Olly Murs Stops By CHOA Before Opening For One Direction!

While the boy band, One Direction, invaded Atlanta, GA this week, the group’s opening act, Olly Murs, charmed the American crowd waiting for him at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!  Murs, 2nd place X Factor UK 2009 winner, Double Platinum recording artist, co-host of Xtra Factor UK, author of “Happy Days”, and supporter for the charity, Brainwave, delighted the patients and staff at The Voice with his quick wit, amazing vocals, and enchanting accent.

Arriving in a big, white, personalized “Olly Wagon,” (see the pictures below!) Murs brought contagious joy to The Voice.  Everyone was smitten with the English gent.  Olly spent 45 minutes telling stories, beatboxing, and singing with patients who could not get enough of the 28-year-old performer.  Sporting one of the signature hats that gained him fame on X Factor UK, Olly gave insight into his current hit, his feelings about the fast paced U.S., and his tour with One Direction!

He told us that he is like the “big brother” on tour with the 1D boys.

“I never expected, in my wildest dreams, that I would be coming to America.”

We learned his favorite movie is “The Goonies” and his inspiration for beatboxing was Justin Timberlake (see the video recap below to check his skills out)!

During Olly’s audition for X Factor, he received a glowing thumbs-up from the show’s creator and judge, Simon Cowell, who said, “I really, really like you.  You are very, very, very cool!”  That sums up our feelings exactly!   Murs makes our Heart Skip A Beat!

Olly’s first American CD comes out on September 25, 2012! It will be a “happy day” when he returns to The Voice in Atlanta!
A big thank you to Mamie Shepherd for this recap and all of our incredible interns for their hard work and dedication!

Gavin DeGraw Creates Many Memorable Moments At CHOA!

Things got a little bit “Sweeter” when singer Gavin DeGraw came to The Voice at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta while on tour with Colbie Caillat and Andy Grammer!

Gavin delighted patients and fans when he appeared wearing one of his signature hats! When asked about his topper collection, Gavin said that he, “Brings a handful of hats on tour.”  This popular recording powerhouse, and recent Dancing With The Stars contestant, told us, “The hat is a very personal thing – it has to fit you a certain way.  It has to be the right amount of brim for the right amount of head.”  With a vast collection of hats, Gavin told the patients that he has been collecting for a while! “It started when I came out of the womb, when I had a cold head!”

Patients were overjoyed when Gavin sang the title track from his album “Chariot.” He also sang his hit song “Not Over You” off of his most current album, “Sweeter” (see video below).

“For me, it’s my passion – playing music.  I still view this as a dream job. I got really lucky.”

                                                                   – Gavin DeGraw

One of the most touching moments was when Gavin passed out a musical note bead he brought for patients who are a part of the Beads of Courage program.  Beads of Courage offers “supportive care” for very sick patients and Gavin supports its cause – he even carried beads with him on Dancing With The Stars! This program “provides arts-in-medicine for children with serious illness.”

For sure, The Voice at Children’s has one message for Gavin DeGraw…Come back!  We’re “Not Over You!”

A big thank you to Mamie Shepherd  (one of our great CHOA interns) for her amazing recap (and video) of Gavin’s visit!

The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Welcomed the Atlanta Falcons!

“Thrilling Thursday” at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta kicked off with excitement when 31 Atlanta Falcons players stopped by for a visit! Some of those players came by The Voice to talk about everything from their insane love of shoes to what a typical training day for them is like.

Cody Pearcy, Phillip Manley, Pat Schiller, Lamar Holmes, Rico Council, and Kenny Stafford dropped by the studio to tackle an interview and greet some patients.

The players told patients how they practice from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. every day and how extremely competitive they are. We put their competitive skills to the test with a little game of “Guess What?!” – and they thought boot camp had not started yet!  After a quick draft of potential players, the teams were set and ready to up their winning percentage. The patients loved watching the athletes describe words to one another (See the video below.)

After a close game, the players were put through another intense round of rapid-fire questions where we learned that some of them sing Taylor Swift songs in the shower. Other players own as many as 65 pairs of shoes!

When asked advice for future football stars, these Falcons had great suggestions.

