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Five for Fighting is the stage name of Americanmarker singer-songwriter John Ondrasik. His 2000 album America Town went Platinum in the U.S. largely because of the success of the song "Superman ". The 2004 album The Battle for Everything was also certified Platinum, mainly due to the hit single "100 Years" and the consistent sales of the album. Ondrasik has also released a DualDisc of his 2004 album which has one side containing The Battle for Everything in its entirety and the other side being a DVD containing bonus footage and Five For Fighting music videos. Five for Fighting's fourth album, Two Lights, was released on August 1, 2006, and earned Ondrasik his first career Top 10 Album, debuting at #8 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart. Five for Fighting's fifth album, Slice, was released on October 13, 2009, and the first single off the album, called "Chances", was released on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 for download.

Early years

John Ondrasik was born on January 7, 1965 in Los Angelesmarker, a child of a musical family. In his early years Ondrasik learned the piano. As a teenager, he learned how to play the guitar and started to write music. While he also learned to sing opera briefly, he quickly decided that he would like to be a singer/songwriter. Ondrasik went to college at UCLAmarker and graduated with a degree in applied science and mathematics continuing to pursue music in his spare time. He adopted the name "Five for Fighting," which is an expression in ice hockey when a player receives a five-minute penalty for fighting.

Career

Ondrasik's first album Message for Albert was released by EMI in 1997. Capitol Records re-released this album after the success of America Town.

In 2000, Five For Fighting signed with Columbia Records and released America Town on September 26, 2000. The album made little impact, but "Superman " became an anthem after the September 11 attacks. Ondrasik would perform the song at The Concert for New York City in late 2001. Five for Fighting contributed a live performance version of his song "Superman" to the charity album Live in the X Lounge IV. While America Town failed to make the top 50 of the Billboard 200 album charts, its consistent sales eventually led to its going platinum.

His third album, The Battle for Everything, debuted at number 20 on the Billboard 200 in February 2004. Two years later the album Two Lights was released; this became his first career Top 10 album, debuting at #8 on the Billboard 200 in August 2006. Its first single "The Riddle" became Ondrasik's third career Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #40. A video of the second single, World, has been used to raise funds for various charities (see Philanthropy, below).

In 2005 he recorded the song "Penguin Lament" for Sandra Boynton's Dog Train book and CD. In 2007, he again collaborated with Boynton, performing "Big Band Sound" on the Blue Moo album.

On the weekend of January 27/28, 2007, John Ondrasik filled in for legendary radio host Casey Kasem on the American Top 20 and American Top 10 radio programs. On AT20, he counted down his own hit "World," and on AT10 he counted down his own hit "The Riddle."

John Ondrasik writes and co-writes music for other artists' CD's. Those artists include The Backstreet Boys and Josh Groban. He also writes and co-writes for movie soundtracks. Those movies include August Rush, We Were Soldiers, Chicken Little, Everyone's Hero, Jimmy Neutron.

In 2008 Ondrasik wrote and recorded the song "Brothers in Arms" for the award winning documentary film Brothers at War. "Brothers at War is an honest glimpse into the reality of our troops and their families. I wrote the song two hours after seeing the film," Ondrasik said. "The final production you hear is the demo I recorded that night in my living room, accompanied by a string section Lee Holdridge composed and directed a year later." Ondrasik collaborated with the film's production team of Jake Rademacher (Director/Producer), Norman Powell (Producer), Gary Sinise (Executive Producer) and David Scantling (Executive Producer) on the project.

On July 21, 2009, the first single from the album, called "Chances", was released for download.

On September 22, 2009 the music video for "Chances" was released on VH1.com. The music video shows the story of two teenagers falling in love, while Ondrasik narrates (sings) to the story. The video was directed by Steven Drypolcher (Beyonce, Kanye West, Boyslikegirls) and produced by Partizan. The "Making of the Chances Music Video" is available on Amazon.com.

