Ali McManus performing for the crowd at Family Day.
One of our performers for this year’s 17th Annual New York Family Day was Ali McManus, a gifted singer and songwriter who shares her journey this way on her website:
“When you hear Ali McManus’s dynamic vocals, you’d be surprised to know her lung capacity is only 30%. Born 3 months premature and weighing 2lbs 7oz at birth, she was given a 50/50 chance to live. Now 20 years old, the Detroit born singer/songwriter has beaten the odds. A rare bone disorder has left Ali in a wheelchair since the age of 7.
Ali with In Real Life at Family Day.
Legendary producer Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper) produced Ali’s debut album, due for release this fall. “I see her as an artist first. Her pure, authentic voice and magnetic personality light up the room,” he says. “She’s a natural — a true artist with old soul sensibility and a powerful message to share with the world.”
Ali has endured 10 surgeries, halo tractions, steel rods to fuse and straighten her spine, a full body cast, scoliosis, and osteoporosis that leaves her vulnerable to fractures and high-risk surgeries. “I don’t see myself as a person in a wheelchair, though,” Ali says. “I see myself as a regular person who just happens to sit down all day.”
Having spent much of her young life in hospitals, McManus credits music with saving her life. “One song means three minutes of no pain,” she says. “And I can say things with song that I can’t speak in words alone.”
Ali backstage with Jojo Siwa at Family Day.
McManus writes intimate original songs that reflect her life, aiming to connect with others through her lyrics and inspire them with her story.”
We know Ali inspired so many people at this year’s Family Day, and we were honored to have her join us. We wish her all the best with her music career and hope she stays involved with our foundation. Thank you, Ali!