GRAND MARSHAL - Johnny Damon
A Major League Baseball star for 18 seasons, Johnny Damon was one of the most outstanding, respected and durable players in MLB. After winning the 2004 World Series with the Boston Red Sox and achieving legendary superstar status in New England, Johnny signed with the New York Yankees in 2006. In 2009, he won a World Series with the Yankees, joining Babe Ruth, to be the only full-time, everyday players to achieve World Series rings with both the Red Sox and Yankees.
A leader by example, Johnny is well-liked and highly-respected in the baseball community and spends a lot of time doing charity endeavors through his Johnny Damon Foundation. He lives his life to the fullest with his wife, Michelle, and eight children in Central Florida, where he has lived since he was six.
Jorge Estevez - HOST
Megan Clementi - HOST
Born and raised in South Florida, Megan Clementi moved to Orlando in 2004 to attend the University of Central Florida where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Engineering Leadership. During that time, she completed five seasons with the Orlando Magic franchise as a Magic Dancer, Dunking Dancer and Captain of the Dance Team. Later becoming an in-game arena emcee and side-line reporter for Orlando Magic Home games as well as host of Inside the Magic for Fox Sports Florida.
In 2010, Ms. Clementi won the title of Miss Florida USA and represented her home state of Florida in the nationally televised Miss USA Pageant. During her year long reign, Ms. Clementi appeared at 235 events across the state, traveling over 40,000 miles and raising over $10,000 for Central Florida Charities including Give Kids the World, Susan G Komen, and the Future Female Scientist Award.
In addition to her work with Fox Sports Florida, Ms. Clementi works on a variety of Television and Web broadcast productions. She continues to host live events and broadcasts throughout the state and was one of only 3 hosts at the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 (orchestrated by Prince Harry and Military Adaptive Sports INC) . Ms. Clementi and her husband, Jack Lutzeier, reside in Orlando with their two sons, Landon 3.5 and Liam 11 months.
Justin Guarini - Special Correspondent
In 2002, when Justin Guarini rose through the ranks of American Idol contenders to face off against Kelly Clarkson in the show’s first-ever finale, they were the stars of the entertainment industry. They were both destined for stardom, no matter the outcome, and their futures were certain. But for Guarini, that future turned out to be even bigger and brighter than he could have imagined...even if it led him in a different direction than he might have thought.
Those who might not remember him from his Idol days or haven’t seen him in Broadway shows may recognize Justin from his recurring role as "Lil’ Sweet" in nationwide Diet Dr. Pepper television and Internet Commercials.
However, Justin’s favorite roles to date are those of Husband and Father. In 2009, while working on the American Idol experience at Walt Disney World, he proposed to his now-wife, Reina Capodici. They were married in September 2009, and Justin settled into a comfortable family life with Reina and her daughter, Lola. In 2011 their family grew with the birth of Justin’s first son, William, and in 2013 Justin and Reina welcomed a second son, Asher.
These days Justin maintains a happy balance between family-man and performer. He has a strong personal belief in music education, has lobbied on Capitol Hill to stop the slashing of music education in our schools, and worked with Education Through Music LA to help fund music programs in disadvantaged schools.
Alyssa Raghu is an American singer/songwriter from Orlando, Florida, of Guyanese/Indian and Mexican heritage who recently took her talents to the stage for American Idol, Season 1 ABC. Often compared to Ariana Grande, Adele, and Christina Aguilera, Alyssa Raghu favors Pop Music but is flexible in her repertoire. She has been singing her entire life and knew when she was 11 years old that she wanted to pursue music as a career. When she turned 15, she began training with a vocal coach to focus on her goals. Alyssa also plays the guitar and writes her own music. She is currently staying very active performing at various shows and events around the country. Alyssa is also heavily involved in her musical theatre program in high school and aspires to pursue a career in acting as well.
Aside from school and her music interests, Alyssa Raghu also does philanthropic work, especially for organizations that help women and children prosper. She performs at fundraisers for Military Veterans and the Save Abee Foundation, which helps the children of Guyana gain access to books and educational tools. Alyssa also performs at charity events benefiting the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Alyssa Raghu was recently appointed as chair of the Global Citizen Committee for the World Heritage Cultural Center (WHCC), which promotes cultural awareness through the arts and food, knowledge and charity. She is also the first youth to be selected for the International Cultural Exchange Program by WHCC and foreign embassies. Alyssa plans to continue to grow as an artist and use her platform to create positive change for everyone. She truly believes music can bring us all closer together.
