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Birth name Maureen Anne McDonald
Origin Detroit, Michigan
Genres Pop
Years active 2006 - present

Maureen Anne McDonald (from Detroit, Michigan) better known as MoZella is an American songwriter and recording artist. Along with her own artist success, Mozella co-wrote the Miley Cyrus Billboard #1 "Wrecking Ball".

Some of MoZella's other notable co-writes include Kelly Clarkson's 2017 single "Love So Soft", "One Call Away" by Charlie Puth, Ellie Goulding's "Don't Panic", "Holding on for Life", and "We Can't Move to This" from Goulding's album Delirium (co-written with Goulding and Greg Kurstin), "Speechless" from Rachel Platten's Columbia released Wildfire, "Dancing in the Dark" by Rihanna for the DreamWorks animated movie HOME, "Bright" by Echosmith, "Feels Like Vegas" with Tinashe, and "Take You High" off Kelly Clarkson's 2015 album. Madonna and MoZella co-wrote 11 of the 19 tracks on the album Rebel Heart, including the single "Living for Love" with Diplo, Ariel Rechtshaid, and Toby Gad.

Crossing genres into film, television and theatre, she co-wrote "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody" with Goonrock and Fergie for Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby". In early 2014 she continued her work with Baz Luhrmann, penning "A Beautiful Surprise" with David Foster for Luhrmann's musical theatre adaption of his cult classic film "Strictly Ballroom".

Mozella's more recent TV sync success is the usage of her song "Love Is Endless" in the 2015 McDonald's "Archenemies" campaign. Beginning April 2015, Chase Bank will be using her song "Can't Get Enough" for their new commercials in the US. Some of the brands that have used MoZella's music in their branding include Chrysler, Verizon, Microsoft, Jeep, Amazon, Mercedes Benz, JC Penney, Aqua Fresh and many more.[citation needed]

Mozella has released three full-length albums, I Will (Warner/Maverick, 2006) and Belle Isle (Universal/Motown, 2009), and "The Brian Holland Sessions" on Belle Isle Records, as well as three EPs, MoZella (Warner/Maverick, 2005), The Straits EP (Universal/Motown, 2009) and The Love EP (Universal/Motown, 2010).[1][2]

Early life

Mozella was raised in Livonia, Michigan, where she first got her start as a performer booking her own gigs in coffee houses at age 15.[3] Immediately after graduating from high school, she set out for Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. She took a day job decorating cakes, leaving her free to perform at coffee houses in the evenings. In 2002, MoZella was invited to England to write and record with Tim Saul, producer for Portishead.[citation needed] After she spent six months in Europe, she returned to Los Angeles when label interest was building.[4]

Music career

Warner/Maverick Records

Mozella signed to Madonna’s Maverick Records in July 2003. In 2004, when Maverick was absorbed into Warner Bros. Records most of their artists were dropped, however, Mozella was amongst a select few who survived the merger. In July 2005, she released her self-titled debut EP on Warner/Maverick Records. Then, in November 2006, she released her full-length debut I Will (produced by Jude Cole) on the same imprint. I Will was well received by fans and critics alike. even called MoZella, "One of the best things to come out of pop music this year."[5]

Universal/Motown Records

Mozella signed to Universal/Motown Records in July, 2008. She immediately enlisted multiple producers for her second album, including Marty James, Jimmy Harry, Tony Kanal, Sunny Levine, and Smidi. ‘The Straits EP’ was released on July 7, 2009 on Universal/Motown Records. On October 20, 2009, her album Belle Isle was released.[6]

The Brian Holland Sessions on Belle Isle Records

Mozella released The Brian Holland Sessions on July 24, 2012. She co-wrote the album with legendary Motown songwriter Brian Holland of the famous trio Holland-Dozier-Holland. It was co-produced by Dave Wilder. On July 26, 2012 Mozella performed a song from The Brian Holland Sessions on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She was also interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered. The album has been mentioned or featured in,,, and


