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Brandon Lay Takes a Trip Around the Sun to Seacrest Studios!

Recap by Program Manager, Mamie Shepherd

Before taking the stage with Kenny Chesney at Nashville’s massive Nissan Stadium for the Trip Around the Sun Tour, country star, Brandon Lay, made a special visit to Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt!

Brandon told the audience gathered in the studio all about life on the road (he loves being on tour) and life on a tour bus!  His bus carries 9-12 people at any given time and the group loves to watch Friends and The Office together while traveling. Sometimes, the musicians just like to pull out their guitars and jam in between cities.  When talking about preparing to go on tour, Brandon walked us through his packing list for the road.  He said, “I always make sure I have some swimming trunks.”  One of his last days off from the tour led to floating down the river with his band!

When he gets back to Nashville, the first thing Brandon likes to do is jump on his motorcycle.  He also likes to spend time with his Pomeranian, Rusty T (find his pup on Instagram @rustytfromtn)!

Brandon talked about how he has stayed positive while navigating his way through the music industry – a lesson our patients applied to learning how to stay positive while in the hospital.   “It’s hard if you stand and try to watch a tree grow.  Just keep trying.  You might look back and 6 weeks has gone by and the difference is just astronomical.  That has always inspired me.  You’re not going to see an instant change, but if you just keep showing up and just keep trying – and even if you fail, just keep getting out of bed and trying – you’ll look back maybe it’s 2 weeks or 2 months, but you’re going to notice a change and people will see it around you.  When you look back and see the difference, that’s what will motivate you to keep on and even kick it up a notch.  That has been my philosophy.  Keep grinding and just show up.”

To the delight of the audience in Seacrest Studios, Brandon sang his hit song, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers.”

Check out the funny video below of Brandon and his guitar player, JP, playing a paper plate drawing game!

Huge thanks to Brandon Lay for making a tour stop at Seacrest Studios Nashville!  We hope to see you again soon!

 

AJ Mitchell Performs for Patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Fresh off his performance on the TODAY show, singer songwriter and social media sensation, AJ Mitchell, popped into Seacrest Studios and performed for patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta! Here to promote his new EP, Hopeful, the 17-year old talked about how exciting the last couple of years have been since moving from his small town in Illinois to Los Angeles to pursue his career as a recording artist and songwriter.

Having started piano at age four, it was no surprise to his parents that by age six, Mitchell has already written his first song — featuring a little bird. He even sang a verse or two before performing “I Don’t Want You back” and “Girls,” both on his debut EP. AJ hopes to go on tour next year, and we hope Atlanta will be one of his stops! Best of luck to this rising star, and thank you for visiting us in Seacrest Studios!

 

All Time Low Makes Another Visit to Seacrest Studios!

What a better distraction for the patients at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia than some games with All Time Low! The band was a hit at the hospital during their pit stop before their big show, melting the hearts of patients (and some of our interns) with their comradery and playful demeanor.

Diving into a game of “All Time Trivia,” each member was quizzed with “easy” questions about their own band. We quickly witnessed little success and hilarious consequences (just check out what the kids made them wear for wrong answers). When asked about their lengthy journey together, perhaps Alex Gaskarth gave away the best secret of all to their success, “we grew up on the road…stay creative and stay driven.” Keep it up, guys!

Thanks for visiting Seacrest Studios, All Time Low! We can’t wait to have you back.

 

Levine Children’s Hospital Welcomes Kane Brown to Seacrest Studios

Recap by Studio Coordinator, Meredith Dean

Video by Intern, Ryan Sandlin

We loved welcoming country artist Kane Brown to the Queen City! One of the most touching moments from this country star’s visit was when 5-year-old, McKenna, a patient’s sister, brought a homemade poster for Kane that he read aloud: PRAY FOR MY BROTHER KADE. PLEASE KANE, LOVE MCKENNA. Kade had been waiting on a heart transplant for several months in the hospital. She even had the opportunity to compete against Kane one-on-one where she had to get 4 ping pong balls in Kane’s Panthers cup. As a Panthers fan, he was right at home with our patients in Charlotte, NC at Levine Children’s Hospital. This Southern 24-year-old also is a HUGE University of Georgia fan and loved cheering on the Dawgs in a video with our Studio Coordinator & UGA alumna, Meredith.

Another LCH patient, Derek, even came with his own list of questions to ask Kane. He had been thrilled with the news of him coming and was prepared to interview his favorite singer! He also made sure he knew Kane’s birthday (October 21, 1993). As we passed around the Seacrest Studios Fishbowl of questions to our patients of all ages, we found out that Kane:

Used to be able to play Guitar Hero with his feet
His favorite food is chicken
Went to Young Life for summer camp in high school
His favorite song is “Location” by Khalid
Mickey Mouse is his favorite Disney character
His favorite Panthers player is his close friend, Ed Dickson

In the past, Kane has opened up about his tough childhood, so we asked him how he got through those difficult times — as a lot of our patients and families brave through several trials & tribulations in their journeys. He explained to our patients, “Y’all are going through more difficult things than anyone else has to go through. It’ll mature you faster than other kids”. Additionally, since it was International Women’s Day, he talked about the most influential females in his life: His fiancée, his mother, and his Nana. They are all very supportive of him and his mother and nana taught him to never give up.

