Women in Music 2018

David Foster Says He Spotted Fiance Katharine McPhee's Talent the Minute He Saw Her on 'American Idol'

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for BVLGARI and EJAF
David Foster and Katharine McPhee attend the Argento Ball for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in association with BVLGARI & Bob and Tamar Manoukian on June 27, 2018 in Windsor, England. 

David Foster is known for having a keen eye for talent, and when he first spotted his now-fiancé Katharine McPhee, 34, on the set of American Idol in 2006, the songwriter behind such hits as Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" and Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire" tells Access Hollywood he knew she was a star in the making.

Foster, 66, told the show on Thursday (July 12) that he was "bragging" back in 2006 when he said the then-22 year-old singer had a "great, great future ahead of her" after she sang Houston's "Nothing." McPhee, who was convinced to try out for Idol by ex-husband Nick Cokas, finished second on season 5 to Taylor Hicks.

But when asked by Access if there was a spark nearly a decade ago when the two first met, Foster said "sure" and tried to pivot the talk to his current Hitman Tour, on which he's joined by Idol alums Pia Toscano and Fernando Varela as well as Shelea Frazier for a show where he plays some of the songs he's been most associated with.

"We're all great, we're all happy, and for some reason the two, one plus one makes four instead of two," Foster said of the intense scrutiny the May-December romance has elicited from the tabloid press when asked about the details of the couple's recent engagement. "It seems like it's interesting news to people, so we're just gonna roll with it." Foster, a father of seven who's been married four times, played piano at McPhee's 2008 wedding to Cokas. 

The 16-time Grammy winner proposed to McPhee on their European vacation earlier this month, and after the internet weighed in, McPhee defended their love in a pointed July 6 tweet. "Y'all should be worrying more about registering to vote and midterm elections than who's marrying me," she said.