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Teen duets with Alex Aiono in Seacrest Studios

 

Moments, memories and one-of-a-kind experiences – that’s what happens inside Seacrest Studios. And the recent visit with singer-songwriter and YouTube extraordinaire Alex Aiono embodied all the reasons why Seacrest Studios exists.

Kids who are hospitalized or come to the hospital for appointments or lengthy treatments no doubt miss out on life outside hospital walls while they’re here. And it’s our mission in Seacrest Studios to try to make up for that by offering them unique experiences to take away memories and moments they wouldn’t otherwise get to experience – like celebrity visits.

We’ve known Jireh for several years during his time at Children’s Health in Dallas. It’s been amazing getting to know him over the years of his treatment. His smile always beams no matter what he’s going through. We’ve seen his love for music grow from a hobby to an inspired pursuit writing his own music and finding his own sound. Jireh, now 18, performs in Seacrest Studios often doing covers and sharing originals. The week of his 18th birthday Alex Aiono, one of his favorite musicians, was coming through town on tour. Jireh asked us if we could invite Alex to the studio, and we’re so glad he did!

Alex was so excited to come to Seacrest Studios and meet Jireh and Meredith, 9, and several other kids who stopped by for selfies and autographs. The most special part of the visit was when Alex and his fan-turned-friend Jireh performed one of Alex’s songs together. Jireh had performed a cover of “Work the Middle” in studio before, but this time he got to do it as a duet with one of his favorite singers.

The duet was awesome and it felt like they had practiced before the way they harmonized and took turns with the verses. And while the crowd enjoyed the musical performance, those who know Jireh, like his chaplain and Child Life team who came to watch, and the nurses and fellow patients who watched from the unit on the Red Balloon Network, knew just how special of an experience this was for him.

Thank you, Alex Aiono, for bringing your joy and music to Seacrest Studios, and for making such a special experience for Jireh that we all got to share!

 

Comedian, Matt Iseman Visits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!

Seacrest Studios at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta was teeming with young ninja warriors wearing capes in anticipation of their visit with Matt Iseman, stand-up comedian and host of the popular reality competition series, American Ninja Warrior. The former doctor turned TV host entertained patients and families with many positive stories of contestants facing (and overcoming!) their fears, both on and off the obstacle course.

Matt also shared some of the challenges and obstacles he has faced personally through his own battle with cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. There isn’t a more positive or inspiring guy to be found. We hope he’ll be back to visit one day (perhaps if and when his dream of being cast in an action film comes true!) In the meantime, Matt is sending some of the popular Atlanta ninjas from his show our way and we can’t wait!

 

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!

 

Boy Band, In Real Life Visits Seacrest Studios!

New 5-piece boy band, In Real Life popped into Seacrest Studios to celebrate the holidays with patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta recently.  The group, winners of ABC’s summer competition series Boy Band, consists of Brady Tutton, Chance Perez, Drew Ramos, Sergio Calderon Jr., and Michael Conor.

The guys gave us some insight from the show and described how their first performance after the show was an eye-opening experience. All eyes were on them as they performed their debut single, “Eyes Closed” and a Christmas single of theirs as well. Our holiday wish is that In Real Life comes back to visit! Thank you for making our holidays as bright as your future!

 

 

Nick Offerman spends the day at Seacrest Studios!

Written by Studio Intern, Raven Fulton

Nick Offerman’s signature laugh filled the speakers at the start of our interview here at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Seacrest Studio. We kicked off the visit with Jerra’s famous question, “If you could make your own food pyramid what would it include”? His answer – bacon and eggs. That’s right Nick Offerman loves bacon just like his character Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec.

During his interview, he revealed he started his comedic career when he received his first laughs as an altar-boy during his readings at his church; which he calls his first audience. While Offerman was in school, his teachers put him in plays. These events led him to acting and stand-up comedy. It seems that he’s always ready for a stand-up show cracking jokes and one-liners every chance he gets.

On a serious note, he left us with some great advice for those of us who might be struggling with what they want to do:“Everybody is amazing at making something. If you say you can’t, it means you’ve given up. Maybe you’re not good at making stuff out of wood or making food but, you could be good at making people laugh, making people feel safe or jewelry. There’s no limit to the things you can make! Looking within yourself and finding what you’re passionate about or what makes you “weird”, that’s what makes you valuable.”

Before we moved on to one our favorite games, “What’s Behind Me?” Nick had a little one on one time with a patient. Guillermo drew Nick a picture with some of his favorite characters that he has portrayed, such as, Norman in Sing, Metalbeard in The Lego Movie and Deputy Chief Hardy in 21 Jump Street. Offerman was thrilled to receive such a thoughtful gift and even signed a picture upon Guillermo’s request.

Nick Offerman ended his visit with playing “What’s Behind Me?” and of course we had to make him guess his favorite food, bacon and eggs, to send him off.

Thank you, Nick Offerman, for stopping by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – Seacrest Studios!

 

 

Crowder Jams at Seacrest Studios in Dallas

 

We love filling the Seacrest Studios with live music and fun guests and that’s exactly what happened when Crowder came to town!

Singer-songwriter and all around cool guy David Crowder met some pretty awesome kids during his visit to Seacrest Studios at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. In fact, he learned a lot from the talented teens who interviewed him! Check out the video to see how Connor, 14, opened the interview with a question in a foreign language!

We knew we were in for a treat when Crowder’s band started loading their instruments off the tour bus including a guitar, upright bass, banjo, cajon and a fiddle! Bring on the toe tapping and clapping along!

Crowder’s music is eclectic and hard to fit into one musical genre, which was evident when he and his band performed three songs. Elements of folk, blues, gospel, rock and rap were woven together in the performance of “I Saw the Light,” and Crowder’s song “Prove It.”

Crowder slowed it down and ended with the powerful song “How He Loves,” a popular Christian worship song made famous during his time with David Crowder Band. Some of our patients and parents even sang along – what a beautiful sound!

Music can bring such joy and peace into the hospital setting and Crowder, you certainly added to that! Thank you for visiting Seacrest Studios!  And thanks for the swag for the kids, too! Well, Boots claimed a bandana and a stuffed animal – it’s his favorite, too!

 

 

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!

Katy Perry Brings all the Magic to Seacrest Studios!

What a week leading up to Christmas! A visit from KATY PERRY and her band was just what the doctor ordered to lift the spirits of patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Decked out in full holiday regalia – Santa suits, light up sweaters (we’re not calling them Ugly Christmas sweaters!), antler hats and more, Katy and her band spent hours entertaining families with her hits as well as sing-along Christmas carols.

The kids couldn’t contain their excitement as she snapchatted, took selfies, surprised patients in their rooms and sent video messages and well wishes to others. It truly was a special night we’ll never forget. Thank you Katy for the gift of time! We wouldn’t have wanted to spend our evening with anyone else….and we look forward to watching you on the upcoming season of American Idol!

 

 

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!

 

RSF Ambassador Nick Jonas Visits Seacrest Studios in Atlanta!

Ryan Seacrest Foundation Ambassador and Seacrest Studios favorite, Nick Jonas, returned to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to visit patients before his performance at iHeart Radio’s annual Jingle Ball. The singer, who has visited Seacrest Studios Atlanta many times, is always up for whatever shenanigans we throw at him.

This time it happened to be a fun Q&A game called “Only Your Bro’ Knows”. Of course, without his brothers Kevin, Joe or Frankie present, there’s no way of knowing how “accurate” Nick’s answers really were! He’s always a good time and we can’t thank him enough for spreading some cheer at Seacrest Studios!