Following her Warner/Maverick debut in 2006, MoZella toured the U.S. with Tyler Hilton, Dave Matthews Band, Lifehouse, Five for Fighting, Daniel Powter, Michelle Branch, and Colbie Caillat.[3]

Film and TV placement

Licensing: Her songs have been featured in countless movies, trailers, and television series' including Fringe, The Closer, The City, Castle, The Hills, Bones, One Tree Hill, Love Bites, The Biggest Loser, American Idol, etc. Her song "More of You" was prominently featured in the first episode of Pretty Little Liars and on the soundtrack. She's also had multiple syncs in Grey's Anatomy.

She has written and recorded numerous songs used in commercials including "Amazed" for Mercedes Benz, "Thank You" and "Let’s Stop calling It Love" for Nivea, "Magic" which was featured in Verizon's "iDon't" Motorola Droid campaign. "This is Love" and "Glow" were used in the 2011 and 2013 JC Penney holiday TV advertisements. Her song "Love is Endless" was featured in the ads and synced in the Katherine Heigl romantic comedy Life As We Know It (and on the soundtrack). In 2012, MoZella's cover of "Some Like It Hot" (made famous by Marilyn Monroe) was used for the Carl's Jr./Hardees "Drive-In" ad; the ad featured model Kate Upton and a Southwest patty melt. In recent years, her songs have been sync'd by Special K, Nestle, Tesco, Oral B, Amazon, Aqua Fresh, and others. Her songs are currently featured in ads for McDonald's, Verizon, Chase Bank, Chrysler, Microsoft, and more.


  • Mozella EP (2005)
  • I Will (2006)
  • The Straits EP (2009)
  • Belle Isle (2009)
  • The Love EP (2010)
  • "The Brian Holland Sessions" (2012)

Songwriting credits

MoZella has penned songs with and for Miranda Cosgrove, Shontelle, and co-wrote "Undone" and "Oh My" feat. B.o.B with American Idol finalist Haley Reinhart for her debut album Listen Up! She co-wrote Fergie's A Little Party Never Killed Nobody with Goonrock for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby movie. In 2013, MoZella co-wrote Miley Cyrus' first Billboard number 1 "Wrecking Ball" with production helmed by Dr. Luke along with "FU" and "Someone Else" on Miley's acclaimed album Bangerz. Mozella also co-penned (along with Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic) the song "Tumbling Down" for the American The Voice season 5 winner Tessanne Chin. Mozella co-wrote "Secrets" and much of Mary Lambert's forthcoming album Heart On My Sleeve.

She has worked with Rihanna for the DreamWorks animated move HOME, Kelly Clarkson, and Madonna on her album Rebel Heart, in particular its lead single "Living For Love"

