Happy Birthday to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation!

We are happy to announce that the Ryan Seacrest Foundation is a year old! We launched our first media center, named The Voiceâ„ , one year ago and have received overwhelming support from the hospital community and celebrities like Selena Gomez, Joe Jonas and Cee Lo Green (just to name a few!)

The mission of our organization is to enhance the quality of life for seriously ill and injured children.  We do this by creating unique programs that use radio, television and new media to enlighten, entertain and educate.  The organization also works with local journalism schools and universities to train and educate students interested in broadcast media.

In just one year, the foundation has launched two interactive media centers in children’s hospitals with plans to build more across the county.  Currently The Voiceâ„  is located at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The Foundation has received an amazing response from the children and families that have visited The Voiceâ„ . These families have shared that the experiences their children have had in these centers are a positive distraction from their every day struggles.  Parents have commented on how much it means to them to see their child smile, whether it’s from meeting a celebrity, watching a live musical performance or getting to play DJ to the whole hospital.

To learn more about our foundation and see pictures from the celebrity visits check out www.ryanseacrestfoundation.org. You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s to many more birthdays (and smiles) to come!

 

Noah Guthrie Makes His First Trip TO CHOA!

Up and coming artist and YouTube sensation, Noah Guthrie, stopped by The Voice at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to sing to all of the kids in studio as well as those watching from their rooms.

Noah sang two original songs as well as a Taylor Swift cover and everyone was very impressed by his soulful voice.

He spoke about how thankful he is to Ellen DeGeneres for posting his video on her website and how happy he is to be managed by Selena Gomez’s manager.  He talked about opening for Selena Gomez’s show in Charlotte, saying it was an incredible experience.

As Noah continues to build his career, he uploads a new cover song every week on YouTube. He also continues to play live shows at a local venue called Eddie’s Attic.  Selena Gomez had actually attended one of his performances there the night before her visit to The Voice.

We are so happy to have met Noah and hope he comes back and visits the children at The Voice again soon!

Drake Bell Drops By CHOP!

Drake Bell dropped in at The Voice to hang out with the patients at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The actor, comedian and musician was happy to sit down and talk about the music that inspires him and the direction his career is moving in.

Drake told the children that he is very inspired by The Beatles. Not only does he love all of their music but Paul McCartney is one of his idols and he would love to work with him at some point.  His favorite Beatles song is “Blackbird” and he decided to play it for the children that were in the studio.

He also spoke about the difference between live musical performances and being on TV. He said being on TV was a little easier because if he ever messed up or forgot a line they could shoot the scene over. That is not the case, he explained, when you are performing in a concert. He let the kids in on a little secret: if he ever gets nervous and forgets the words of the song he is singing, he just holds the mic out to the crowd to sing along until he remembers the words again!

Drake is currently doing voiceover work as Peter Parker for the Spider-Man TV series and will be in a new movie called “Ragz: A Hip Hop Fairytale.” He loves doing voiceover work because he can go to work in his pajamas.

Drake and the kids also shared a common love…a love for Disneyland! He tries to go whenever he has the opportunity and his favorite ride is Space Mountain. The kids were so thrilled to hang out with Drake and learn about all the fun things they had in common. We thank Drake for taking the time to visit The Voice!

The Fray Sings at CHOA!

The Fray Visited Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and talked in studio about their music, their favorite things, and their sure-fire way of knowing if a song is going to be a hit!

While visiting The Voice, the The Fray played three songs: “How To Save A Life,” their new song “Heartbeat” and the “Toy Story” classic, “You’ve Got A Friend in Me.” They told the kids that it is very important to them if their children like their songs. In fact, they won’t release a new song or video without running it by Joe’s daughter first! They actually got rid of a music video that they spent a lot of time and money on because his daughter felt it was “too scary!” The kids were very excited to hear just how much their opinions mattered.

While at The Voice the band also passed a guitar to a teen patient and watched him play. The patient was very happy to be able to show off his skills!