Tips on how to become a pro athlete from pro athletes:

1.    Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.  Be persistent and persevere.
2.    Be coachable – listen to your coaches!
3.    Don’t work on what you’re good at, work on what you’re not good at.
4.    When you get an opportunity, take it!
5.    Stay focused.

The Voice at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta definitely scored a touchdown by having these players come by. The Voice at CHOA has the home field advantage with such inspiring role models representing Atlanta.  Thanks to the Atlanta Falcons for taking time to come by.  Your fans at The Voice say “RISE UP!”  We will be cheering you on this season!
A big thank you to our wonderful CHOA intern, Mamie Shepherd, for this great visit recap!


Chris Rene Hangs Out At CHOP!

Chris Rene stopped by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and was greeted with open arms by the patients. Chris took the time to get to know the patients at CHOP and open up about his love for music, his experience on X Factor and his life after the competition.

Chris first became interested in music when he was very young and would play on a plastic guitar.  It wasn’t until he turned 12 years old that he got his first real electric guitar.  He decided to take formal guitar lessons and then moved on to take drum lessons from his older brother.  He told the patients that if he could ever create an instrument, he would make one that combined the guitar, piano and drums all in one!

He started performing at a young age and the first time he played on a stage was at a bar. He laughed about this experience because he was not old enough to be at the bar and had to leave right after his performance! The band he was in when he was younger included his brother and best friends (they all lived next to each other). They would always play at events together while their mothers sold t-shirts.

When Chris went on the X Factor he was both excited and nervous.  He would sometimes doubt his performance after he left the stage but then would reassure himself that he did a good job when he watched the show back later.  He has remained friends with a lot of the contestants from the show and keeps in touch with them through twitter (he does all of his own tweets: @MrChrisRene).

The patients asked him how he came up with “Young Homie” and he explained that it was inspired by his own past experiences.  He let everyone know that he is almost done with his CD and that the new song he will be releasing is “Trouble.”

Before he left, Chris was asked to play a game of “Would You Rather.”  From the game the patients learned that he would rather live in an Apple Store than a Starbucks (he loves video games!) and he would rather share a dorm room with Batman than Spiderman (he loves his cape and cool gadgets).

We want to extend a big thank you to Chris for helping make it a special day at the hospital.  Check out all the great pictures taken during his visit as well as a FOX news piece segment that recaps his time at CHOP!

3-Year-Old Waiting For Heart Transplant Gets His Wish: MyFoxPHILLY.com

Carly Rae Jepsen makes her first trip to the studio at CHOP!

Carly Rae Jepsen was greeted by many excited patients at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia last week. This was Carly’s first visit to a RSF studio and while visiting she took the time to answer a lot of patient questions and sing!

The patients interviewed Carly and got to learn about her musical journey up until this point.  Carly, who was 7 years old when she first performed on stage, sang “Beauty and the Beast” while her dad played guitar. It was not until she was 17 years old that she purchased her first guitar and learned how to play the basic chords. Once she learned how to play, the first song she wrote was a love letter to her crush.  Carly was always performing in a variety bands (one was a swing dancing band) and was always playing music when not working at the local coffee shop.

Carly’s parents and family are very important to her. Both of her parents are teachers and are both very musical and encouraged her to follow her dreams at an early age.

Carly also talked about her first real big break…Canadian Idol.  Canadian Idol is just like American Idol but takes place in Canada.  During her time on the show (she placed 3rd) she was living in a mansion with her fellow contestants. She let the patients in on a little secret… before she would go on stage she would always listen to Corine Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” for motivation.

After Carly sang the chorus to “Call Me Maybe” she talked about what inspires her when she is writing songs.  Most of her songs, she explained, come from listening to the people around her.  In fact, she has written three songs based on conversations about one of her friend’s love life!

When the patients asked Carly what she likes to do when she was not performing she said that she loves reading and baking. She loves being in the recording studio so much though, that she will often spend as much time there as possible.

Carly is still deciding on what her next single will be.  She is a little nervous about all the attention that has been put on this album (because it is all so new for her) but is very excited to continue to do what she loves!

The patients at CHOP were so happy to spend time with Carly and we thank her for stopping by and hanging out!

The Wanted Makes Their Second Visit to CHOP!

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia welcomed The Wanted back for their second visit to the hospital! The patients were so excited to spend time with the band before they opened this year’s Q102 Springle Ball concert!

