Best known as the creative force behind the animated sitcoms Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show, Seth MacFarlane is also a rabid music enthusiast, frequently using his shows for interpretations of his most beloved show tunes or cracking jokes at Celine Dion's or Rick Astley's expense.
MacFarlane parlayed this love of classic American pop into a parallel career as a non-comedic singer. Fashioning himself after his idol Frank Sinatra, he recorded his debut Music Is Better Than Words with producer/conductor Joel McNeely, working in the same studio where Sinatra cut his classic sessions for Capitol. Music Is Better Than Words earned a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Album, a recognition that provided a stable foundation for MacFarlane the singer. In the years after his debut, he released a new collection of selections from the Great American Songbook every two years or so, regularly topping the Billboard Jazz Albums chart and receiving nods from the Grammys.
MacFarlane's first record was Family Guy: Live in Vegas, a 2005 collection of songs from the show along with some original numbers. In 2009, he sang at the BBC Proms in London during their Celebration of Classic MGM Film Musicals, while 2010 saw him returning for three more shows, including a Christmas-themed concert. In 2011, he released an album filled with standards, Music Is Better Than Words. Far from being received as a novelty, Music Is Better Than Words was an actual hit, peaking at two on the Billboard jazz charts (it reached 111 on the Billboard 200) and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. It was enough of a success to warrant a sequel, which came in the form of Holiday for Swing!, a Christmas record that arrived in September 2014. Holiday for Swing! charted higher than Music Is Better Than Words -- it reached 51 on the Billboard 200 -- and he quickly followed it in October 2015 with No One Ever Tells You, another collection of standards in the Sinatra style. In Full Swing, a sunnier counterpart to No One Ever Tells You, arrived in September 2017.
MacFarlane returned in 2019 with the ballads-oriented set Once in a While, which landed at number six on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. The next year, he released Great Songs from Stage & Screen, a collection of show tunes recorded at Abbey Road Studio with his regular collaborator Joel McNeely. ~ David Jeffries, Rovi