Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles wrote the music and lyrics for Waitress the Musical. She has sold over one million albums and over nine million singles in the US, and has earned 7 Grammy Award nominations, including one for Album of the Year for “The Blessed Unrest” in 2013.

Sara also earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score for Waitress in 2016.

She has also played Jenna Hunterson in the Broadway production on three occasions. From 27 January 2020, she will make her West End debut as Jenna Hunterson in London, alongside Gavin Creel.

Music Career

Sara graduated from the University of California in 2002 and began performing across Los Angeles. She self-released her debut album, “Careful Confessions” in 2004, featuring 6 studio recordings, co-produced with Gabriel Mann, and 5 live recordings. In 2005, she was signed to Epic Records, part of Sony Music, continuing to tour and write for her major label debut. She co-headlined a tour with Jon McLaughlin, visited the UK to support Guster, and opened for Aqualung, Mika, Maroon 5, Paolo Nutini and James Blunt on their US tours.

In June 2007, her debut single, “Love Song,” was released as a free single on iTunes, beginning to generating interest and radio airplay. “Little Voice,” her first album for Epic Records, produced by Eric Rosse, was released on 3 July and debuted at #45, eventually peaking at #7 and selling over a million copies, as well as reading #9 in the UK. “Love Song” peaked at #4 in both the US and UK, and became a huge radio airplay hit single worldwide. Sara continued to tour in support of the album.

In early 2010, “King of Anything,” the first single from Sara’s second album, “Kaleidoscope Heart,” was released. The single sold nearly 1.5million copies in the US, peaking at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100, launching the album to a #1 debut on the Billboard 200. Sara continued to tour, and, in September 2011, became a judge on the NBC show, “The Sing-Off,” replacing Nicole Scherzinger.

An EP, produced by Ben Folds, followed in May 2012, entitled “Once Upon Another Time.” Sara began working on her next album, and announced a tour in support of the record in March 2013. The first single, “Brave,” was released in April 2013, with the album, “The Blessed Unrest,” being released in July. It sold 68,000 copies in its first week of release in the US and debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, whilst “Brave” peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #3 in Australia.

NameSara Beth Bareilles
Born7 December 1979
FromEureka, California
TrainedUniversity of California
RoleMusic and Lyrics
Jenna Hunterson Broadway
Jenna Hunterson West End
Jenna Hunterson Broadway Restating


Sara was approached to work on the musical adaptation of Waitress the Musical by Diane Paulus in early 2013. The first song she wrote for the show was ‘She Used To Be Mine‘, which she wrote after watching the film for the first time. Sara said: “I have never had an experience before where I have written a song and now when I hear the song it makes me cry. It’s been a really interesting experience of channeling these characters’ stories but also finding myself as a listener. I feel more like an audience member than a composer. It’s a new role for me. I worked as a waitress for a long time.- all through my college years, and post-college when I first formed a band. I actually loved being a waitress. It’s hard work, but it’s also really gratifying and social. And that experience has definitely informed some of the Waitress lyrics. I worked at a little beer bar in Santa Monica after I graduated from UCLA. We had regular patrons who came in every single day. It was a unique experience because I knew them, and at the same time didn’t know everything about them. But the bar provided a sense of familiarity and a sense of home.”

She began to premiere ‘She Used To Be Mine‘ in 2014 on the Little Black Dress tour, supporting “The Blessed Unrest.” In April 2015, she reunited with Neal Avron, who had co-produced “Kaleidoscope Heart” to work on “What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress,” collecting some of the songs she had written for the show, recorded “to sound like Sara Bareilles songs.” The album was released on 6 November 2015, and reached #10 on the Billboard 200. Sara performed a one-night-only show to promote the album, entitled An Evening With Sara Bareilles on 5 November 2015.

Playing Jenna

When Jessie Mueller announced she was moving on from Waitress, having originated the role on Broadway and at the American Repertory Theater, Sara was invited to make her Broadway debut as Jenna Hunterson, starring in a 10 week limited engagement from 31 March 2017.

Sara had originally auditioned for the role of Cinderella in the 2012 revival of Into The Woods, a role which was given to Jessie. She returned to play Jenna for a further 6 weeks in January 2018, including 2 weeks of crossover with Jason Mraz playing Dr. Jim Pomatter, with whom she had recorded the duets on “What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress.”

She returned to play Jenna once more in January 2019, for 4 weeks, opposite Gavin Creel. The day after she finished the run on Broadway, she flew to London to meet the West End cast and be there for previews and opening night alongside Diane Paulus.

In January 2020, Sara and Gavin reprised their roles in the West End production of Waitress. The duo played their first performance on 27 January 2020, extending by a week through to 14 March 2020, which ended up being the show’s last performance in London due to the Coronavirus outbreak closing the show ahead of its performance on 16 March 2020.

Amidst The Chaos

Sara’s sixth studio album, “Amidst The Chaos,” was released on 5 April 2019, debuting at #6 on the Billboard 200, preceded by the singles ‘Armor,’ which she performed a segment of acapella at the UK opening night, and ‘Fire’. She also won her first Grammy Award, with ‘Saint Honesty’ receiving the award for Best American Roots Performance, on 27 January 2020 ahead of her first performance at the Adelphi Theatre in London.

Little Voice

On 10 July 2020, “Little Voice,” an original romantic comedy-drama TV series, premiered on Apple TV+, named after her major label debut. The show reunites Sara with Jessie Nelson, who wrote the book for Waitress, and explores “the universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s, the search to find your true voice… and then the courage to use it.” The show stars Brittany O’Grady as Bess Alice King, a singer-songwriter living in New York, balancing her family life and romantic life, whilst attempting to pursue her passion.

On 4 September 2020, Sara released “More Love: Songs From ‘Little Voice’ Season One’, a concept album featuring ten tracks that were used in the TV show. Some were written specifically for the show, some were written earlier in Sara’s career, but didn’t make previous recordings; all of the songs were newly recorded in late July and early August 2020. The album will be released on CD and Vinyl on 6 November 2020.


In August 2020, Sara announced she had been cast in a new TV show, entitled “Girls5eva,” to be executive produced by Tina Fey and created by Meredith Scardino. In October 2020, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps, and Paula Pell were announced as joining the show, with Ashley Park cast in a recurring role. Girls5eva follows a 90s girl group whose career is considered over, until their major hit song is sampled by a rapper and gives them the idea of staging a revival. Sara stars as Dawn, who works at her brother’s Italian restaurant and has a son with her husband. The show premiered on 6 May 2021 on streaming platform, Peacock. In June 2021, the series was renewed for a second season.

Selected Previous Credits

Studio Albums


  • Girls5eva