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Birth nameMaureen Anne McDonald
Born (1981-05-13) May 13, 1981 (age 39)
OriginDetroit, Michigan
  • Songwriter
  • singer
Years active2006–present
Associated acts

Maureen Anne McDonald (born May 13, 1981), better known as Mozella, is an American songwriter and singer. Along with her album releases, Mozella co-wrote the Miley Cyrus Billboard number-one song "Wrecking Ball".[1]

Some of Mozella's other co-writes include the songs, "I Believe", "Strangers", "Every Single Time, and "Don't Throw It Away" for the Jonas Brothers' Happiness Begins album,[2][3] "Drop Top"[4] and "Horses"[5] on Keith Urban's Graffiti U album, Kelly Clarkson's 2017 single "Love So Soft",[6] "One Call Away" by Charlie Puth, "Fool's Gold"[7] and "Perfect" by OneDirection, "Bright" by Echosmith, "Secrets" for Mary Lambert, Ellie Goulding's "Don't Panic", "Holding on for Life", and "We Can't Move to This" from Goulding's album Delirium (co-wrote with Goulding and Greg Kurstin), "Speechless" from Rachel Platten's Columbia released Wildfire, "Feels Like Vegas" with Tinashe,[8] and "Take You High" off Kelly Clarkson's 2015 album, Piece by Piece.[9] Madonna and Mozella co-wrote eleven of the nineteen tracks on the album Rebel Heart, including the single "Living for Love" with Diplo, Ariel Rechtshaid, and Toby Gad.[8]

In the genres of film, television and theater, she co-wrote "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody" with Goonrock and Fergie for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby. In early 2014 she continued her work with Baz Luhrmann, penning "A Beautiful Surprise" with David Foster for Luhrmann's musical theater adaption of his cult classic film Strictly Ballroom. She also co-wrote "Dancing in the Dark" by Rihanna for the DreamWorks animated movie Home, in 2015.[3]

Mozella's song "Anything is Possible" is used in the 2018 L’Oreal El Vive commercials.[10] Her song "Love Is Endless" was used in the 2015 McDonald's "Archenemies" television campaign.[11] Beginning April 2015, Chase Bank used her song "Can't Get Enough" for their new commercials in the US.[12] Some of the brands that have used Mozella's music in their branding include Chrysler,[13] Verizon, Microsoft, Mercedes Benz, JC Penney,[14] and many more.

Mozella has released three full-length albums, I Will (Warner/Maverick, 2006), Belle Isle (Universal/Motown, 2009), and The Brian Holland Sessions (Belle Isle Records, 2012), as well as three EPs, Mozella (Warner/Maverick, 2005), The Straits (Universal/Motown, 2009) and The Love (Universal/Motown, 2010).[15]

Early life[edit]

Mozella was raised in Detroit, Michigan,[16] where she got her start as a performer booking her own gigs in coffee houses at age 15[17] Early on, she collaborated with artists such as Warren G, and in 2002, then Mozella was invited to England to write and record with Tim Saul, producer for Portishead. Upon her return to Los Angeles, she signed with Maverick Records to record her first EP and album.[18]

Music career[edit]

Warner/Maverick Records[edit]

Mozella signed to Madonna’s Maverick Records in July 2003.[19] In 2004, when Maverick was absorbed into Warner Bros. Records[20] Mozella survived the merger. In July 2005, she released her self-titled debut EP on Warner/Maverick Records. Then, in November 2006, she released her full-length debut, I Will,[19] (produced by Jude Cole) on the same imprint.[21] At the time, called Mozella, "One of the best things to come out of pop music this year."[22]

Universal/Motown Records[edit]

Upon signing to Universal/Motown Records in July 2008, Mozella recruited multiple producers and writers for her second album, Belle Isle, including Marty James, Jimmy Harry, Tony Kanal, Sunny Levine, and Smidi. The album was released on October 20, 2009,[23] but prior to that The Straits EP came out July 7, 2009 on this label.[8]