After the interview, Kane was excited to play March Madness especially since he said his favorite X Box games are sports-related (2K & Madden). He flew through the game with all the right answers — guessing which zoomed in logo represented which college team. The only team logo he missed was for our local college team, the UNCC 49ers, but one of our nurses helped him out! We then played “Guess That Country Song” where Kane successfully guessed the artists and song titles of well-known country hits!

One of our favorite moments from the visit was when Kane performed his hit song “What Ifs”. To accompany him in his performance, he brought his piano player, Ken, and lead guitarist, Alex! He asked the crowd to sing along with him (especially the parts featuring Lauren Alaina) to which everyone happily obliged! Kane met countless patients and their families, taking photos and signing autographs. He truly made their day at Seacrest Studios!

 

Seacrest Studios Presents 5 Seconds of Summer at The Zone at Scottish Rite

By Gabbi Markle and Brittany Wade
Due to a massive water main breakage affecting a large portion of Atlanta, Seacrest Studios at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta had to make an eleventh hour diversion to the Scottish Rite campus to host the band 5 Seconds of Summer.
Instead of the traditional studio visit, the event turned into an intimate campfire-style Q&A with the patients. The Zone was filled with some of the band’s biggest fans who were so excited to ask the band some of their most burning questions. Drummer Ashton Irwin asked if there were any writers in the room and encouraged patients to always express themselves through the creative arts. He wanted them to know that anything can happen–just look at his band’s success!
After the patient-led interview, the band took photos with patients and parents alike, even pausing to sign shirts, socks, and anything else the kids wanted.
The patients at Scottish Rite loved getting to meet 5SOS, and we can’t wait until the next time they visit Atlanta!

Lana Del Rey Brings all the Sparkle to Children’s National!

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Our friend, Lana Del Rey, stayed an extra day after her concert in Washington D.C. to make a special visit to Seacrest Studios at Children’s National! From the moment she was spotted through the studio’s glass windows at Children’s National, patients and families could not contain their excitement! The studio was packed with her fans and some of patients wanted to sit by the mics so they could ask her some fantastic questions! Lana told us all about what she’d been doing during her spare time in D.C., saying that she made a visit to see the White House with some of her friends. To everyone’s surprise Lana admitted she still has stage fright and gets super nervous before each performance. Lucky for the audience, however, Lana treated everyone to a private, up close and personal performance. She sang a few songs for us, including her version of “Once Upon a Dream” from “Maleficent”. She said that if she could put her own spin on any other Disney song, it would have to be something from “The Little Mermaid”.

The room was filled with smiling faces as Lana warmed everyone’s spirit. Lana also filled us in on her pre-show routine, saying she loves to sing along to songs by artists like Whitney Houston and Ariana Grande to warm up her voice before her concerts. We also found out that she loves cats, and her favorite color is anything that glitters!

After giving the patients some great advice on following their passions, Lana took pictures and signed autographs for everyone. One of the highlights of her visit was when a mother asked Lana for a special favor. It was her daughter’s birthday and she was a huge fan! Unfortunately, she was not in the studio for the visit. To the birthday girl’s surprise, Lana personally called her and sang “Happy Birthday” to her over the phone. Tears streamed down the mother’s face as Lana serenaded her daughter on her special day. It was a magical moment! Lana repeated how happy she was to be able to visit Children’s National. “This is where my heart is,” said Lana. Before leaving, she assured everyone she would come back again soon. Seacrest Studios can’t wait for Lana’s next visit! Lana, thank you so much for taking the time to visit us and good luck on the rest of our tour!

 

Khalid spends his first time in Nashville at Seacrest Studios!

19-year-old, five-time Grammy nominee, Khalid, visited Seacrest Studios in Nashville for the River of Hope Radiothon at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Reminiscing on a tweet from three years ago, Khalid mentioned he has always dreamed of attending the Grammys. However, he never imagined doing so as a nominee. Khalid explained, “Back in 2014 when I had tweeted ‘I want to go to the Grammys’, I just wanted to sit at the Grammys. I just wanted to see the joy in everyone’s face when they were given the award that they deserve.” He then went on to encourage patients to follow their dreams, even if they might not know what that dream is yet. 

As a member of the Musicians On Call organization, Khalid spoke to the power of music in his life. He can’t help but smile during all of his performances as he witnesses the unspoken joy music brings to an audience. He aspires to use his platform to talk to individuals who continuously push for music while combating negativity in the world. 

