About the First Lady of Denver

Mary Louise Lee headshot photo A proud Denver native, Mary Louise Lee is honored to serve the city as Denver’s First Lady. A performer-at-heart, Ms. Lee began singing at the age of three and is well known in Denver, and Colorado for her extensive contributions to the performing arts community.

With more than 20 years of professional performing experience, she continues to captivate audiences with her incredible voice, and theatrical skills on stage. She has been pleased to use her role as First Lady to introduce children and youth to the benefits of the performing arts.

Ms. Lee’s goal is to help steer them to make positive life choices and understand the positive impact the arts can have on one's career.

When not on stage, Ms. Lee spends her time growing her foundation, Bringing Back the Arts, which combines her passion for arts and education. Whether working with students or seniors, she is a dedicated ambassador for exposing all to Denver’s vibrant arts and cultural communities.

Mary Louise Lee has been married to Mayor Michael B. Hancock for 25 years and says her most important role is that of mother to their two children, Jordan, and Janae.

Bringing Back the Arts Foundation

It is no secret that Music, and Art programs have been systematically cut from schools across the country. Mary Louise Lee recognizes the important value these programs bring to young, developing minds. She established Bringing Back the Arts to ensure students in Denver schools have the opportunity to be exposed to various music, arts, and cultural programming. Ms. Lee, and the Bringing Back the Arts volunteers work to raise funds to create programming opportunities for Denver youth to experience the tremendous value in music education, visual arts, and theatre.

To learn more about Bringing Back The Arts, and how you can encourage and support future superstars, visit BringingBackTheArts.com, or contact DeMarcio Slaughter at demarcio@bringingbackthearts.org.

Notable Performances

Watch Mary Louise Lee sing 'Fools Fall in Love' with the cast of 'Million Dollar Quartet'


First Lady's BBTA Music Competition Commercial



  • Founder and lead singer of the Mary Louise Lee Band – R&B, Top 40, Contemporary Jazz and Soul
  • America’s Got Talent contestant America’s Got Talent contestant 
  • Winterpark Jazz Festival performer 
  • Zulu Lundi Gras Festival performer in New Orleans 
  • Taste of Colorado
  • 2011 Colorado Remembers 9/11 Concert
  • 2011 Opening Day at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
  • 2004 & 2008 National Democratic Conventions
  • Colorado Governor Bill Ritter's Inaugural Gala
  • 2008 Colorado State Senate Opening Ceremony
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Responsibility Luncheon
  • Several Denver Nuggets games
  • The opening of the Red Rocks Visitor Center
  • Toured Korea, Japan, Johnston Island, Honduras and Panama entertaining U.S. Troops for the Department of Defense


  • “Grace” in Annie – After thought Theatre
  • “Glinda” in The Wiz – Afterthought Theatre
  • "Powerwoman" in Menopause the Musical - Denver Civic Theatre
  • "Charlene" in Ain't Misbehavin' (Top of the Rockies 2005, "Best Actress/Musical")
  • "Narrator" in Beehive - Country Dinner Playhouse
  • "Smokey Joe's Café" - Theatre Aspen
  • "Geneva" in 1940's Radio Hour - Arvada Center
  • "Billie Holiday" in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill (Westword 2003, "Best Actress in a Musical") – Shadow Theatre
  • Nominated by the Denver Post in 2005 for the Denver Post Ovation Award for “Best Year for an Actress”. 
  • National credits include: A Brief History of White Music, Beehive and Up On the Roof (Denver Drama Critics Circle 89-90 "Best Performance by Actress/Musical”).