The Brian Holland Sessions on Belle Isle Records[edit]

On July 24, 2012 Mozella released The Brian Holland Sessions, which she co-wrote with Motown songwriter Brian Holland of the trio Holland-Dozier-Holland, who is known for the hits he wrote for The Four Tops, The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and others.[24] "Brian Holland's soul pours out of him in melody everywhere he goes. He is a conduit," she told Rolling Stone about working with the songwriter on her album.[25]

Mozella performed "You Don't Love Anyone But Yourself" from The Brian Holland Sessions on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on July 26, 2012.[26]


Following her Warner/Maverick debut in 2006, Mozella toured the U.S. with Tyler Hilton, Dave Matthews Band, Lifehouse, Five for Fighting, Daniel Powter, Michelle Branch, and Colbie Caillat.[17][21] As she moved away from creating her own album releases, Mozella stopped touring.[citation needed]

Film and TV placement[edit]

Mozella's songs have been featured in movies, trailers, and television series' including Fringe, The Closer, The City, Castle, The Hills, Bones, One Tree Hill,[27] The Biggest Loser, American Idol, etc.[14] Her song "More of You" was prominently featured in the first episode of Pretty Little Liars and on the soundtrack.[28] She's also had two song syncs in Grey's Anatomy in 2011.[29]

She has written and recorded numerous songs for commercials including "Amazed" for Mercedes Benz,[30] "Thank You" and "Let's Stop Calling It Love" for Nivea,[14] "Magic" for Verizon's "iDon't" Motorola Droid campaign.[31] "This is Love" and "Glow" were used in the 2011 and 2013 JC Penney holiday TV advertisements. In 2012, Mozella's cover of "Some Like It Hot" (made famous by Marilyn Monroe) was used for the Carl's Jr./Hardee's "Drive-In" ad, that featured model Kate Upton.REF Later, her songs have been sync'd by Special K,REF Nestle,REF Tesco,[32] McDonald's, Verizon, and more.


  • Mozella EP (2005)
  • I Will (2006)
  • The Straits EP (2009)
  • Belle Isle (2009)
  • The Love EP (2010)
  • The Brian Holland Sessions (2012)

Songwriting credits[edit]


Songs written[edit]