Following an a cappella performance of his hit song “Location,” Khalid spent time answering questions from patients. We learned random facts about his favorite snacks, which include Swiss rolls and red Starbursts, as well as his dream superpower of teleporting to Paris for dinner. When patient Ryan asked how he sings so well, studio goers learned the inside scoop of Khalid’s mom and how she raised him around music, encouraging his vocal talent. Khalid then shared his reasoning behind joining the Musicians On Call organization: Simply put he loves people and aspires to spread joy and positivity throughout the world. 

Thank you for spreading so much laughter and positivity in Seacrest Studios, Khalid! You are welcome back any time!

Brett Eldredge brings Smiles and Songs to Seacrest Studios in Nashville!

By Savannah Stewart, Lipscomb University

Country star, Brett Eldredge, popped in to Seacrest Studios in Nashville to visit his friends at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt!  He sat down at the microphone next to our friends Jayden and Sophie to hang out and sing some songs.  Eldredge sang us “Long Way” off of his new album.  The music video for the song had just been released days before – and of course we got the scoop on what making a music video is like!  Brett also showed off some of his favorite dance moves – “The Eldredge” is “all in the shoulders!”

A game of “Never Have I Ever” was also necessary.  A few secrets came out from Eldredge along the way! He let us know that he has gone to the Principal’s office multiple times and loves his dog a lot – even enough to have tried a dog treat to see what his dog had been eating!

Brett took pictures with all of his Seacrest Studios fans, sang a couple chorus’ with aspiring young artists, and did a few model poses with patients.  We loved our time with Brett Eldredge and look forward to his next visit!

 

Olivia Holt Visits Levine Children’s Hospital!

Recap & video by studio intern: Jacqueline Malone

While on tour with the Backstreet Boys, Olivia Holt visited Charlotte’s Levine Children’s Hospital! She was greeted by a full house at Seacrest Studios and started out her visit by answering fun patient questions from the famous fish bowl.  When asked what cartoon character she identified with, Olivia answered, “This is gonna sound very odd but Hello kitty. I love Hello, I have seen almost every single episode of Hello Kitty.  And I think that she just likes going on adventures, and I think that’s like my life, and my journey.”  When asked what Disney character she would be, Olivia said, “I would play Rapunzel in Tangled for sure. If they were making a live action I would be Rapunzel.”  When asked why Olivia said, “One, she has a great sense of humor and down for anything, sassy but fun and has these weird quirks about her that is relatable, and she’s just cool.”   Olivia was also “dared” to do a choregraphed model walk down the pretend Seacrest Studios runway and worked the catwalk posing with one of our patients!

Olivia and her fans began playing “Finish the Christmas Lyrics.”  Each patient had the opportunity to finish singing the lyrics that was missing from the song.  From Jingle Bell Rock to Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Olivia and the patients sang their hearts out, bringing in holiday cheer.

Afterwards, each patient and Oliva had a total of 30 seconds to draw their best holiday character on a candy cane or gingerbread.  Each person showed their artistic talents and had loads of giggles when they saw each other’s art.

Using the green screen, everyone had to grab their dancing shoes and did a special version of our Friday program, Seacrest Idol!  Olivia and her fellow dancers got loose and copied all the moves to the song “That Power” by Justin Bieber & will.i.am on Just Dance.  At one point Olivia said, “I might just do my own!”, free styling with her own great moves! With huge smiles on the faces and the green screen in the background, everyone in the hospital was able to see their dancing performance live on their digital stage!

While wrapping up her visit, Olivia took pictures and autographs with her fans.  She learned about a special patient that wasn’t able to come down to the studio for her visit.  To accommodate her fan, Olivia went upstairs and personally visited sweet Jesslie in her room!  Jesslie has become well known and loved in this hospital. She said that all she wanted was “to see her hero that was downstairs”. It was truly a Christmas miracle for this sweet girl.

Olivia’s visit kicked off the holidays right at LCH and brought such joy to our precious patients. We were so thankful to have such a bright, friendly, and loving person in our studio!

 

 

 

Halsey makes friends with a princess in Seacrest Studios Dallas

Once upon a time, a famous singer came to Seacrest Studios in Dallas in search of a magical princess.

You see, Halsey tours the world but heard she would be able to meet some particularly incredible young fans at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. And that she did! Halsey was greeted by several young fans who quickly became her friends. They talked about all sorts of things like her music, her inspirations and what she likes to do for fun.

And then, as their time together was wrapping up, a tiny, young princess dressed in a gorgeous white gown and topped with a crown and veil appeared. Her name was Carli and she was ever so precious. Halsey knew instantly, this was the special princess she was supposed to meet. The two talked about their favorite Disney princesses, which sparked Halsey to sing a song from the Tangled movie.

Princess Carli and Halsey became best friends in an instant. And everyone lived happily ever after!

Thank you, Halsey, for coming to visit us! We loved meeting you! See you next time!