You’re probably familiar with her work even if you don’t recognize her name — L.A./Nashville-based singer-songwriter Audra Mae has co-written award-nominated songs for an array of chart-topping artists such as Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson and Miranda Lambert, among others.
The Oklahoma native recently announced a live stream appearance at Honest Ron’s Guitar Shop, 6:30 p.m. June 14 at 1129 N. May Ave. The following night will be a special live homecoming performance at Oklahoma City’s iconic Blue Door, 8 p.m. June 15 at 2805 N. McKinley Ave.
Mae has gained critical praise for her songwriting style and her unique vocal tone, both of which emotively and deftly maneuver multiple styles and genres. Her work has been featured in 21 film and television shows, and she’s further cultivated a broad fanbase with songs that she recorded for popular television shows like The Good Wife and Sons of Anarchy.
In 2018, Mae released the album “Love, Audra Mae,” a love letter to the loyal fans that mean so much to her. It also features songwriting contributions and guest appearances from Laura “LP” Pergolizzi, Julia Karlsson, Paul O’Duffy, Jimmy Harry, Aaron Raitiere, Todd Spadafore, Sean McConnell and Anton Rundberg.
“Not one to be tied to any specific genre, Audra works with the best in country, alternative, rock, hip-hop, traditional pop, EDM and basically every other popular musical form,” the Songwriters Hall of Fame said when it awarded her its Abe Olman Scholarship in 2014.
“Audra Mae and the Almighty Sound is the exciting kind of music that gives us a reason to put on the headphones every night,” said Ear to the Ground of her 2012 album. “Her voice is smoky, sultry, and powerful.”
That album also landed a hit for Miranda Lambert, who released a cover of Mae’s “Little Red Wagon” in 2015.
Mae co-wrote the song “Fall In Line” with Christina Aguilera who performed the hit as a duet with Demi Lovato at the 2018 Billboard Awards. In a special appearance on ABC’s Nashville, Aguilera covered Mae’s “The Real Thing” as well as “Shotgun,” a song Mae wrote with Sean McConnell.
When explaining the two types of songwriters, “the kind that write for money and those that write because it’s fun,” she told the Songwriting Hall of Fame, “When I started working with the latter, that’s when my work got much better. I love collaborating because, when you have writer’s block, it’s important to have someone to bounce ideas off of.”
(Ask nicely, and Mae might tell you more about her great-aunt, Judy Garland — she’s even covered Garland’s signature song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”)
About Audra Mae
Mae grew up playing guitar and piano and performing in local theaters across the Oklahoma City metro area before graduating from Putnam City High School. She attended college at Middle Tennessee State University for a year before moving to Los Angeles with only $20 in her pocket. During her time in L.A., she performed just about anywhere and anytime the opportunity greeted her. During one of those shows, someone from a large publishing company took notice. Soon, she signed a contract with Warner/Chappell Music.
Mae also will be appearing at Honest Ron’s Guitar Shop, where Ron Lira sold Mae her first custom electric guitar made from wormwood (the distinguishable holes in the wood were filled with glitter). The following day marks her return to the Blue Door, a listening room that’s well-known for hosting legendary singer-songwriters Jimmy Webb, Eliza Gilkyson and Arlo Guthrie, among others.
She said she sees the music industry flourishing in Oklahoma and at the center of it is the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO), located in the heart of Oklahoma City’s Bricktown entertainment district. Concert proceeds will benefit ACM@UCO as it prepares students for careers in the music industry through a focused curriculum as well as real-world networking opportunities. For more information about ACM@UCO, visit acm.uco.edu.
~ Press release by Warner/Chappell intern and ACM@UCO student Chandler Elliot.