Florida Native, Charly Reynolds, is an 19 year old singer/songwriter from Orlando, Florida who recently moved to Nashville, TN to pursue her dream of being a country music artist. She has stolen the hearts of her hometown, beginning with her local performances at venues including Stardust Coffee and Digital Video, Friendly Confines, Night of Joy at Walt Disney World, Johnny’s Fillin’ Station and the Lake Eola Band Shell. Charly released her first single on iTunes, Underneath the Stars, on Dec. 30, 2015, the same day, stories about her performance at Disney's Night of Joy were released in One Country and Taste of Country Magazine. Later, Charly released her next three singles in 2016, Stupid Love Song, Need You By My Side and Get Over Yourself. In 2017, Charly released her 11 song debut album, Kickin’ Up Dust, on iTunes, May 19, 2017. She had her first release concert that night at the Walt Disney Amphitheatre. It was a huge success as approximately 500 people showed supporting her, along with strangers passing by who stopped to watch the concert. She sold more than half of her Kickin’ Up Dust merchandise that she personally designed. The concert was sponsored by Auto Nation Cure Bowl, GreenGrass4Me, Chloe Lane Boutique and Douglas Crank. After working tirelessly for 6 months, Charly released her sophomore EP, Kissed Us Goodbye, April 14, 2018. The album takes listeners on a journey through Charly’s experiences of love, heartbreak, and the importance of family. Charly worked with Tavie Basarich, (writer) owner of Winter Park Music Academy, Toby Waters, her former PE coach (writer) and Brooks Paschal (producer) on this EP. Charly held another release concert at the Walt Disney Amphitheater and it was also a huge success. She sold her merchandise, took meet & greet pictures with fans and shared her love for music through her songs. Despite the lights at the Amphitheater not coming on, her father, Jim Reynolds, saved the evening by shining his truck headlights on her, the show must go on!
Born in Orlando, Florida, Evin grew up surrounded by music and knew right away that music was what she wanted to do. Without a single lesson under her belt, Evin taught herself how to play guitar, piano, drums and pretty much any other instrument she picked up in her early years. With all those mastered, Evin began to create her signature sound that you often hear her referring to as "Melting Pop"
Evin’s original Christmas songs, " Sleigh Bells Slay", "Boyfriend for Christmas,” and "Love Song For A Snowman" have landed her national television performances during the holiday season.
After working in the studio with various producers including Dakari and Will Baker, Evin decided to attend Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida to pursue a degree in Music Production. She continues to write and create while learning more about production. Evin hopes to be a prominent female producer and songwriter in the music business while still performing her original songs.
The Funkywunks first started in Melbourne, FL in 2015 and moved their base of operations to Orlando, FL in 2017. Led by the sisters Julie and Kristen Johnson, the Funkywunks have become a team of dancers utilizing innovative choreography, high-energy music, and breath-taking stunts that have left audiences out of their seats all over the country!
Jo Dee Messina
Jo Dee Messina is a seasoned veteran in the music industry, always evolving and reintroducing herself and her sound as she gains new experiences in life. Jumpstarting her career, Jo Dee’s breakout song, “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” made her a household name. Following the success of her debut, Jo Dee posted nine No. 1 hits, sixteen Top 40 songs, sold over five million albums worldwide, and was honored by the ACM Awards, CMA Awards, and GRAMMY Awards. As Jo Dee’s résumé grew, she proved to be a trendsetter and history-maker, becoming the first female in country music history to celebrate three consecutive multi-week, chart-topping songs.
With a decorated past in the rearview mirror and endless dreams and an open road of possibility before her, this relatable woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, speaker, author, and incredibly gifted singer-songwriter has only just begun. Fueled by faith, belief, and love, Jo Dee pours her heart and soul into everybody she meets and everything she touches, which is perhaps why Jo Dee Messina is such a timeless name in the music industry.
Showcasing one of the greatest voices of our time, Linda Eder’s diverse repertoire spans Broadway, Standards, Pop, Country, and Jazz. When she performs “live” in concert, it is amazing to experience the ease with which she moves back and forth from one genre to another as if she were gifted with the vocal ability to perform each genre as well as all the others.
