"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
In a world of high-profile celebrity misbehavior, it's becoming increasingly difficult for parents to feel good about the music their children are listening to or the shows their kids are watching. With the glamour of the rich and famous appealing to kids and teens seeking to emulate the lifestyles of celebrities that are not setting a good example, it's always a cause for celebration when parents discover a performer who is a genuinely good role model for their young fans, like Ace Young.
Brett Asa ("Ace") Young is a newly Grammy-nominated songwriter, accomplished singer, and aspiring actor who is proving that becoming a celebrity doesn't mean forgetting about where you came from. For the past decade, he's been dedicated to helping raise funds for The Children's Hospital in Denver, and he still visits the kids regularly. This former American Idol contestant is proof that variety is the spice of life, and "idol" in no way means "idle".
Ace Young grew up in Denver with four older brothers and enjoyed a close connection with his family, a connection that has shaped his life. It was his closest brother, Ryan, who would inspire Ace's dedication to the The Children's Hospital after an automobile accident in 1996 that rocked his world (Ryan was severely injured) and that of his family. While helping his family nurse his brother back to health, Ace Young realized the impact that an injury or illness could have on not only the patient but also their entire family. After Ryan's recovery, Ace Young and his brothers began regularly visiting the hospital to hang out with and entertain the children. Ace "was amazed by the courage he saw in the young patients and immediately found that he had a natural ability to connect with them."* This inspired Ace Young and a group of his fans to create "Highroller's With Heart", a fan-based project that has been raising money, in Ace's name, for the new Family Hospitality Suite at The Children's Hospital, a place where out-of-town parents will be able to stay as they seek care for their sick children. "I wanted something that anybody could donate to in the U.S. and it would make sense" Ace Young revealed** "but would also hit my hometown."
Although he's been singing since age nine, his stellar run during the fifth season of American Idol was the break Ace Young needed to establish a place in the music industry. Having already had the experience of opening concerts for Brian McKnight and New Edition and singing the national anthem at Denver Nuggets' games, Ace Young came to American Idol with the chops necessary to make it to the final seven. It was during auditions for Idol when he met fellow singer-songwriter and Idol contestant, Chris Daughtry, The two immediately clicked, becoming close friends and musical collaborators, and it was this collaboration that let to Ace's recent 2008 Grammy nomination for co-writing Daughtry's hit song "It's Not Over" (co-written with Daughtry, Greg Wattenberg, and Mark Wilson).
There are a lot of great things in store for Ace Young this coming year. Since his departure from American Idol, Ace has continued to work with Denver's Children Hospital, has toured the nation with his band, and has spent time in recording studios around the world developing and completing his debut album due out this year. His years of experience in the entertainment industry have made him comfortable in all venues of performing. In addition to the debut of his album, he's currently trying his hand at acting with an upcoming appearance on Fox's hit drama "Bones". Next month, we'll talk more about Ace Young's upcoming projects, his fundraising activities and more ways in which he strives to inspire his young fans.
The entertainment industry has earned a reputation as being a cutthroat "everyone-for-themselves" business. It's a refreshing change to see a multi-talented young celebrity such as Ace Young serving as a great role model for kids and an active advocate of giving back to your community. He's evidence that not only is it possible to realize your dreams; they're best achieved by taking your friends and family with you on the journey.
In this New Year, in the midst of all the craziness you may experience in your life, your job, and/or your family, take a note from Ace as to how to take a "reality check". Spend some time helping children in need. According to Ace Young, "If you want to know how Superman feels, just get a hug from one of these little kids."*
To learn more about Ace Young and his hospital fundraiser, please visit www.highrollerswithheart.org.
* Source: www.highrollerswithheart.org