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Sally Dworsky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sally Dworsky
GenresAlt-rock, folk rock, movie soundtracks
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, playback singer
Associated actsUma, Chris Hickey

Sally Dworsky is an American singer-songwriter and playback singer in animated films. In addition to her solo work and co-fronting the alt-rock band Uma, Dworsky served as the singing voice for lead characters in iconic animated films including The Lion King (on "Can You Feel the Love Tonight") and The Prince of Egypt (alongside Michelle Pfeiffer) – both of which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song – as well as Shrek, and The Wizard. She has also recorded or performed with Luther Vandross, R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Diamond and more.

Early life

Dworsky was born to Robert and Shirley Dworsky,[1] and grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota.[2][3] She has one sister, Rabbi Susan Dworsky,[1] and two brothers,[1] pianist Richard Dworsky[4] and former lawyer turned drummer and author Alan Dworsky.[5] Dworsky's family is of Jewish background.[6]


In Minnesota, she was a member of the bands Moore by Four[4][2] and Players.[4] In Moore by Four, her voice was described as "sparkling", "marvellous separately - together [with band members], they're dynamite."[7] She also appeared in lead roles in musicals at the Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis.[4][8]

After moving to California,[4][3] where she appeared in a featured role in the Los Angeles production of Les Misérables,[4][9] she toured with Don Henley as a back-up singer,[4][3][10] and was noted by a reviewer for a "strong solo" in "Sunset Grill".[2] She also recorded back-up vocals in the studio for artists including Neil Diamond,[4] Luther Vandross,[4] Bonnie Raitt,[4] Bob Seger,[4] Paula Abdul,[4] Peter Gabriel,[3] R.E.M. and Midge Ure.

She began performing as a singer in films in The Wizard (1989), and also recorded songs for The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt,[11] and Shrek.[12] As the singing voice of Nala in The Lion King, she sang part of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight",[13] which won the 1995 Academy Award for Best Original Song. One of the songs she recorded for The Prince of Egypt was "When You Believe" (in a duet with Michelle Pfeiffer),[14] which won the 1999 Academy Award for Best Original Song.[15] One reviewer wrote about the song, which was also recorded and released by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, "the film version of the song will move you in a wholly good way ... singers Sally Dworsky and Michelle Pfeiffer convey the hope and amazement every living Hebrew must have felt at hearing Pharaoh's own emancipation proclamation."[14]

In 1991, she gave her first solo performances, in the Twin Cities and in Los Angeles,[4] and followed this in 1997 with a solo album, Habit Trail.[3][16] Ten years later, she released a second solo album, Boxes, about which one reviewer said, "Sally Dworsky weaves a delightful blend of contemporary folk and pop".[17] Dworsky has also performed on A Prairie Home Companion.[18]

Dworsky joined the group Uma (Chris Hickey and Andy Kamman) as a back-up singer after they had signed a record deal with producer Don Gehman's label Refuge, an MCA affiliate, and had begun recording,[3][19] so the album Fare Well (1997) was re-recorded.[3] It got a lot of airplay on KPCC.[19] One reviewer said "the results are appealing harmony-filled folk-rock that could be labeled as Simon & Sally (instead of Garfunkel)",[3] while another commented "the album comes alive only when Sally Dworsky steps up to the mic. Let the girl sing more often."[20]




  • Habit Trail - Sally Dworsky (1997)
  • Start It All Over Again - Sally Dworsky and Richard Dworsky (2006)
  • Boxes - Sally Dworsky (2007)


Other appearances

Filmography & TV Appearances

Awards & Recognition


  1. ^ a b c "Funeral notices: Dworsky, Shirley". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 31 August 2004. p. B6. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Bream, John (23 July 1990). "Passion, musicianship are Henley's hallmarks". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. p. 5B. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Bream, John (13 March 1998). "Musicians en route to Minnesota roots". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. p. E3. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Bream, Jon (3 May 1991). "Dworsky Steps Into Spotlight With First Solo Performances". Star Tribune. Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via
  5. ^ Pfister, Darlene (19 February 1997). "A New Beat". The Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. p. E9. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Habich, John (10 October 1986). "Four is audience's lucky number". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. p. 3C. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  8. ^ Bream, Jon (28 September 1984). "Singer Steele will make pop music debut via two jobs". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. p. 2C. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Dan (3 June 1988). "'Les Miz' Barrels Into Town". The Los Angeles Times. p. 14, pt VI. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  10. ^ Gettelman, Parry (29 June 1990). "Henley faithful to trademark sound". The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida. p. A2. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  11. ^ Seymour, Gene (21 December 1998). "Animated films: Talk about a difficult job". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. 5E. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  12. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. (October 6, 2011). "Dworsky, Sally". Disney Voice Actors: A Biographical Dictionary. Jefferson, NC; London: McFarland. p. 66. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  13. ^ Commander Coconut (1 July 1994). "Play ball, shut up, make better movies". The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida. p. 1, Calendar. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  14. ^ a b Peyton, Jeffrey (24 March 2005). "Don't miss animated retelling of the Exodus". Columbian-Progress. Columbia, Mississippi. p. 4. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  15. ^ a b Welkos, Robert W. (24 February 1999). "Oscar's Big Song Squabble". The Los Angeles Times. p. D1. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Raúl Melo". Archived from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  17. ^ Wakefield, Mare (June 2008). "Ex-soldiers, electrified 'Soul' and 11 more things we loved this month". Performing Songwriter. 15 (110): 29. ISSN 1068-9664. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Prairie Home Companion at Town Hall – April 11, 2008". Rattle My Cage. Archived from the original on July 8, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2009.[unreliable source?]
  19. ^ a b Rauzi, Robin (30 July 1998). "Fanning Out". The Los Angeles Times. p. 54. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  20. ^ Siblin, Eric (8 November 1997). "Letting her hair down". The Gazette. Montreal, Quebec. p. D3. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Music Reviews". News-Press. 26 December 1997. Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via
  22. ^ Hischak, Thomas S.; Robinson, Mark A. (2009). "Can you feel the love tonight?". The Disney Song Encyclopedia. Lanham, Maryland; Toronto; Plymouth, UK: Scarecrow Press. p. 29. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  23. ^ "Play Ball, Shut Up, Make Better Movies". The Orlando Sentinel. 1 July 1994. Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via
  24. ^ "Oscar in Brief". The News Leader. 21 March 1999. Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via
  25. ^ Roland, Tom (1 October 1996). "Epitome of country/rock crossover". The Tennessean. Nashville, Tennessee. p. 4A. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  26. ^ "ASCAP's award-winners". Billboard. 109 (40): 104. 4 October 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
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