Born in Tucson, Arizona and raised in Brainerd, Minnesota, Eder began her career right out of high school singing all around her home state, and she eventually landed a gig at Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. But it was her appearance on the 1987 season of “Star Search,” during which she won for an unprecedented 12 straight weeks, which attracted the attention of audiences and record companies alike.
The concert stage remains the mainstay of Eder’s career. She has performed for sold-out crowds in venues across the country and throughout Europe. She has performed at many prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, The Palace Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, Wolftrap, New York City’s Town Hall, Davies Hall, among many others. Always touring in great company, her collaborators have included the late Oscar-winning composer and pianist Marvin Hamlisch, Emmy and Grammy winner Michael Feinstein, and conductor of the Boston Pops Keith Lockhart. Eder is happiest on stage singing for her audiences and spreading the joy she exudes.
London Hibbs, Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2019
London will embark on a whirlwind journey that will take her all over the country during her year of service as Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2019. She will educate audiences about her platform "Check YES 4 Life!” as the National Teen Spokesperson for Donate Life America, and act as the official National Teen Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals. Sixty-two children enter a Children's Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute. London will work passionately to promote this worthwhile organization along with the triumphs of its miracle children, their parents, and the hospitals’ doctors and staff. CMNH is the national platform partner of the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Organization.
Life can be hard, and people can be messy, but Jesus can take that busted equation and make it shine.
That's the message of Treasure, the debut album from powerhouse vocalist MARi. Hailing from Queens, New York, MARi brings a musical tapestry of texture, color, and style to the contemporary Christian music arena.
But buckle up, friends, because hers is a whole new level of fresh. An energetic hybrid of dance, pop, Latin and--yes--even a splash of reggae, MARi anchors her distinctive sound in equally bold lyrics.
"People have fun trying to pinpoint my specific style of music," says MARi. "But first my music is a message--that God can take all the junk of your past and shape it into something that brings Him crazy glory."
With Treasure, MARi delivers that message in a refreshing kaleidoscope of sounds.
You'll find it in dance tracks such as "Shine Brighter," fiery Latin tunes like "Estoy Bien," pop beats such as "It's a Beautiful Day," and inspiring anthems such as "If My People Pray," "I Believe in Jesus," and the albums' goosebump-worthy title track, "Treasure."
Nia Franklin, Miss America 2019
Nia Franklin was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and lived in the state through graduate school. She earned an undergraduate degree in music composition from East Carolina University, and a master’s in music composition from The University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts. Shortly after, Nia was awarded a Kenan Fellowship at New York’s Lincoln Center Education and made the move to New York City.
During Nia’s college junior year, her father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and she became his stem cell donor. This turn of events led Nia to the Miss America Organization. “I had to find a way to pay for myself to go to school and so I entered this competition and this organization, and it became much more than just the scholarship money for me, it was also about the mentorship, leadership and sisterhood you find in this program.” Nia was crowned Miss Five Boroughs at the age of 23, and then went on to win Miss New York 2018. And was awarded the job of Miss America 2019 on September 9, 2018.
Nia has been a teacher and music mentor, and has written over 100 songs, including one she began performing at age five. (The lyrics begin: “Love, love, love, love, love is the only thing that matters to me…”). For the Miss America 2019 competition, Franklin sang “Quando m’en Vo'” from Puccini’s La Boheme and wowed audiences and judges alike.
Throughout her year as Miss America, Nia will be working on her social impact initiative ADVOCATING FOR THE ARTS. Nia speaks with students, school administrators, and teachers about the importance of arts education and why it is so vital to a well-rounded education.
MICHAEL CAMPION stars on the hit Netflix series, FULLER HOUSE in the role of Jackson Fuller, the teen son of CJ Tanner played by Candace Cameron-Bure. This reboot of the uber-popular series Fuller House is now in production for season four.
Michael previously starred opposite William Baldwin, Denise Richards and Tom Arnold in the feature film CHRISTMAS TRADE. This busy teen is also one of the stars of ROBO-DOG and the soon to be released ROBO- DOG UNLEASHED where he worked alongside Jonathan Silverman, Patrick Muldoon and Olivia d’Abo. Another early credit was a starring role in the feature film FINDING EDEN.
A veteran of dozens of television commercials and short films, Michael also has a love of the theater. He has appeared in stage productions of THE WIZARD OF OZ, ANNIE and THE LITTLE MERMAID, just to name a few.
