Michaelson was born to artistic parents. Her father is composer Carl Michaelson and her mother Elizabeth Egbert is a sculptor and the Executive Director and President of the Staten Island Museum. Michaelson took up piano at age five, and trained until seven at Manhattan’s Third Street Music School, continuing for many more years at the Jewish Community Center of S.I.’s Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute. While there she met vocal coach Elizabeth McCullough, who worked with her through high school. She is a graduate of Staten Island Technical High School and Binghamton University, where she received a degree in theater. Her time at Binghamton is both mentioned in and the backdrop for the song, «The Hat.» She grew up doing a musical theater group called «Kids On Stage». Later in life, she became a director until she decided to pursue her career in music. On September 10, 2008, she opened for Dave Matthews Band’s Stand Up for a Cure charity show at Madison Square Garden. Her set included Die Alone, Breakable, Overboard, Be OK, The Way I Am, Locked Up and some playful covers of Ice Ice Baby and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Theme song. She closed her set with a solo acoustic performance of Over the Rainbow in tribute to the late DMB saxophonist LeRoi Moore.
In the fall of 2008, she opened for Jason Mraz on his Europe tour, touring in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and France amongst others.
A number of Michaelson’s songs have been used in the TV series Grey’s Anatomy. «The Way I Am» was featured in «Six Days (Part 1)» (11 January 2007).»Breakable» was featured in «Staring at the Sun» (16 November 2006). «Corner Of Your Heart» was featured in «Testing 1-2-3» (13 September 2007).»Keep Breathing» was featured on the 17 May 2007 season 3 finale, «Didn’t We Almost Have It All».»Sky», a Joshua Radin song in which Michaelson features was used in season 4 episode 15 «Losing My Mind». «Giving Up», a new song, was featured in the 22 May 2008 season 4 finale, «Freedom».
Three of her songs have also appeared in One Tree Hill. «Masochist» was featured in Season 4, Episode 13: Pictures of You; «Overboard», was used in Season 4, Episode 14: Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers; and «The Way I Am» was used in Season 4, Episode 19: Ashes of Dreams You Let Die. Other appearances include «The Way I Am» and «Breakable» featured in The Real World: Denver. As well as «The Way I Am», «Die Alone» and «Far Away (Untitled)» in The Bad Girls Club.
On Valentine’s Day 2008, Michaelson was the musical guest on Good Morning America, the following day she appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly. She has also appeared on VH1, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The AT&T Blue Room, NPR’s Bryant Park Project and Last Call with Carson Daly where she performed with Joshua Radin.
Her newly released song «Be OK» appears in The House Bunny.
Michaelson has recently recorded a duet with Sara Bareilles called ‘Winter Song’, featured on the ‘The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs’. An animated music video has been released. They performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on December 9, 2008. They performed the song for Jason Lind, who is credited with the discovery of the two artists.