The guys took the time to perform “Glad You Came” for the patients, sign autographs, take pictures and answer some questions.  They talked about their experience in the United States so far and how rewarding it has been. They never could have imagined that the everyone would be as receptive to their music as they’v been and the band has loved their time here. One of their favorite experiences so far has been performing on American Idol.

The patients had another wonderful experience with The Wanted and we want to extend a big thank you and invite for them to come back and hang out any time!

Nickelback Creates Smiles At CHOP!

Nickelback stopped by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia last week and the patients greeted the band with open arms (and hugs)!  Check out the great pictures from their visit below!

After the visit, Nickelback wrote on twitter:

“WOW! @RyanSeacrest has this place DIALED! Full studio wired 2 all the rooms in the hospital 4 every kid to see & hear! Thanks 2 the wonderful staff @ChildrensPhila & @RyanFoundation 4 having us today! These kids are the real rockstars! These amazing kids are an inspiration to all of us! @RyanSeacrest keep up the good work with the @RyanFoundation!!”

Thank YOU, Nickelback, for making it such a special and memorable day at CHOP!

Selena Gomez Named Ambassador to Ryan Seacrest Foundation

We are thrilled to announce that Selena Gomez is joining the Ryan Seacrest Foundation as our first ambassador.  Selena has been an amazing supporter of our foundation and has brought smiles to countless faces at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  We are so excited she will continue to do so at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Boston Children’s Hospital, where we will build three new broadcast media centers.

“From the beginning, I could tell that Selena really understood our mission. I’m so grateful that she’s decided to take on this larger role with us, joining our efforts to bring hope and spirit to seriously ill and injured kids,” said Seacrest, founder and chairman of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. “With her as ambassador, we will continue to expand our programs at children’s hospitals throughout the country.”

Selena was on Ryan’s radio show today and spoke about her experiences with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation and her excitement about joining our team. To watch the full interview about all the great things she is doing click HERE.

The Fresh Beat Band Stops By CHOA!

The Fresh Beat Band stopped by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta bringing smiles to all of their happy fans! Arriving with posters, CD’s and lots of goodies, the patients were so excited to get autographs from the group.  The band even took time to sing with a four-year old patient (who knew all the words to the song).

When asked about touring, the band let the patients know that they travel all around the country on one bus. If they are ever feeling tired from all the traveling they are immediately energized by the cheers of their fans. So if you are a fan of The Fresh Beat Band, like we are, remember to cheer loudly at their next show!

The Fresh Beat Band left the patients with some inside scoop…sometimes the producers use the actors’ hidden talents in the episodes.  We thought that was really cool!

It was such a great day at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. We wanted to thank the band for stopping by and we hope they visit again soon!

Hot Chelle Rae Welcomed Back To CHOP!

Hot Chelle Rae stopped by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for their second visit to the studio.  Patients welcomed the band back with open arms and were very excited to hear about everything they had been doing since they last visited.  The band was thrilled to return for another interview before playing (that evening) at their first ever sold out Philly show.

Hot Chelle Rae has had a busy year, having played a show in Australia with Taylor Swift (one of their favorite shows) and winning an American Music Award! They are so grateful for all of the support they have received.

They talked to the patients about their music, letting them know that they are inspired to write songs from many things and that song ideas can come from anywhere.  Most of their inspiration comes from touring, traveling and meeting fans.  Once they have an idea for a song they all work together to write it.  After the song is complete they listen to their fans and know if the song will be a huge hit depending on how the fans cheer at their concerts.

From the interview we also learned that all of the guys’ parents are on Facebook and Twitter (it is how their parents check up on them.) They also shared that when touring, they always ask for peanut butter and jelly and sliced pineapple in the green room.   The bandmates also had some interesting hobbies: Ian juggles and is a photographer, Ryan draws and golfs, Jamie golfs and play baseball and Nash plays a lot of instruments.  In fact, they all love instruments so much that they collect guitars when they travel and now have 13 different guitars on the road with them.

The band let everyone at CHOP in on a little secret… they are all obsessed with Katy Perry and would love to work with her one day (as well as with The All-American Rejects, who stopped by CHOP the very same day they did.)

A big thank you to Hot Chelle Rae for helping make it such a special day at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia! We hope they return for another visit soon!