UCP/Detroit is honored once again to have Ali McManus (who received a UCP Life Without Limits Award in 2018) singing the anthem for 2020.
Ali’s story is one of compelling talent and an indomitable spirit. When you hear her 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 22 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.
Legendary producer Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper) produced Ali’s debut album. “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.”
While Ali has endured 11 surgeries, halo tractions, steel rods to fuse and straighten her spine, a full body cast, and more, she tells us, “I don’t see myself as a person in a wheelchair. I see myself as a regular person who just happens to sit down all day.”
Ali’s potent musical talent and personal story inspired rock star Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) to join Ali in her exuberant 2019 music video, “Roll This Way,” her personal tribute to “Walk This Way.” “Roll This Way” is an anthem for embracing what makes us different, inspiring people of all backgrounds to live life without limits.
A generous artist who believes in giving back, Ali donates her time and talent to perform for children and charitable organizations. She’s honored to be a performer and Youth Ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the Dick Wagner “Remember the Child” Memorial Fund, the T.J. Martell Foundation, Janie’s Fund, and Ali will be appearing on The Doctors TV show on ABC on February 21, 2020at 10am ET.