Songs written

Artist Album Song Co-written with
Haley Reinhart Listen Up! (2012) "Oh My!" (feat. B.o.B) Haley Reinhart, Rob Kleiner, Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr.
"Undone" Haley Reinhart, Rune Westberg
Christina Grimmie With Love (2013) "Get Yourself Together" Rune Westberg, Haley Reinhart
Miley Cyrus Bangerz (2013) "Wrecking Ball Dr. Luke, Stephan Moccio, Sacha Skarbek, Kiyanu Kim, Henry Walter
"FU" (feat. French Montana) Miley Cyrus, Rami Samir Afuni, Karim Kharbouch
"Someone Else" Miley Cyrus, Michael L. Willams II, Pierre Ramon Slaughter, Timothy Thomas, Theron Thomas
Tessanne Chin Count on My Love (2014) "Tumbling Down" Ryan Tedder, Noel Zancanella, Peter Svensson
Echosmith Talking Dreams (2014) "Bright" Echosmith, Jeffery David
Mary Lambert Heart On My Sleeve (2014) "Secrets" Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse, Benny Cassette
"Heart On My Sleeve" Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse, Benny Cassette
"Sum of Our Parts" Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse, Benny Cassette
"Monochromatic" Mary Lambert
"Wounded Animal" Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse
"So Far Away" Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse, Benny Cassette
Tinashe Aquarius (2014) "Feels Like Vegas" Tinashe, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Jeffrey Johnson Jr.
One Direction Four (2014) "Fool's Gold" Jamie Scott, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne
Kelly Clarkson Piece by Piece (2015) "Take You High" Jesse Shatkin
Madonna Rebel Heart (2015) "Living for Love" Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Ariel Rechtshaid
"Unapologetic Bitch" Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Ariel Rechtshaid
"Illuminati" Madonna, Toby Gad, Larry Griffin, Jr., Mike Dean
"Bitch I'm Madonna" (feat. Nicki Minaj) Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Ariel Rechtshaid
"Hold Tight" Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Uzoechi Emenike
"Joan of Arc" Madonna, Toby Gad, Larry Griffin Jr.
"Iconic" (feat. Chance the Rapper and Mike Tyson) Madonna, Toby Gad, Larry Griffin Jr., Chancellor Bennett, Dacoury Natche, Michael Tucker
"Body Shop" Madonna, Toby Gad, Larry Griffin Jr., Dacoury Natche, Michael Tucker
Rebel Heart - Deluxe Edition (2015) "Best Night" Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Ariel Rechtshaid
"Veni Vidi Vici" (feat. Nas) Madonna, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Toby Gad, Ariel Rechtshaid
"S.E.X." Madonna, Toby Gad, Larry Griffin Jr.,
One Direction Made in the A.M. (2015) "Perfect" J Kash, John Ryan, Julian Bunetta, Jesse Shatkin, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson
Charlie Puth Nine Track Mind (2015) "One Call Away" Charlie Puth, DJ Frank E, Shy Carter, Breyon Isaac, Matthew Prime
A Great Big World When The Morning Comes (2015) "Oasis" Ian Axel, Chad King
Ellie Goulding Delirium (2015) "Don't Panic" Ellie Goulding, Greg Kurstin
"We Can't Move To This" N/A
"Holding On For Life" Ellie Goulding, Greg Kurstin
Rihanna Home (2015) "Dancing In The Dark" Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Ester Dean
Rachel Platten Wildfire (2016) "Speechless" Rachel Platten, Nolan Lambroza
Martina Stoessel Tini (2016) "Still Standing" / "Sigo adelante" Lindy Robbins, Jason Evigan
Shura Nothing's Real (2016) "What's It Gonna Be?" Aleksndra Yakunina-Denton, Greg Kurstin, Joel Pott
"Tongue Tied" Aleksndra Yakunina-Denton, Greg Kurstin
Lea Michele Places (2017) "Anything's Possible" N/A
Robin Schulz Uncovered (2017) "OK" (feat. James Blunt) Robin Schulz, Steve Mac, James Blunt
Kelly Clarkson Meaning of Life (2017) "Love So Soft" Priscilla Renea, Jesse Shatkin


  1. ^ Mitchell, Gail (August 7, 2009). " Q&A: EMI Music Publishing's 'Big' Jon Platt". [1]. Retrieved 08/07/2009.
  2. ^ "MoZella Album Cover" (September 8, 2009). [2]. Retrieved 09/08/2009.
  3. ^ a b Adams, Lauren; Benaym, David; and Tidwell, Danny (Summer 2006). "Discovering Mozella". Movmnt Magazine. Pages 60-63.
  4. ^ Frazer, Bear (May/June 2007). "MoZella: Decorating Cake and Sharing It Too". Skope. Page 40.
  5. ^ Brown, Marissa."MoZella: I Will". [3]. Retrieved 09/08/2009.
  6. ^ "MoZella Album Wraps" (March 7, 2009). [4]. Retrieved 09/08/2009.
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