Wednesday, December 17, 2008

American Idol Michael Johns Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving.

Originally posted at
by Ulitmat1

As most everyone has probably heard by now, American Idol finalist Michael Johns has just released his first single since leaving the show.
"Another Christmas" was released for download on Amazon and iTunes December 9, 2008. Now that in itself is newsworthy enough, however, there is so much more to be told to the story. You see, Michael didn't release the song to profit from it himself. In fact, he's giving 100% of his first post-Idol single away to charities as his gift to others for Christmas.
In an article first published in New York Post – POP WRAP Michael told how the song was written. According to that article, the song's history is this. He wasn't able to go back home to Australia for Christmas in eight years, but planned on going back in 2006. His visa didn't come through in time for him to make the trip.
He was so homesick and upset, that he woke up around three in the morning and "the song just came out". His wife Stacey was brought to tears when she heard it the next morning. You can view the original article by clicking the link above. The story continues after I give you the chance to see the video of Michael performing "Another Christmas" on Access Hollywood.

The first we fans heard that there might be a Christmas single was in a blog posted by Michael on Oct. 23, 2008. Not much more than the name of the song was given about the release at the time. Then, snippets of the song started appearing on the Internet around mid November on sites such as mjsbigblog. The following week brought more news of the song. In numerous fan forums, like IDF Aussie Posse ( and Michael Johns Fan Site, forum members announced that the song would be sent to all Top 40, Hot AC, and AAA radio stations for nationwide play beginning December 01, 2008.
It wasn't until Michael was on a four day tour in the Philippines sponsored by Ayala Malls, that he played a piece of the song for the first time live at the Greenbelt venue. A video clip from that appearance gave us a little more about his future plans for this gift. He announced that all Philippines sales of the song (made available through Mossimo Music) would be given to Bantay Bata 163, a children's charity in the Philippines.
This was the first hint we had about how extensive his charitable donation of the song would be. On December 1, the day "Another Christmas" started getting radio play, I received an email at the IDF Aussie Posse MySpace, which listed what charities would benefit from the gift Michael had given. The names of those charities are listed below. The list made it quickly apparent; Michael wanted his gift to be meaningful and far reaching. This is a direct quote of the email I received.
In the U.S. it's going to ALS and Red Cross. In Manila it's going to Bantay Bata 163. In Australia the Starlight Foundation.
Michael announces the release of "Another Christmas" in his own MySpace blog!

Another Christmas
Current mood: happy
Hi everyone as you may or may not know today is the release of my song Another Christmas.

All proceeds are going to MDA's ALS division and The Red Cross. I believe very strongly in these charities. ALS is a horrible disease that robs you of everything. You lose the ability to walk, talk and move. However you keep all brain function. It's like being in your own prison.

The Red Cross is such an important organiztion and i am dedicating this song to all the Troops serving abroad this Holiday. Another Christmas is really about being away from loved ones and telling them you miss them and love them.

I never intended to release a song i had written for my family, however it's for such a great cause. I know you will all help me in raising as much money and awareness as you can. Download Another Chritmas at Itunes or Amazon


In an interview done by Nancy O'Dell for Access Hollywood, on December 9, Michael confirmed all proceeds from the sale of "Another Christmas" here in the United States would be given to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease) and The Red Cross. He chose to champion his friend Nancy's causes to honor her mother who was recently lost to the disease ALS.
Radio play of the song rapidly grew and the news of his gift spread over the internet. In addition to the links already listed, his story was featured in People, an Access Hollywood article (before the appearance), and AOL TV. Ryan Seacrest's radio show on was listed as the place to make requests for the song.
Another DJ whose name is Ken founded The Sounds Of Christmas radio station in 2007, and he's been keeping all the fans filled in with the news about Michael's song through his blog. He just announced that out of 2300 songs requested, Michael's was #9 this week. Not bad for a brand new song that was in no way promoted except through news of his gift. My thanks to Ken for doing his part to help promote this gift.

There you have it. The story of a song that was written by a man, who simply missed his home, his family, and friends, and how it has now become a gift to others who cannot be with theirs. He has already dedicated the proceeds to the charities, and then he dedicated the sentiments of the song to our troops and their families who can't be with their loved ones at Christmas. His gift will touch countless lives in the years to come.

The song is magnificent in its simplicity, elegance, and heartfelt message. It is timeless and will span generations to become a Christmas tradition. Forever there will always be someone who cannot be with the ones they love during the holidays. Far from being depressing, the song speaks instead of unending love. It's inspiring to hear his words explain how the love you feel is in no way diminished by the distance between you, or the time you are apart.

Michael Johns has dedicated his time, again and again, at virtually every performance since leaving American Idol. He has a history of dedicating himself to charitable acts from the Ithuteng documentary track "River Of Life" that he did with Rye Randa, to performing at New York Presbyterian Hospital for the children there. He's given the phrase "Idol gives back" a whole new meaning, in my opinion.

When I first started this column, I intended to go in-depth for each of the charities listed below, where he's shared his talent this year alone. I realized very quickly, that to delve into each subject would turn the article into a book. I've decided to hit just a few highlights of his donated time for charitable causes this year. Here's a list of the events he's done just since leaving the tour in September.

20 September 2008 - America's Cup of Polo - Journey for the Cure Foundation
24 September 2008 - Life Changing Lives Charity
04-05 October 2008 - Perth Telethon
07 October 2008 - Private appearance with Carly Smithson
09 November 2008 - Tony Hawk’s Stand Up for Skate Parks Benefit for the Tony Hawk Foundation
12 November 2008 - 60th Anniversary Benefit Dinner for the American Australian Association - over $1.6 million raised for the Association's Education Fund

18-21 November – Ayala Mall Tour – where he announced his contribution for Bantay Bata 163 through Mossimo Music

01 December Legoland California - who donated $10,000 to The Dave Thomas Foundation for foster children

02 December - the UNIFEM foundation raised $5000
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention he's finished his new CD for release in March of 2009 in his spare time? Well virtually finished anyway. He's recorded about 20 songs and has a couple more to do before he's through. There will be 12 songs on the CD according to Michael, as heard in an interview done by Access Atlanta's Rodney Ho. Click on his name to view the video. Michael tells Rodney that his first single will be out in February. I'll be back with more news for those events as the release dates become firm.
Until then, you must be satisfied with Michael's performance on the "David Foster and Friends DVD" available now, or the soundtrack he collaborated with Rye Randa and Jeff Foxworth on for the Shaun White documentary DVD "Don't Look Down", to be released in January 2009. Can't wait that long either?
Here's a suggestion. Make a last minute gift to someone you can't be with this year, or buy one for yourself to show thanks that your loved ones are with you. Ninety-nine cents and a few minutes time is all it will cost. You'll be doing a whole lot more than you'll ever know, for people you may never meet. Merry Christmas, and have a wonderful New Year.

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