Kay Hanley

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Kay Hanley
Kay Hanley (November 2007).jpg
Hanley on the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Tour
Background information
Birth name Kathleen Marie Hanley
Born (1968-09-11) September 11, 1968 (age 45)
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Genres Rock, Folk, Pop, Acoustic, Alternative
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 1990–present
Labels Zoë Records,
De Guerre
Associated acts Letters to Cleo, Michael Eisenstein, Joel McNeely, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square

Kathleen Marie Hanley (born September 11, 1968) is an American alternative rock musician. She is best known as the vocalist for the band Letters to Cleo.

Life and career[edit]

Hanley was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She grew up diagonally across the street from Donnie and Mark Wahlberg. She was a member of Letters To Cleo from 1990 to 2000 (the length of the band's existence, with the exception of the 2008-2009 reunion tour). The band name was conceived by Hanley in reference to a pen pal named Cleo that she had when she was younger. In 1997, she began working on other projects, beginning with a role in the Boston Rock Opera's performance of Jesus Christ Superstar as Mary Magdalene.

In 1999, Hanley made a cameo as herself in the film 10 Things I Hate About You, singing a cover version of Nick Lowe's "Cruel to Be Kind" at the movie characters' high school prom, in addition to performing "Come On" with Letters to Cleo during an earlier scene at a club. Towards the end of Letters to Cleo's career, she began performing with her husband and fellow Letters To Cleo member Michael Eisenstein outside of the band. Around the same time, she gave birth to their daughter, Zoe.

Upon the split of Letters to Cleo, Hanley embarked upon a solo career. She performed music for the Kids WB cartoon series, Generation O! along with the rest of Letters to Cleo and provided the singing voice for Rachael Leigh Cook's character Josie in the movie Josie and the Pussycats. In 2002, she released her first solo album, Cherry Marmalade. That same year, she appeared on the Dropkick Murphys/Face to Face split cd, providing guest vocals on the original version of the Dropkick Murphys song "The Dirty Glass".

In 2003, Hanley was approached by Jun Senoue from Sega to co-write and perform on an original song for their upcoming entry in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, entitled Sonic Heroes. The result was the song "Follow Me."

In 2004, Hanley released a follow up to Cherry Marmalade, The Babydoll EP. That same year, she and her husband Michael Eisenstein had their second child, Henry Aaron, the name given in honor of baseball player Hank Aaron and their love for baseball.

In August 2005, Hanley recorded a cover of Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" for the soundtrack of the Reese Witherspoon film Just Like Heaven. In September 2005, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as part of a pre-taped man-on-the-street segment, singing a song about falling in love at Starbucks.

Hanley was quite popular with fans of the New England Patriots, as on eight straight times she had sung the National Anthem for them at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots won. The streak came to an end as the Patriots lost on January 5, 2010 to the Baltimore Ravens. Hanley is also very involved with the Boston based charity "Hot Stove, Cool Music," both as performer and spokesperson for the semi-annual event.

She sings the main theme song[1] for My Friends Tigger & Pooh,[2] a half-hour Disney Channel TV show that premiered on Playhouse Disney on May 12, 2007 and "We Are The Care Bears" from Care Bears: Oopsy Does It! and Care Bears To The Rescue. With Michelle Lewis, she composed the theme and other songs for the Disney series Doc McStuffins.[3]

On Thanksgiving Day 2007, Hanley sang a song called "Caring Changes The World" in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Care Bears float as self-accompanied with her same-themed electric guitar.

In 2007-08, Hanley toured as a back-up singer with Miley Cyrus for Hannah Montana concerts and events.

Hanley is an object of affection for Detroit rapper Violent J (real name Joseph Bruce) of Insane Clown Posse, who has referenced her on several releases, notably Tunnel of Love and The Amazing Jeckel Brothers. In 1998 Hanley threatened Bruce with legal action and a restraining order but later confirmed on an episode of the Howard Stern radio show that they had worked everything out.

Her latest album, Weaponize, was released May 27, 2008.

In 2011, Hanley provides vocals on the Bowling For Soup track "I've Never Done Anything Like This" on their album Fishin' for Woos.

Hanley and husband Michael Eisenstein separated in November, 2010 but continue to work together on various music projects.

Discography[edit]

Letters to Cleo[edit]

Pet Projects[edit]

The title of this section indicates projects that both Hanley and Eisenstein have taken an active interest in developing, in terms of playing multiple roles, including production as well as composition and/or instrumentation.

Year Artist Title Label Role
2003 The Gentlemen Blondes Prefer the Gentlemen Sodapop Records Vocals
2007 Murder Capitol of the World St. Jude's Revenge Dot Rat Vocals
2008 Cruiserweight Big Bold Letters Doghouse/Siren Songs Composer, Background Vocals

Solo[edit]

Year Title Label
2002 Cherry Marmalade Zoë Records
2003 The Paradise - Boston, MA 5/30/03 (live) Instant Live[4]
2004 The Babydoll EP
The Paradise - Boston, MA 8/26/04 (live)
2006 Kay Hanley / Scamper split single CD De Guerre/Scamper
2008 Weaponize De Guerre

Soundtracks[edit]

Year Title Label
1996 The Craft Sony
1999 10 Things I Hate About You Hollywood Records
2001 Music from the Motion Picture Josie and the Pussycats Sony
2003 Sonic Heroes Pioneer/Geneon
2005 Just Like Heaven Sony

Special Appearances[edit]

Year Artist Title Label Role
1995 Mary Karlzen Yelling at Mary Atlantic Records Background Vocals
2002 James Taylor October Road Sony Choir, Chorus
2006 Agnes Chan Forget Yourself Bungalo Records Background Vocals
Peter Gammons Never Slow Down, Never Grow Old Rounder Vocals
2008 Lisa Loeb Camp Lisa Furious Rose Productions Vocal Harmony
2009 Will Dailey Torrent, Vols. 1 & 2 BS Background Vocals
2010 Lindsey Ray Goodbye from California LRay Composer
The Posies Blood/Candy Rykodisc Vocals
2011 Bowling For Soup Fishin' for Woos MRI Vocals, Sounds
Will Dailey Will Dailey & the Rivals Universal Republic Records Composer

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Type
1999 10 Things I Hate About You Herself Cameo
2000 Generation O! Molly O Voice
2001 Josie and the Pussycats Josie McCoy Voice
2014 Parks and Recreation Herself Cameo

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]