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Audra McDonald Responds to TIME Letter, Explains Tony Awards Acceptance Speech

Yesterday, June 9, TIME's Belinda Luscombe wrote an open letter to Audra McDonald titled: "Sorry, Audra McDonald--My Kid Needs His ADHD Meds". Now, McDonald has responded, explaining her Tony Awards acceptance speech from Sunday night, in which she thanked her parents for not putting her on medication.

In her own letter, titled "Why I Thanked My Parents for Not Putting Me on ADHD Medication", McDonald writes:

"The decision of whether or not to medicate a child is a very personal, difficult and subjective one. What works for one child doesn't necessarily work for another. But in the end, as a parent, all that matters is that you do everything within your power to help your child. You sound like a mother who is fiercely dedicated to your child and his wellbeing. My mother is also someone who was -- and still is -- quite fiercely dedicated to her children and their wellbeing. (In fact, she very much wanted to be the one to respond to your letter.)"

She continued: "Last Sunday night, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my parents, who put me on the path that somehow, miraculously led to my standing on that stage, clutching that Tony. I am ashamed to admit that I don't think I had ever truly thanked them for that before...I'm so grateful that in the 90 seconds allotted a winner to say thank you...I was able publicly, from that stage, to look into her tear-filled eyes and acknowledge her struggle and thank her for making that decision. Not for driving me to rehearsals, helping me with my lines or keeping me calm, as you suggest I should have said to her, but for the actual decision she made. That is exactly what I wanted to thank her for, and I did. It was a decision that was very personal and it ended up being the right one for me. It was a moment for and about my parents and their love for me: nothing else and no one else."

Read McDonald's full column on TIME.com.

McDonald just received her 6th Tony Award for Best Performance by and Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for her role as Billie Holiday in LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL. This year's Tony nomination marked McDonald's 8th. With her sixth award, she now holds the record for most Tonys won by an actor, surpassing Julie Harris and Angela Lansbury, with 5 Tony Awards each.

Winner of numerous Tony Awards (Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun,The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess), Audra McDonald has also appeared on Broadway inThe Secret Garden, Marie Christine (Tony nomination), Henry IV, and 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination). A two-time Grammy Award-winner, she has released five solo albums on Nonesuch.

On television, she was recently seen as "Mother Abbess" in NBC's The Sound of Music Live! and played "Dr. Naomi Bennett" on ABC's Private Practice for four seasons. She has received Emmy nominations for A Raisin in the Sun, Wit and her role as official host of PBS's Live From Lincoln Center.

The Juilliard-trained soprano has also appeared on opera stages in Houston and LA and regularly performs with leading orchestras and in concerts with her own ensemble. Her film credits include She Got Problems, Best Thief in the World, It Runs in the Family, The Object of My Affection, Seven Servants and Rampart.

Photo Credit: Heather Wines/CBS



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