Nell Marie "Nellie" McKay is a British-born American singer-songwriter, actress, and former stand-up comedian, noted for her critically acclaimed albums, and for her Broadway debut in The Threepenny Opera (2006). Her music has showcased different genres, from jazz to rap and disco to funk.
Early life and education
McKay was born in London to an English father, writer-director Malcolm McKay, and an American mother, actress Robin Pappas. While growing up, she lived with her mother in Harlem, Olympia, Washington, and rural Pennsylvania, among others.
McKay studied jazz voice at the Manhattan School of Music, but did not graduate.
Her performances at various New York City music venues, including the Sidewalk Cafe and Joe's Pub, drew attention from record labels. She signed with Columbia Records.