Idina Menzel is both an actress and singer. She was born on May 30,1971. Her first major role was in the Broadway musical Rent. She played the part of Maureen Johnson. It was in this early part that made American audiences fall in love with both her and her voice. Ms. Menzel won a Tony Award Nomination for this performance.
Other fans may have first noticed in the role of Shelby Corcoran in the Hit TV series Glee. Younger fans know her as the voice of Elsa in the Disney hit Frozen. Ms. Menzel has also appeared on the children shows, Wonder Pets, and Sesame Street. In 2004, she won the Best Actress in a Musical from the Tony Awards for her role of Elphaba in Wicked. Shortly after her breakthrough role in Rent she launched her debut album: Still I Can’t Be Still. It was met with success gaining her new fans. Her awards are too numerous to list in this article, but she was also honored with the Breakthrough Artist award from the Billboard Women in Music Awards – Get concert tickets here
Her birthplace is variously listed as either in Queens or Syosset New York. What is known that she grew up in Syosset and attended Syosset high school. Her father Stuart was a pajama salesman; mother Helene worked as a therapist. She also has a younger sister, Cara. Her grandparents immigrated from Russia and changed their last name to Mentzel. Idinia changed it again to Menzel to better reflect it’s pronunciation.
Ms. Menzel’s parents divorced when she was only 15. At that time, she began to work as a wedding and bar mitzvah singer. While in high school, she began to explore other music genres such as R&B and Jazz. Idinia, however, trained as a classical music artist.
Critics and authors seem to disagree on her voice type. The critics believe she has a high soprano while those in the author’s camp state that she a mezzo-soprano. Her public doesn’t seem to care so much about labeling her voice type, the just love her.
She married husband Taye Diggs on January 1, 2003. They first met while working for the original Rent production where he played the role of the landlord. Their son Walker Nathaniel Diggs was born on Sept. 2, 2014. The marriage didn’t last though as they divorced on Dec. 3, 2014.
As a Feminist
Ms. Menzel states that she is a feminist and that her favorite roles are those of strong women such as Shelby and Elsa. In 2010, she and her then-husband Taye founded the A Broaderway Foundation, a philanthropic organization to support and provide scholarships for young performers. She is also known to be a proponent of LGBT rights working on many benefits to further the cause.
On March 21, 1999 she held an honorary chair at the Imperial Court of New York’s Annual Charity Coronation Ball. Other honorary chairs that year were held by Elton John, Patti Lu Pone, John Cameron Mitchell, and Robin Strasser. Just as her list of awards is too long for this article so are her many charity activities. She believes in giving back to society.