mid-tempo, piano-driven jazz-R&B flavored song dealing with the break-up of a relationship between a black woman and a white man, arising from adult peer pressure. The song peaked at Number 17 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary chart and stayed on the charts for 12 weeks.
After her third album, Shepard was signed up to appear on Ally McBeal after being spotted by the show's creator David E Kelley. While on the show she recorded two full soundtrack albums and was featured on two other Ally McBeal compilations. The songs Shepard recorded for Ally McBeal soundtrack albums were mainly covers of old songs with lyrics that paralleled what was happening in the title character's life onscreen. Since appearing in the show, Shepard has released two more studio albums and a live album.
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