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Best-selling artist holds private performance at Alabama children’s hospital

(Video above: Jason Mraz performs for patients at Children’s)

BIRMINGHAM — Two-time Grammy award winner Jason Mraz played a special concert for patients at Children’s Hospital on Monday before his sold-out concert at Iron City. The performance was part of a new partnership between Iron City and Children’s Hospital.

Mraz performed a few songs for the crowd in the lobby before he visited patients who were unable to leave their rooms. One of those patients was a massive fan of Mraz, so when he appeared in her room, she was speechless. The singer-songwriter even signed a few autographs for the patients. Chandler Bibb, Director of Development for Children’s, said even those who didn’t know of Mraz’s music enjoyed his performance.

“One little boy at the concert leaned up to [Mraz] and asked, ‘How did you get so good at the guitar?’ When Mraz said it was practice, the boy said, ‘I’m not good at practice.’”

Mraz’s visit to Children’s is part of a new partnership between the hospital and Iron City. The program, called Artists Care, allows musicians who perform at Iron City to have the opportunity to visit and perform for patients or donate memorabilia.

“This is really something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Mike Creager, general manager of Iron City. “It started with a few inspiring conversations I’ve had with artists over the past years. The goal is to help the kids of Children’s hospital and to directly affect their lives, with performances from the artist, a visit from the artist or money raised from memorabilia.”

The program launched in February with country star Blake Shelton, who donated a signed child’s sized guitar. Shelton would have visited the hospital in person, but his time was short before his free, surprise concert at Iron City.

Mraz is the first artist to visit and perform at Children’s as part of the Artists Care program. He was thrilled with the idea and agreed instantly.

“He did whatever he could to make it a special visit,” Bibb said.

The partnership between Iron City and Children’s is still growing, but the Artists Care program already has had a positive impact.

“There were smiles all over the place,” said Bibb. “That’s what we try to do… when these artists come in to entertain the patients… it’s about how to bring childhood in the hospital, or make them have a better time while they’re here.”