Donovan Tea was born in Houston, Texas and started singing professionally at age 17 when he won an international vocal competition in Guilford, England. After touring Europe, he returned home to sing at the Hollywood Bowl with the L.A. Master Chorale. At age 18, he became a lead singer for The Young Americans. He appeared in Las Vegas for the first time in 1973, opening for the likes of Sammy Davis, Jr., Rich Little, and Tony Bennett. He also performed for then president Gerald Ford in Washington, D.C.
While with The Young Americans, he guest-starred on NBC’s holiday special Merry Christmas, Fred, From the Crosbys, performing a tap dance number with Fred Astaire and singing backup for Bing Crosby on the song “White Christmas”. In 1977 Donovan began performing as a soloist at the prestigious nightclub The Horn in Los Angeles, opening his career to nightclubs around the country and to performing in the cruise ship industry.
In late 1978 and early 1979, Donovan eventually became a solo production singer at The Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, NV in the revue “Casino De Paris”. It was during his time there that he first met The Lettermen when they attended one of the Dunes shows. He then moved over to The Stardust Hotel as lead production singer in the revue “Lido De Paris” for about four years until 1984, when he heard of the vacancy he now fills in The Lettermen.
Donovan Tea has remained a continuous member of The Lettermen since he joined the group in September of 1984, making him the longest tenured Letterman next to Butala.
Donovan’s favorite things in life are his wife Darla, his children Landry and Lawson, and their home outside of Nashville, TN.