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Bobby McFerrin

10-time Grammy Award-Winning Musician; Conductor Known For "Don't Worry, Be Happy"

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Bobby McFerrin Biography

For decades Bobby McFerrin has broken all the rules. The 10-time Grammy winner has blurred the distinction between pop music and fine art, goofing around barefoot in the world's finest concert halls, exploring uncharted vocal territory, inspiring a whole new generation of a cappella singers and the beatbox movement. His latest album, "spirityouall," is a bluesy, feel-good recording, an unexpected move from the music-industry rebel who single-handedly redefined the role of the human voice with his a cappella hit "Don't Worry, Be Happy," his collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea and the Vienna Philharmonic, his improvising choir Voicestra, and his legendary solo vocal performances.

It's been the quietest and most polite of revolutions. Bobby McFerrin was always an unlikely pop star. He created a lasting ear-worm of a No. 1 hit early in his career. Then he calmly went back to pursuing his own iconoclastic musical journey, improvising on national television, singing melodies without words, spontaneously inventing parts for 60,000 choral singers in a stadium in Germany, ignoring boundaries of genre, defying all expectations.

Most people don't know that Bobby came from a family of singers. Bobby's father, the Metropolitan Opera baritone Robert McFerrin, Sr., provided the singing voice for Sydney Poitier for the film version of "Porgy & Bess," and his mother Sara was a fine soprano soloist and voice teacher. Bobby grew up surrounded by music of all kinds. He remembers conducting Beethoven on the stereo at three, hiding under the piano while his father and mother coached young singers, dancing around the house to Louie Armstrong, Judy Garland, Etta Jones and Fred Astaire.

He played the clarinet seriously as a child, but he began his musical career as a pianist, at the age of 14. He led his own jazz groups, studied composition, toured with the show band for the "Ice Follies," played for dance classes. Then one day he was walking home and suddenly he understood that he had been a singer all along.

Bobby's history as an instrumentalist and bandleader is key to understanding his innovative approach to mapping harmony and rhythm (as well as melody) with his voice. "I can't sing everything at once," he says, "but I can hint at it so the audience hears even what I don't sing." All that pioneer spirit and virtuosity has opened up a great big sky full of new options for singers; so have Bobby's experiments in multi-tracking his voice ("Don't Worry, Be Happy" has seven separate, over-dubbed vocal tracks; Bobby's choral album "VOCAbuLarieS" (with Roger Treece) has thousands). But virtuosity isn't the point. "I try not to 'perform' onstage," says Bobby. "I try to sing the way I sing in my kitchen, because I just can't help myself. I want audiences to leave the theatre and sing in their own kitchens the next morning. I want to bring audiences into the incredible feeling of joy and freedom I get when I sing."

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FAQs
  • How do I book Bobby McFerrin to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Bobby McFerrin for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Bobby McFerrin, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Bobby McFerrin or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Bobby McFerrin

    Speaking fees for Bobby McFerrin, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Bobby McFerrin are available upon request for live events and $50,000 - $100,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Bobby McFerrin, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Bobby McFerrin speak about?

    Bobby McFerrin is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Activism, Arts & Humanities, Music, Virtual Speakers.
  • Where does Bobby McFerrin travel from?

    Bobby McFerrin generally travels from Please Contact, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Bobby McFerrin’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Bobby McFerrin for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Bobby McFerrin for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Bobby McFerrin or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

10-time Grammy Award-Winning Musician; Conductor Known For "Don't Worry, Be Happy"

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Bobby McFerrin Biography

For decades Bobby McFerrin has broken all the rules. The 10-time Grammy winner has blurred the distinction between pop music and fine art, goofing around barefoot in the world's finest concert halls, exploring uncharted vocal territory, inspiring a whole new generation of a cappella singers and the beatbox movement. His latest album, "spirityouall," is a bluesy, feel-good recording, an unexpected move from the music-industry rebel who single-handedly redefined the role of the human voice with his a cappella hit "Don't Worry, Be Happy," his collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea and the Vienna Philharmonic, his improvising choir Voicestra, and his legendary solo vocal performances.

It's been the quietest and most polite of revolutions. Bobby McFerrin was always an unlikely pop star. He created a lasting ear-worm of a No. 1 hit early in his career. Then he calmly went back to pursuing his own iconoclastic musical journey, improvising on national television, singing melodies without words, spontaneously inventing parts for 60,000 choral singers in a stadium in Germany, ignoring boundaries of genre, defying all expectations.

Most people don't know that Bobby came from a family of singers. Bobby's father, the Metropolitan Opera baritone Robert McFerrin, Sr., provided the singing voice for Sydney Poitier for the film version of "Porgy & Bess," and his mother Sara was a fine soprano soloist and voice teacher. Bobby grew up surrounded by music of all kinds. He remembers conducting Beethoven on the stereo at three, hiding under the piano while his father and mother coached young singers, dancing around the house to Louie Armstrong, Judy Garland, Etta Jones and Fred Astaire.

He played the clarinet seriously as a child, but he began his musical career as a pianist, at the age of 14. He led his own jazz groups, studied composition, toured with the show band for the "Ice Follies," played for dance classes. Then one day he was walking home and suddenly he understood that he had been a singer all along.

Bobby's history as an instrumentalist and bandleader is key to understanding his innovative approach to mapping harmony and rhythm (as well as melody) with his voice. "I can't sing everything at once," he says, "but I can hint at it so the audience hears even what I don't sing." All that pioneer spirit and virtuosity has opened up a great big sky full of new options for singers; so have Bobby's experiments in multi-tracking his voice ("Don't Worry, Be Happy" has seven separate, over-dubbed vocal tracks; Bobby's choral album "VOCAbuLarieS" (with Roger Treece) has thousands). But virtuosity isn't the point. "I try not to 'perform' onstage," says Bobby. "I try to sing the way I sing in my kitchen, because I just can't help myself. I want audiences to leave the theatre and sing in their own kitchens the next morning. I want to bring audiences into the incredible feeling of joy and freedom I get when I sing."

Bobby McFerrin Videos

  • Bobby McFerrin
  • Bobby McFerrin: "SpiritYouAll" | Musicians At Google
  • Bobby McFerrin Extended Interview

FAQs on booking Bobby McFerrin

  • How do I book Bobby McFerrin to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Bobby McFerrin for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Bobby McFerrin, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Bobby McFerrin or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Bobby McFerrin

    Speaking fees for Bobby McFerrin, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Bobby McFerrin are available upon request for live events and $50,000 - $100,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Bobby McFerrin, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Bobby McFerrin speak about?

    Bobby McFerrin is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Activism, Arts & Humanities, Music, Virtual Speakers.
  • Where does Bobby McFerrin travel from?

    Bobby McFerrin generally travels from Please Contact, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Bobby McFerrin’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Bobby McFerrin for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Bobby McFerrin for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Bobby McFerrin or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Bobby McFerrin is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Bobby McFerrin for your event is available upon request. Bobby McFerrin generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Daveed Diggs, Logan Browning, Wyclef Jean, Common and John Legend. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Bobby McFerrin for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Bobby McFerrin Speaker Videos

  • Bobby McFerrin
    Bobby McFerrin: "SpiritYouAll" | Musicians At Google
  • Bobby McFerrin Extended Interview

Bobby McFerrin News

Tell us about your event!

During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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Speakers Similar to Bobby McFerrin

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

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