Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago with one brother and parents who were both educators, Michelle grew up in a musical family and was richly saturated with many different music styles and influences. Performing on stage since the age of 4, she has always been grateful for her supportive family. “My parents were always there for me. During all my years of playing violin in orchestra, theater, violin and vocal competitions, commercial jingles and everything in between, they always did the best they could to give me the opportunity to fulfill my dreams.”
Michelle married Tom Murray in 1998 and moved to Hilton Head Island, SC. She released her first album later that year. In 1999, Michelle recorded her second album out of Atlanta, GA. That album featured Jeff Carlisi of the band 38 Special. For the next few years Michelle toured and opened for dozens of major label acts and artists.
In 2004, the Murrays made the big move to Nashville to be in the heart of Music City. Michelle worked with Buddy Cannon’s engineer and producer Butch Carr to release her third album, collaborating with hit songwriters Jim Collins and Stephony Smith. The album includes a tune co-written by Michelle called “With You”. It also features some of Nashville’s top musicians, including Michael Rhodes, John Willis, Greg Morrow, Chris Leuzinger, Russ Paul and Tony Harrell.
In 2012, Michelle released three new singles, “Love Me Like You Love Your Truck”, “Trip Around The Sun” and “It Won’t Be If But When (Sam’s Song).”
“Love Me Like You Love Your Truck” is a fun, sexy tongue-in-cheek romp. The music video for this song was filmed at the Bauer Equestrian Center and Bootleggers Saloon in Yankee Lake, Ohio, and features several vintage Ford trucks ranging from the 1970’s to the 2010 Ford F350 Harley Davidson Edition. It also showcases two monster trucks: Gary Bauer’s Nightmare, which is on set, and footage of Joe Sylvester’s Bad Habit as it broke the world record jump at the 2010 Cornfield 500. The very successful music video for “Love Me Like You Love Your Truck” was directed by Adam Drake and edited by Sunrise Entertainment.
A key project for 2013 is the “My Finish Line” Movie Premier and Music Tour built around the documentary film, “My Finish Line.” Filmed during the 2010 Indianapolis 500, it stars Sam Schmidt and Michelle Murray and tells Sam’s inspirational story of his journey from a nearly fatal racing accident to his life as it is today, facing the challenges of quadriplegic paralysis and being a successful INDYCAR and IndyLights team owner. The film was inspired by the touching song “It Won’t Be If But When (Sam’s Song),” penned by Michelle and fellow Nashville songwriter Paige Logan. “It is one of those songs that captivates and inspires you, bringing a smile to your face and a tear to your eye at the same time,” remarks Caroline Boyce, widow of legendary songwriter Tommy Boyce.
Filming for Michelle’s TV project, “Long Road To Fame”, is also in full swing, as Michelle’s management team has turned her life of “organized chaos” into a television based reality show. “I get asked all the time about what it is like bringing the kids on the road with me. I just laugh and say want to come along??” The series is being produced by Emmy Award winning Sunrise Entertaiment. Find out why Michelle always says, “singing is the easy part!”
Michelle is always involved in many charities and using her talents to give back as much as she can. Michelle has continued her role as a spokesperson for the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. The foundation was begun by Sam Schmidt, currently co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, not long after his accident in the year 2000. “Sam is such an incredible person whose strength and spirit is an inspiration to everyone he comes in contact with and I feel honored to be a part of his foundation.” Michelle has had many events with the INDYCAR Series over the last few years and experienced the ultimate high of celebrating with Sam Schmidt and Dan Wheldon in the Winners Circle at the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Michelle also enjoys being a part of the the INDYCAR Ministries with chaplain Bob Hills. INDYCAR fans will be seeing Michelle at many of the stops on the INDYCAR circuit in 2013.
Michelle has had the priviledge of performing our National Anthem live on national television many times and performed at the Superbowl, Indianapolis 500, and the Masters in 2012 & 2013.
Michelle never forgets to give credit where credit is due. “First and foremost, I’m so thankful for my fans-they are the best! But it takes so many people to make anything a success to run smoothly and it’s so exciting and amazing to see what happens when you put a multitude of talents together.” She will tell you that her thirteen person crew is the backbone of her success, from her remarkably talented band, management, booking agent, wardrobe consultant, photographer and most importantly her nanny. “Being a mother is the most important job in the world to me and it can be overwhelming trying to balance everything. There are many times when I just feel like I’m failing it all and I’m so grateful for the love and support around me, especially those helping with my children. We try to work my schedule around the kids school calendar so they can enjoy being at school and have the opportunity to spend time with their friends. They love traveling and are thrilled every time we go on the bus.” Michelle and her crew saw almost 40,000 miles on the road in one year alone.
After a decade in the making, Michelle is beginning to see the fruits of her labor. With a rock solid foundation built on faith and love, Michelle has four albums under her belt, hundreds of concerts, performing for tens of thousands of people and has graced the cover of several magazines. It has been a “Long Road To Fame” but that has made all the difference.