Adopted as a baby, Kristi Dawn Chenoweth was born and grew up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa. She has said she is one-quarter Cherokee. Chenoweth sang gospel music as a child.
Chenoweth attended Oklahoma City University, where she earned a BFA degree in musical theatre and a master's degree in opera performance. While at OCU, Chenoweth competed in beauty pageants, and participated in a number of vocal competitions and was named "most promising up-and-coming singer" in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, which came with a full scholarship to Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts.
Two weeks before school started, however, she went to New York City to help a friend move. While there, she auditioned for the 1993 Paper Mill Playhouse production of the musical Animal Crackers and got the role of Arabella Rittenhouse. She turned down the scholarship and moved to New York to do the show and pursue a career in musical theatre.
In 1997, she made her Broadway debut in Steel Pier. She is best known on Broadway for her performance as Sally Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1999), for which she won a Tony Award, and for originating the role of Glinda in the musical Wicked.
Chenoweth's stage work also includes five City Center Encores! productions, Broadway's The Apple Tree in 2006 and Promises, Promises in 2010, as well as Off-Broadway and regional theatre productions.
Chenoweth had her own TV series Kristin in 2001, and has guest starred on many shows, including Sesame Street and Glee, for which she was nominated for Emmy awards in 2010 and 2011.
In 2004, Chenoweth began playing the recurring role of media consultant Annabeth Schott in The West Wing. For her performance, she was nominated twice, along with the cast, for a Screen Actors Guild Award. She appeared in the final two seasons of the program, through 2006.
From 2007 to 2009, Chenoweth played Olive Snook in the television series Pushing Daisies. She was nominated two years in a row for an Emmy Award, winning in 2009 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The series was cancelled after two seasons.
In films, she has played mostly character roles, such as in Bewitched, The Pink Panther and RV. She has also played roles in made-for-TV movies, done voice work in animated films and the animated TV series Sit Down, Shut Up, hosted several award shows and
Kristin has also released several albums of songs. In 2004, she released her second album As I Am, a Christian music album containing various spiritual songs. The album peaked at number 31 on the U.S. Christian Albums Chart.
The same year, Chenoweth gave a concert at Carnegie Hall. On January 19, 2007, Chenoweth performed a solo concert at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, only the third musical theatre star ever to present a solo concert at that location.
The next year, she released her third solo studio album, entitled A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas. The album included a duet with John Pizzarelli and has been her best seller, reaching number 77 on the U.S. Billboard Albums Chart, climbing to number 7 on the U.S. Holiday Albums chart and to number 1 on the U.S. Heatseekers Chart.
In August 2010, travelled to Nashville to record songs for her fourth recording, a country pop album entitled Some Lessons Learned which was released in September 2011. The album contains songs by Diane Warren, Dolly Parton and Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott, among others.
Kristin has also written her memoir, A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages.
For more about Kristin, visit her Website at –