Artist Album Song Co-written with
Shontelle No Gravity (2010) "Kiss You Up" Jimmy Harry, Tony Kanal
Miranda Cosgrove High Maintenance (2011) "Kiss You Up" Jimmy Harry, Tony Kanal
Haley Reinhart Listen Up! (2012) "Oh My!" (feat. B.o.B) Haley Reinhart, Rob Kleiner, Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr.
"Undone" Haley Reinhart, Rune Westberg
Fergie The Great Gatsby soundtrack (2013) "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody" Fergie, Q-Tip, GoonRock
Christina Grimmie With Love (2013) "Get Yourself Together" Rune Westberg, Haley Reinhart
Miley Cyrus Bangerz (2013) "Wrecking Ball" Dr. Luke, Stephan Moccio, Sacha Skarbek, Kiyanu Kim, Henry Walter
"FU" (feat. French Montana) Miley Cyrus, Rami Samir Afuni, Karim Kharbouch
"Someone Else" Miley Cyrus, Michael L. Willams II, Pierre Ramon Slaughter, Timothy Thomas, Theron Thomas
Tessanne Chin Count on My Love (2014) "Tumbling Down" Ryan Tedder, Noel Zancanella, Peter Svensson
Echosmith Talking Dreams (2014) "Bright" Echosmith, Jeffery David
Mary Lambert Heart On My Sleeve (2014) "Secrets" Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse, Benny Cassette
"Heart On My Sleeve" Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse, Benny Cassette
"Sum of Our Parts" Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse, Benny Cassette
"Monochromatic" Mary Lambert
"Wounded Animal" Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse
"So Far Away" Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse, Benny Cassette
Tinashe Aquarius (2014) "Feels Like Vegas" Tinashe, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Jeffrey Johnson Jr.
One Direction Four (2014) "Fool's Gold" Jamie Scott, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne
Made in the A.M. (2015) "Perfect" J Kash, John Ryan, Julian Bunetta, Jesse Shatkin, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson
Kelly Clarkson Piece by Piece (2015) "Take You High" Jesse Shatkin
Madonna Rebel Heart (2015) "Living for Love" Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Ariel Rechtshaid
"Unapologetic Bitch" Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Ariel Rechtshaid
"Illuminati" Madonna, Toby Gad, Larry Griffin, Jr., Mike Dean
"Bitch I'm Madonna" (feat. Nicki Minaj) Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Ariel Rechtshaid
"Hold Tight" Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Uzoechi Emenike
"Joan of Arc" Madonna, Toby Gad, Larry Griffin Jr.
"Iconic" (feat. Chance the Rapper and Mike Tyson) Madonna, Toby Gad, Larry Griffin Jr., Chancellor Bennett, Dacoury Natche, Michael Tucker
"Body Shop" Madonna, Toby Gad, Larry Griffin Jr., Dacoury Natche, Michael Tucker
Rebel Heart - Deluxe Edition (2015) "Best Night" Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Ariel Rechtshaid
"Veni Vidi Vici" (feat. Nas) Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Ariel Rechtshaid
"S.E.X." Madonna, Toby Gad, Larry Griffin Jr.,
Charlie Puth Nine Track Mind (2015) "One Call Away" Charlie Puth, DJ Frank E, Shy Carter, Breyon Isaac, Matthew Prime
A Great Big World When The Morning Comes (2015) "Oasis" Ian Axel, Chad King
Ellie Goulding Delirium (2015) "Don't Panic" Ellie Goulding, Greg Kurstin
"We Can't Move To This" N/A
"Holding On For Life" Ellie Goulding, Greg Kurstin
Rihanna Home soundtrack (2015) "Dancing In The Dark" Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Ester Dean
Rachel Platten Wildfire (2016) "Speechless" Rachel Platten, Nolan Lambroza
Martina Stoessel Tini (2016) "Still Standing" / "Sigo adelante" Lindy Robbins, Jason Evigan
Shura Nothing's Real (2016) "What's It Gonna Be?" Aleksndra Yakunina-Denton, Greg Kurstin, Joel Pott
"Tongue Tied" Aleksndra Yakunina-Denton, Greg Kurstin
Lea Michele Places (2017) "Anything's Possible" Myers
Robin Schulz Uncovered (2017) "OK" (feat. James Blunt) Robin Schulz, Steve Mac, James Blunt
Kelly Clarkson Meaning of Life (2017) "Love So Soft" Priscilla Renea, Jesse Shatkin
"Don't You Pretend" Kelly Clarkson, Jesse Shatkin
"Go High" Kelly Clarkson, Jesse Shatkin
Tove Styrke Sway (2018) "Sway"
Keith Urban Graffiti U (2018) "Drop Top" (feat. Kassi Ashton) Jimmy Robbins, Josh Osborne
"Horses" (feat. Lindsay Ell) Matt Rad, Jamie Scott
Benjamin Ingrosso Identification (2018) "I’ll Be Fine Somehow" Benjamin Ingrosso, Axident
Jacob Banks Village (2018) "Prosecco" Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman, Stint
Lennon Stella Love, Me EP (2018 "Fortress" Greg Kurstin, Lennon Stella
Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins (2019) "I Believe" Nick Jonas, Greg Kurstin
"Strangers" Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Kurstin Kurstin
"Every Single Time" Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Kurstin Kurstin
"Don't Throw It Away" Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Kurstin Kurstin
Aaron Carpenter TBD (2019) "Next" Aaron Carpenter, Sam Homaee, Jon Wienner
Lindsey Stirling Artemis (2019) "The Upside" (feat. Elle King) Lindsey Stirling, Taylor Bird, Peter Hanna, Maize Jane Olinger


