Resume, Bio, Some of the Story so Far

Karen Jacobsen Bio



International  Concert Artist, Songwriter and Professional Speaker, it was Karen Jacobsen’s speaking voice that unexpectedly led to a unique pop culture status. In over a billion GPS and smartphone devices worldwide, including the original Aussie voice of ’Siri’, hers is the voice of reason, telling us where to go and what to do on a daily basis. In real life, through her songs, concert performances and speaking presentations, Karen entertains and inspires people to recalculate their way to their dream destination in life.


In a late 1970’s living room in Mackay, Australia, seven year old Karen Jacobsen saw Olivia Newton-John on television and knew what she was meant to do with her life; to become a professional singer and move to America.




Driven to follow her dream and born to light up the stage, Karen studied in Brisbane where she began her professional career, and on to piano bars, jazz trios and voice-over work in Sydney before moving to New York City with one suitcase becoming an award-winning Singer and Songwriter. Musical career highlights include: sharing the stage with Norah Jones, Neil Sedaka, Jon English, Toni Childs, Cyndi Lauper and Christopher Cross, national anthem performances at major sporting events - Madison Square Garden, Fenway Park, Dodger Stadium, for 80 000 at Giants Stadium for a New York Jets game and at Queensland's Suncorp Stadium for an Australia vs South Africa TriNations International Rugby Game for 52 000.


A prolific songwriter and Recording Artist, Karen has released 12 records on her own label with 2 albums set for release in 2024. Her songs have been licensed to US network television and heard on the Dawson's Creek soundtrack. She is the Composer for musical theatre production  “Perfectly Imperfect” and her one woman musical memoir “Mackay to Manhattan,” which premiered at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre in Australia in September, 2020. 


“Mackay to Manhattan” - A Musical Memoir is a part concert, part motivational journey that leaves Karen’s audiences elevated with powerful insights about their own lives. Her timeless melodic songs, powerful vocals and message “It Is Never Too Late To Recalculate” leave her audiences energized and engaged with their potential.


In 2023 the Misogyny Opus pop-orchestral work was premiered with Karen as soloist together with musicians from the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at co-commissioning partner the MECC's Auditorium.  As composer, Karen set former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's iconic misogyny speech to music  word for word, in 18 movements across different musical styles. The music video of the single Better Standard Than This features 70 equality advocates from around the globe. This acclaimed work was performed at Woodford Folk Festival and released as a full length concept album, nominated for Best Independent Classical Album at the Australian Independent Record (AIR) Awards 2024.




In her first years in New York City, Karen auditioned to record a text to speech voice system, having no idea it would take her voice to every corner of the globe. From that one voice-over booking she created her empowerment brand The GPS Girl®, giving directions for life and business and showing how to navigate change powerfully with the 5 Directions for Recalculating process.


An International Speaker and Concert Performer, both live and virtually, she shares her universal message as opening and closing keynote speaker at national and international events across multiple industries including finance, health, education, travel, real estate, as a TEDx Speaker and Global Artist in Residence at High Point University. Karen has also enjoyed wide international media coverage, and was told she had made it when named as a clue in The New York Times crossword puzzle. Harry Connick Jr called her “hypnotic” on his national US talk show and media highlights include: NBC Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, CBS Early Show, Sunrise, NY Daily News, Great Big Story, Glamour magazine and being named one of People Magazine's Most Intriguing People.


An Author, Karen has written two journal style books; The GPS Girl's Road Map for Your Future, and Recalculate - Directions for Driving Performance Success.


Karen, her husband and growing son thought they were coming to Australia from their New York City home of 20 years for a few weeks to visit family at the beginning of the pandemic. Recalculating everything and coming full circle, they find themselves as locals in the glorious Whitsundays, the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, North Queensland, Australia.


Since 2022 as a Founder of the Whitsundays Songwriter Festival, Karen is active in developing the arts and culture presence in the region, presenting the annual festival providing opportunities for the next generation of songwriters. She regularly showcases the beauty of the Whitsundays region in her lush music videos.


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