Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 42 / 16 October 2014
 
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Voice singer releases single

NEWS


Singer Jamar Rogers
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Artist and HIV activist Jamar Rogers, most recently in the spotlight due to his appearance on NBC's hit show, The Voice , has just released his first studio single, "Where Would I Be Without You."

Rogers, 29, who publicly came out as HIV-positive on the show, has been making headlines not only for his incredible vocal performances but also for his courage to represent a younger generation of HIV-positive Americans.

"The new single is a song for my fans," said Rogers. "It has elements of electronic rock and soul and has been compared to Neon Trees and The Killers, which I feel is very good company to be in."

He said that he wanted his first single to be a "thank you letter" to the people who loved him through his darker days. Rogers was referring to his long battle with crystal meth, which he overcame. He has been clean and sober for seven years.

In 2009, Rogers tried out for American Idol for the second time. There was a great deal of controversy over his release from that reality show. According to Rogers, the producers made it clear they wanted him to be a frontrunner within the following season, however it seemed as though the fans of the show did not agree with their sentiment.

Immediately following American Idol , Rogers met with recording executives and he recorded songs with various artists including Legacy Musik, Frankie Jordan, and Rcin the Martian. After mastering his vocals, he decided to move to New York City, relocating to the South Bronx. It was here that Rogers found another calling: activism. He worked with God's Love We Deliver, a nonprofit organization that delivers meals and provides nutrition to those battling HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. He also became involved with the New York City Dream Center where he could express his spiritual desires through song and performance.

His breakthrough moment came after appearing on The Voice . He performed multiple songs while on the television show such as "I Want to Know What Love Is" and "It's My Life." It was the latter performance that caused fans of the show to fall in love with the vibrant vocalist. Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed Rogers's rendition of "It's My Life" to be the best performance of the season. Despite being released during the second to last round, Rogers's journey is far from over.

He recently announced plans to move to Los Angeles, where he can concentrate on his music career. He has also been on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, performed the national anthem at a Los Angeles Dodgers game, and will be a keynote speaker at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. later this month. While on The Voice, Rogers was dubbed the "comeback kid."

"Letting the world know about my HIV status was liberating and has been so utterly rewarding," he told the Bay Area Reporter, "because I came clean, people have told me that they have the courage to tell their friends and loved ones, which of course validates the entire experience for me."

Rogers wants people to know that just because their lives aren't as lavish as a reality TV star or celebrity, it doesn't mean that they can't live their passion or their dreams.

"It doesn't matter what you've done or what has happened to you, it's time to live your best days now," he said.






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