It wouldn’t be a complete visit if the band wasn’t asked questions that came directly from the patients. When asked what animals they would want to be, they answered a monkey, gorilla, cheetah and bear. And when they were asked to choose a super power, they choose the ability to fly and be invisible.

Being fathers themselves, the guys were very happy to stop in and visit with all of the Children at CHOA. The kids were thrilled to spend this quality time with The Fray and we are very thankful that they stopped by!

The Plain White T’s Stopped By CHOP!

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was excited to welcome the Plain White T’s into The Voice. The five band members sat down to give a great interview and took time to sign autographs and meet with all the children in the studio.

While in The Voice, CHOP got the inside scoop on being on tour with The Plain White T’s. The first thing they talked about was traveling in style! When the band first started out, the guys used to travel by van to all of their concerts. They were so excited when they were upgraded to tour buses. A cool insider’s fact: they get to rent a new tour bus in every city they travel to! They also talked about their extensive guitar collections and that they prefer acoustic guitars to electric ones.

After singing their hit song “Hey There Delilah,” Tom Higgenson talked about the inspiration behind the track.  The kids were shocked to find out that he had only met Delilah one time before he wrote the song.  Tom had met Delilah at a party and someone joked that he liked her so much that he had already written a song about her.  He decided to call their bluff, wrote the song and then told everyone it would be his best hit. He ended up taking her as his date to the Grammy’s!

It was a great day at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the children were so happy to have the chance to meet, learn about and listen to the Plain White T’s.

The Script Makes Their First Visit To CHOA!

For the first time…The Script made a trip to the broadcasting studio at THE VOICE at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!

Danny O’Donoghue, Mark Sheehan, and Glen Power had patients falling to pieces when they sat down for an interview during their tour stop in Atlanta.  With a concert scheduled for later that night, the band still managed to stop long enough to talk about everything from the inspiration for their music to Spongebob. They even attempted their best Southern accents with the children at the studio!

Not only does the band write their own songs, the group has also written songs for other artists, including, American Idol alum, Kris Allen.

The Irish artists say that there is “no real formula” for writing their songs.  “We treat every song like it’s the first we’ve really written” They went on to explain,  “Lyrics are so important to us that we really, really analyze every single thing. We want to mean every single word we’re saying in every song.”

When they were asked what their most memorable performance was, they said that performing with U2 in front of 82,000 people in their hometown of Dublin, was the “most amazing feeling.”

The Script was full of energy at THE VOICE, telling patients that their pre-performance ritual includes an intense handshake that, if broken, has to start all over again.

As a side tip, The Script gave good advice for what to do when you get a song stuck in your head…sing Everybody is Kung Fu Fighting. They guarantee that song is the cure!

It was a very special day at THE VOICE at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and both the band and the patients were moved by the visit.

Christina Grimmie Plays Her Hit Songs At CHOP!

Christina Grimmie, the talented pianist, singer and YouTube sensation, stopped by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to hang out at the THE VOICE.

The patients at CHOP were very excited to meet Christina and had so much fun watching her play her two hit songs “Liar Liar” and “Advice.”  The children then had the opportunity to sit down with Christina and interview her with some silly and serious questions.

One of the first things the kids learned about Christina was that she loves video games! The kids all thought it was very cool that she was gamer.  Next we learned that Christina has a great relationship with her brother, who travels on tour with her as her production assistant. When Christina is not performing, she loves hanging out with him on her tour bus.

Christina also talked about her music.  Everyone was surprised to learn that she has been singing and writing songs since she has been 5 years old. The kids also learned that Christina produced her first album independently and is hoping to make her second album over the next year. When she was asked who her top choice would be to perform with, she said, Christina Aguilera.

She also let us in on one of her biggest fears…spiders! In fact she is so scared of them, that when playing a game of “Would You Rather” during the interview, she told all the kids that she would much rather eat 100 lightning bugs than 1 spider.

After the interview, Christina met with all of the kids, signed autographs and posed for individual pictures. The Ryan Seacrest Foundation and CHOP would like to thank her for stopping by and helping put huge smiles on all of the children’s faces!