  1. ^ Halperin, Shirley (October 8, 2018). "YouTube-Sponsored All-Female Writing Camp Is a Musical Revelation". Variety. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins". Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Mozella". Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  4. ^ Diamond, Rick (April 25, 2018). "How an Unknown Newcomer Ended Up on Keith Urban's 'Graffiti U' Album". Taste of Country. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Lindsay Ell / Keith Urban Horses". Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  6. ^ Morrissey, Janet (October 14, 2018). "Need a Song for Your Commercial? Try These Campers". NY Times. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  7. ^ Garibaldi, Christina (November 20, 2014). "ONE DIRECTION SONGWRITER REVEALS HOW HARRY STYLES MADE 'FOOL'S GOLD' 'AMAZING'". Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Kawashima, Dale (April 6, 2016). "Interview with Mozella, Hit Pop Songwriter For Charlie Puth, Miley Cyrus And One Direction". Songwriter Universe. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  9. ^ Feeney, Nolan (September 12, 2017). "Michelle Obama's 'we go high' speech inspired new Kelly Clarkson song". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  10. ^ "L'Oréal Paris Elvive: Comeback". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  11. ^ Nudd, Tim (January 5, 2015). "Ad of the Day: McDonald's Refreshes 'I'm Lovin' It' and Suddenly Feels a Lot Like Oreo". Adweek. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  12. ^ Fusco, Michael. "The Masters Are Here: New Chase Commercials Highlight Superstars". Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  13. ^ McCarthy, Michael (June 6, 2014). "CHRYSLER SPOT PITCHES NOT JUST THE 200, BUT THE WORKERS WHO MAKE IT". Ad Age. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Herstand, Ari (September 2, 2015). "15 Musicians You Didn't Know Got Their Break From TV". Digital Music News. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  15. ^ Mitchell, Gail (August 7, 2009). " Q&A: EMI Music Publishing's 'Big' Jon Platt". [1]. Retrieved 08/07/2009.
  16. ^ "Maureen McDonald". Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  17. ^ a b Adams, Lauren; Benaym, David; and Tidwell, Danny (Summer 2006). "Discovering Mozella". Movmnt Magazine. Pages 60-63.
  18. ^ "Mozella : la voix de Femme Actuelle". Femme Actuelle. July 27, 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  19. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (September 16, 2014). "Who's Working on Madonna's Album? 22 Possible Collaborators". Billboard. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  20. ^ Arango, Tim (June 15, 2004). "MUSIC FOR A SONG – WARNER BUYS MADONNA OUT OF MAVERICK FOR $10M". NY Post. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  21. ^ a b " Exclusive First Listen: Mozella". Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  22. ^ Brown, Marissa."MoZella: I Will". [2]. Retrieved 09/08/2009.
  23. ^ "MoZella – Belle Isle". Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  24. ^ "MoZella: Recording An Homage To The Motor City". NPR. July 27, 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  25. ^ "'You Don't Love Anyone But Yourself' by Mozella – Free MP3". Rolling Stone. July 19, 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  26. ^ Orosa, Rosalinda (July 25, 2012). "Stars guest in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". Philippine Star. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  27. ^ Kimpel, Dan (December 5, 2013). "SONGWRITER PROFILE: MOZELLA (MILEY CYRUS - "WRECKING BALL")". Music Connection. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  28. ^ "Pretty Little Liars (TV Series)". IMDB. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  29. ^ a b "Mozella". IMDB. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  30. ^ Vanwert, Holly (March 3, 2014). "Monday Morning Tunes: MoZella". Woman Tribune. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  31. ^ Khabie, Dan (January 31, 2010). "Verizon's complex Droid ads are unlikely to win over many iPhone adopters". DMNews. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  32. ^ "Tesco F&F – Country Cricket". Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  33. ^ "Genre Pop/Rock Submit Corrections Maureen McDonald". Retrieved 24 September 2019.