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Kay Hanley

Hanley on the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Tour
Background information
Birth name Kathleen Marie Hanley
Born September 11, 1968 (Age 41)
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Genres Rock, Folk, Pop, Acoustic, Alternative
Instruments Guitar,Vocals
Years active 1990–present
Labels Zoe Records,
De Guerre

Kay 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

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 cartoon Generation O 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". She also performed the song "Follow Me" for the video game Sonic Heroes in 2003. In 2004, Hanley released a follow up to Cherry Marmalade, The Babydoll EP.

Hanley is very involved with the Boston based charity "Hot Stove, Cool Music," both as performer and spokesperson for the semi-annual event. In 2004, 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 pretaped 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 Jan 5 2010 to the Baltimore Ravens.

She sings the main theme song[1] for My Friends Tigger and 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!.

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 backup singer with Miley Cyrus for Hannah Montana concerts and events.

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

As of 2010 Hanley has teamed up with musician/producer Linus of Hollywood and formed a new band called Palmdale. Their first EP, Get Wasted is to be released on March 30, 2010.


Year Title Label
2001 Josie and the Pussycats (soundtrack) Sony
2002 Cherry Marmalade Zoe Records
2003 The Paradise - Boston, MA 5/30/03 (LIVE) Instant Live
2004 The Babydoll EP Instant Live[1]
The Paradise - Boston, MA 8/26/04 (LIVE) Instant Live
2005 Just Like Heaven (soundtrack) Sony
2006 Kay Hanley / Scamper split single CD De Guerre/Scamper
2008 Weaponize De Guerre


Year Title Role Type
1999 10 Things I Hate About You Letters to Cleo lead singer Cameo appearance
2000 Generation O! Molly O TV series
2001 Josie and the Pussycats Josie McCoy singing voice

Further reading


External links

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