When he isn’t working professionally, he enjoys water sports, video games, performing magic tricks and like a typical teenager, hanging out with friends. When not in Los Angeles, Michael lives in Florida with his parents where he is always eager to visit the many theme parks Florida has to offer.
Michael Campion is definitely a budding young Hollywood actor to watch!
Orlando Magic Dancers
The Orlando Magic Dancers are a professional dance team that helps make the Orlando Magic the hottest show in town! Established in 1988, 20 of Orlando's most talented dancers, gymnasts and entertainers have thrilled fans for the last 29 seasons.
Under the direction of Entertainment Teams Manager Jeanine Klem-Thomas and Assistant Manager Cherie LaRosa, the dancers entertain arena audiences at every home Magic game with high-energy and fast-paced routines. Outside of the games, the Magic Dancers add excitement and class to special and charitable events, grand openings, corporate meetings, conventions, trade shows, and many other promotional functions...over 250 events per year in and out of Central Florida. In addition, the dancers contribute over 650 hours of service to the Central Florida community and abroad each year through their volunteer work and appearances at various functions.
Orlando Repertory Theatre (Orlando REP)
Orlando Repertory Theatre (Orlando REP) is a professional theatre with a mission to create experiences that enlighten, entertain, and enrich families and young audiences. In addition to productions, Orlando REP conducts community engagement initiatives. The award-winning REP Youth Academy provides classes and workshops for children, along with professional development opportunities to classroom teachers. Housed in a three theatre complex in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park, Orlando REP is also home to the University of Central Florida’s MFA in Theatre for young Audiences graduate program. Orlando REP is Florida’s only professional Theatre for Young Audiences.
Sisaundra Lewis, a Florida native, gained global recognition after writing and performing two number one Billboard hits, singing countless TV commercials, narrating the Oscar nominated documentary-Sustaining Life and delivering electrifying performances on Season six of NBC’s The Voice. She’s a Preachers Kid (PK) who got her start touring as a backing vocalist/duet partner with Grammy winner Peabo Bryson then on to five world tours as vocal director for Celine Dion and a host of other iconic Artists. Sisaundra’s the Founder of Find Your Voice, a female Mentorship/Leadership Program currently in 12 Orange County Public Schools as well as a fulltime Honors student at Valencia College; attaining her Bachelors in Business Leadership. She’s the proud mother of 3; Vinson, Rasheedah and Rohan and she strives to continuously inspire others by combining her glorious vocal instrument with amplified purpose.
Like many new country singers of the mid-'90s, Ty Herndon fused neo-traditionalist country with a slick, rock-oriented sense of style and production. Like many of his contemporaries, his blend of genres proved commercially successful, and his first album became one of the biggest hits of 1995. Herndon was a little wilder, at least off the stage, than many of his peers, but his records had a down-to-earth sense of sentimentality that initially gave him a broad fan base.
Born in Meridian, Mississippi and raised in Butler, Alabama, Herndon became involved in music as he was growing up. He sang gospel music and learned how to play piano. After he graduated from high school, he moved to Nashville. Initially, he had a difficult time gaining a foothold in the music industry, spending ten years without making any real headway. Herndon left the Music City and headed to Texas, where he began slogging it out in local honky tonks, developing a dedicated following of fans. In 1993, he won the Texas Entertainer of the Year. Later that year, he signed to Epic Records.
Herndon's first single, "What Mattered Most," hit number one in the spring of 1995. An album of the same name was released in April and became a Top Ten country hit. His second single, "I Want My Goodbye Back," became a number seven hit. The world was seemingly in his hands, but his first year of stardom was a difficult one, as he was arrested for drug possession on June 13, 1995, in Fort Worth, Texas. Nevertheless, the arrest didn't halt his career. His third single, "Heart Half Empty," was a hit, and Herndon's second album, Living in a Moment, debuted at number six upon its summer 1996 release. Big Hopes followed two years later, and in 1999 Herndon resurfaced with Steam. This Is Ty Herndon: Greatest Hits arrived in 2002, followed by a collection of Christmas songs (Not So Silent Night) in 2004 and a new album (Right About Now) in 2006. After that record, Herndon moved to the FUNL Music indie, releasing Journey On, his first album for the label, in 2001, and followed it with Lies I Told Myself in 2013 and House on Fire in 2016.