His fifth studio album, titled "Slice", was released on Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 and premiered on the iTunes Top 10 Albums on the first day. The album was produced by Gregg Wattenberg (Superman, 100 Years). Academy Award-winning composer Steven Schwartz, who penned the songs for musicals such as Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, co-wrote the title track, as well as the track "Above The Timberline."

In October 2009, Ondrasik's third studio album "The Battle For Everything" (100 Years) was RIAA certified Platinum.

Philanthropy

In the spring of 2007, Ondrasik created the first video charity website. The website allows fans to upload videos answering the central question, "What Kind of World do You Want?" (taken from his hit song, "World"). The charities the site raises money for are: Augie's Quest,Autism Speaks, Fisher House Foundation, Save the Children, Operation Homefront and several other charities and foundations.

Ondrasik, under the auspices of the USO, performed for service members on a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour of Guantanamo Bay and other bases in Cuba in February/March 2007. He followed up with another USO tour in November 2007 of Japan, Guam and Hawaii. "I am struck by the sacrifices the troops and their families make for our way of life and I felt was important to show my support," says Ondrasik.

In November 2007, Ondrasik coordinated the release of 13 free songs for US military members called CD for the Troops. Ondrasik worked with AAFES to deliver more than 200,000 CDs to US troops around the globe and to offer the music from the CD as free MP3 downloads from www.aafes.com. The songs donated include:



Any US military member is eligible to download the music through AAFES.

In November 2008, Ondrasik released another free CD for US military members. "CD for the Troops II" has 14 free songs and was released on Thanksgiving Day. 200,000 CD's were pressed for the release and will again be available online at www.aafes.com. The songs donated include:



He also performs on the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and has done various events for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Augie's Quest, raising awareness and funds for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).

In 2008, he got involved in the musical movement of spreading awareness about current slavery and human trafficking by performing a live version of "World" for the rockumentary, Call+Response.[68570]

The singer’s ongoing support of servicemen and women, and his dedication to his own wife and children, even led to him receiving a special fatherhood award from the National Fatherhood Initiative’s 2009 Military Fatherhood Award Ceremony.

Back Country

The live CD and DVD released on November 6, 2007 comes in 3 formats: Live CD, Live Back Country DVD, and Live Back Country Special Edition CD/DVD. Back Country was recorded live in concert in Orlando. The Live CD includes "100 Years," "Freedom Never Cries," "Superman," "Two Lights," "The Riddle" as well as other fan favorites. The "Back Country" DVD, in addition to the live concert footage, features all of the Five For Fighting music videos, an interview with the inspiration for the song "Two Lights", charity videos from www.whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com, and Five For Fighting photo montage.

Discography

Studio albums



Live albums



EPs



Singles

Year Song U.S. Hot 100 U.S. Adult Top 40 U.S. AC Chart U.S. Pop 100 Hot Digital Songs Triple A Australia Album
2001 "Superman " 14 3 2 - 70 - 2 America Town
2002 "Easy Tonight" - 18 - - - - - America Town
2002 "America Town" 108 - - - - - - America Town
2004 "100 Years" 28 3 1 - 30 - 32 The Battle for Everything
2004 "The Devil in the Wishing Well" - 23 - - - - - The Battle for Everything
2005 "If God Made You" - - 20 - - - - The Battle for Everything
2006 "The Riddle" 40 8 4 39 27 - - Two Lights
2006 "World" - 15 - - - - - Two Lights
2007 "I Just Love You" - - 24 - - - - Two Lights
2009 "Chances" 83 14 11 - 114 25 - Slice


Singles: RIAA Awards

References

  1. http://www.fiveforfighting.com/
  2. Family Tree Legends [1]
  3. http://www.newschannel10.com/Global/story.asp?s=9919850&clienttype=printable
  4. http://whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com
  5. http://www.augiesquest.org
  6. http://www.autismspeaks.org
  7. http://www.fisherhouse.org
  8. http://www.savethechildren.org
  9. http://www.operationhomefront.net
  10. .


External links




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