The Truth About David Foster's Much Younger Wife Katharine McPhee

For decades, David Foster has been the key player behind many of music history's greatest pop classics. From Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" to the score for 1985's St. Elmo's Fire, the 16-time Grammy-winning songwriter and producer has made an indelible mark on the industry. But beyond his career, the 70-year-old Canadian musician's love life has become one of widespread fascination ever since his days as the husband of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Hadid. Following his split from Hadid, Foster married Katharine McPhee — a woman literally half his age.

The 35-year-old singer and actress, who is Foster's fifth wife, has experienced her fair share of drama. Despite reports that she had already separated from her first husband Nick Cokas, McPhee was caught kissing another married man, which made for a messy divorce. Yet while both she and Foster were nursing wounds from their previous heartbreaks, the unlikely couple formed an undeniable connection that led them down the aisle in summer 2019.

But what's McPhee's true claim to fame? Well, she's much more than her new last name, that's for sure.

Katharine McPhee rose to fame as an 'American Idol' runner-up

While American Idol was chock-full of talent in '06, "McPheever" quickly transformed the songstress into one of the season's notorious frontrunners. Her rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" cemented her place in Idol history, but Katharine McPhee ultimately lost the title to Taylor Hicks. In recent years, she's joked about her runner-up status, using the moment to emphasize the importance of voting, but McPhee's time on the competition launched the career — and possibly the love — she has today.

According to People, Foster actually appeared as celebrity coach during McPhee's season, marking the first time the pair met. He helped McPhee prep her performance of Houston's "I Have Nothing," which he co-wrote. Foster told the cameras that "Katharine's got a great, great future ahead of her," and after the finale, McPhee released "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as her first single — a recording produced by Foster himself. On the day they married, McPhee posted a throwback video of their performance, in which she marveled at life's "beautiful coincidences." Perhaps these two were always destined to be together?

Outside the recording studio, Katharine McPhee has found success on screen and stage

In the years after Idol, Katharine McPhee's interests quickly turned to acting. Her underwhelming recording career led her to pursue a career on-screen and onstage. While McPhee earned her first major movie role as a sorority sister in The House Bunny, McPhee found success on the small screen when she landed a lead in NBC's Smash in 2012. Although the critically acclaimed television show only lasted two seasons, the hit showcased both McPhee's vocal and acting talents, paving the way for her role on the action-drama TV series Scorpion and her Broadway debut.

In April 2018, McPhee took on the lead role of Jenna in Waitress. She went on to play the role two more times — once when she debuted the musical at the Adelphi Theatre in London's West End in March 2019, and again when she returned for the musical's final weeks on Broadway.

"I fell deeply in love with this show; I fell in love with my then-boyfriend and later got engaged during this show; I lost my father during this show; I lost my voice in between doing the show; and then I got married during this show," McPhee wrote on Instagram. "There have been so many highs and lows, and yet every night, coming to the theatre to tell this story has never failed me."

Katharine McPhee is an advocate for body confidence after battling an eating disorder

After Idol wrapped, Katharine McPhee revealed the show inspired her to seek help for an eating disorder. For five years, McPhee battled bulimia, during which time she'd throw up as many as seven times a day — the equivalent of "putting a sledgehammer to your vocal cords," she told People.

"When I made it onto American Idol, I knew that food — my eating disorder — was the one thing really holding me back," she said to the magazine. "I was bingeing my whole life away for days at a time So when I got on the show, I said, 'You know what? I can do well in this competition. Let me give myself a chance and just get ahold of this thing.'"

McPhee repaired her fractured relationship with food during a program at the Eating Disorder Center of California that taught her the benefits of intuitive eating. And now, McPhee has learned to love her body no matter what. "I know when I feel best, so I have to fight the times when I don't feel my best," she told Health. "Sometimes I still wanna say something negative, but at the end of the day, I really do love my body. [Even] if it's not in its exact, perfect form, you have to still love it and appreciate it."

We're pretty sure Foster loves and appreciates her for all that she is, too.