PASADENA, Calif. (December 1, 2023) Today, illustrious and multi-award-winning performer Audra McDonald was announced as the 2024 Grand Marshal by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Alex Aghajanian. As the embodiment of the theme “Celebrating a World of Music,” Audra McDonald stands as a testament to the global resonance of melodies. Her illustrious career in theater, music and television is a harmonious tribute to the universal language that unites cultures worldwide.
The announcement was a celebratory event, just 30 days before the 135th Rose Parade presented by Honda, attended by Tournament Members, local public figures and community members. Audra made the ceremonial walk down the front steps of Tournament House to the song, “On Broadway” and enthusiastic applause.
Audra McDonald shines as a multifaceted luminary, effortlessly captivating audiences with her talent in theater, music and television, crafting a legacy marked by unparalleled performances and acclaimed portrayals on both stage and screen.
Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two GRAMMY® Awards and an Emmy® Award, in 2015 she received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. Audra won Tonys for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, which also served as the vehicle for her Olivier-nominated 2017 West End debut.
On television, Audra won an Emmy as the official host of PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center and is known for recurring roles on Private Practice, The Good Wife, The Good Fight and The Gilded Age. Her film credits include Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast and MGM’s 2021 Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect. A Juilliard-trained soprano, she maintains a major career as a GRAMMY-winning recording and concert artist. Her latest solo album, Sing Happy, was recorded live with the New York Philharmonic for Decca Gold.
Audra is a founding member of Black Theatre United, a board member of Covenant House International and prominent advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights. Her favorite roles are those performed offstage, as an activist, wife to actor Will Swenson and mother.
Audra will ride in the 135th Rose Parade presented by Honda and join in the pre-game celebration of the CFP Semifinal at the 110th Rose Bowl Game® presented by Prudential, both are held on January 1, 2024.