In The Spotlight: Idina Menzel

April 2, 2014
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On a normal day, we’d ask John Travolta to do the honors of announcing our “In The Spotlight” artist but we aren’t prepared to deal with round two of his Oscar’s mispronunciation. Travolta might not know how to pronounce her name but we can definitely recognize her voice from a mile away!  Recently, Idina Menzel has become a household name and we just can’t let it go (HA, see what I did there?)!

At 42 years old, Idina Menzel has been attempting to establish a career in the pop music industry since 1996. After starring in “Rent” on Broadway, she debuted with a contract from Hollywood Records. Four years later, Menzel would appear again with a Warner Brothers album. Poor sales and the inability to be properly marketed led to Menzel being dropped by both labels. But you know what they say about Disney, right? When you wish upon a star…

Transferring from New York City to Arendelle, Menzel found her place (or at least her voice) as Elsa, the misunderstood ice princess in “Frozen.” The film’s box office earnings exceeded $1 billion, making it the top-grossing original animated film of all time. The astonishing box-office numbers weren’t the only impressive feature of the film’s performance. The soundtrack spent six nonconsecutive weeks atop the Billboard chart and became the first soundtrack to sell over one million copies in 2014. With tracks such as “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” “For the First Time in Forever” and “Let It Go,” the soundtrack’s success isn’t surprising. “Let It Go” won the Oscar for Best Original Song this year and made Manzel the first Tony-winning actor to have a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. I think that deserves a standing ovation!

After appearing on the Oscars and falling victim to John Travolta’s mispronunciation skills, Idina Menzel flew back to New York to visit one of our favorite people—Jimmy Fallon, on “The Tonight Show.” Idina, Jimmy and The Roots performed a toy-instruments version of “Let It Go,” posted below, and absolutely killed it! The video has gained over 9 million views on YouTube. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on “Let It Go.”

While Menzel made her mainstream mark in “Frozen,” she’s switching gears again and headed back to Broadway. She’s currently starring in “If/Then,” a new show about a woman in her 40’s who is entering one of life’s crossroads. Like her character, Menzel has entered the crossroads of mainstream fame and Broadway star. Our entire team is anxious to see how things play out. Are you? Did you love Frozen? Are you a Fanzel? Send us a tweet at @weknowthedj and share your thoughts!

Meg C (@meganciampo)

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