Joe Jonas Visits CHOA And Opens Up About His New Album

Joe Jonas, who has been on tour since early September, stopped by the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to hang out at “The Voice.” The 22 year old singer, who was in town to perform at the Tabernacle, brightened the day of patients, parents, siblings and staff.

When he arrived, Joe greeted a very large and captivated audience with a warm smile. He answered questions about his new album, how he gets pumped up for concerts and what he has been up to lately. “It’s like handing over your journal and letting people scroll through and read what they want,” Joe said about his album. In preparation for performing, Joe told the curious crowd that he prays and does push-ups with his team.

Joe also opened up about the Joe Jonas you don’t see on stage. He let everyone know that he likes chocolate ice cream better than vanilla, and—like Adam, one of the patients who interviewed him—Joe prefers ninjas to pirates. Joe also let everyone in a little secret…he prefers reading to watching television! He told all the children that while he misses his brothers as they pursue their individual careers, their schedules cross paths sometimes, so they do get to see each other.

“I wish I could take you guys with me everywhere,” said Joe to the crowd as he took pictures and signed autographs with each patient who came to visit. As a parting gift, Joe received a bulldog stuffed animal (the University of Georgia mascot) with all of the patients’ autographs. It was definitely a day to remember at The Voice!

Danny Gokey Takes A Break From Touring To Visit CHOA

October started off on a musical high note when singer, Danny Gokey, from American Idol Season 8, stopped by THE VOICE at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!

Having had only one hour of sleep the night before (he is currently on tour with Taylor Swift), Danny Gokey came in with a big smile and untappable energy to be interviewed by Tim Michaels, afternoon radio host from Atlanta’s country station, Kicks 101.5.

Gokey had plenty of words of encouragement for patients. He shared a quote, by Charles Swindoll, that has meant a lot to him throughout the hard times in his life.  “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”  The American Idol star has taken this quote and fused it into many aspects of his life.  Gokey founded Sophia’s Heart, a foundation, in honor of his late wife, that takes in homeless families and gives them a place to live and food to eat. By the end of the year, Gokey is hoping to have helped 19 families with the foundation.

He also shared his performance rituals with the fans at Children’s. Before every show, he loosens up by shaking out the nerves and while he never looks at the faces of people in the crowd, he enjoys seeing his audience up and dancing!  Gokey’s vote for the perfect song to dance to is “Get Away” off of his album “My Best Days”.

Of course, he couldn’t come into the studio filled with American Idol fans without talking about his experience on the show.   Gokey said, at first, his nerves were horrible on American Idol. One time when the show came back from commercial break he couldn’t remember the first line of the song he was singing. He was very nervous, but as soon as the music started, his natural talent took over and he remembered the words.

Patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta loved having Danny Gokey at THE VOICE! He is an inspiration.  In addition to his natural ability as a performer, Gokey has overcome hard times and has grown stronger from his experience.  Now, he is taking the lessons he has learned from those hard times and helping others.

Matt Nathanson Visits CHOP!

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia welcomed special guest Matt Nathanson to the “The Voice” on Monday.

The talented singer-songwriter was very excited to be in the studio and loved interacting with all of the patients that came down to say hello.  He even let the kids play with his guitar, giving many of them a quick lesson, and played back-up to a young patient who had written a rap song.

After playing his hit song “Faster” and a cover from Prince, Matt sat down for a personal interview.  He started by sharing a story about his adventurous cats, Mr. Beasly and Rufis. He told us that his loveable cats are always running around his neighborhood and get into crazy adventures and bring home random food.

Matt let us know that some of his first musical inspirations were U2 and Kiss, and while he always wanted to be like them, he knew he could never wear all that leather! He also let us in on a little secret…if he weren’t a musician, he would have definitely become an English teacher.

Next he played a game of “would you rather” and gave some very interesting answers.  From this game we found out that he would much rather have zits, than a headache, any day!

CHOP and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation thank Matt Nathanson for stopping by and spending time with all of the amazing kids at the hospital.  His uplifting attitude and engaging personality really helped lift the spirits of the children he visited.