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Five for Fighting

Five for Fighting is the one-man band of John Ondrasik, who rose to fame in 2001 on the strength of the pop/rock ballad "Superman (It's Not Easy)." Although originally released in 2000, the single became popular after the events of September 11, 2001, which shone new light on Five for Fighting's tal ...

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Five for Fighting is the one-man band of John Ondrasik, who rose to fame in 2001 on the strength of the pop/rock ballad "Superman (It's Not Easy)." Although originally released in 2000, the single became popular after the events of September 11, 2001, which shone new light on Five for Fighting's tale of flight, insecurity, and heroics. Another Top 40 hit, "100 Years," followed three years later, thus cementing Five for Fighting's status as one of the decade's leading balladeers.

Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, Ondrasik started his musical training when he was only two years old. His mother, a piano teacher, gave him lessons, and he began turning his attention to guitar at the age of 13. He taught himself to use the latter instrument and soon began writing music. Somewhere along the way, he also took vocal lessons in opera. After discovering that opera wasn't his cup of tea, Ondrasik shifted his focus once again, this time turning to artists like Billy Joel, Journey, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Earth, Wind & Fire for inspiration.

Using the stage name Five for Fighting -- a term he appropriated from ice hockey's rule book -- Ondrasik made his major-label debut in 1997 by releasing Message for Albert. He then left the roster of his original label, Capitol Records, and signed with Columbia before issuing America Town. Released in 2000, the album furthered Ondrasik's themes of love and life while adding a political spin, a combination that yielded warm reviews but sluggish sales. America Town might have been another strong outing from a talented (yet commercially invisible) songwriter were it not for the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and the nation's subsequent embrace of the delicate piano ballad "Superman (It's Not Easy)." Five for Fighting performed the song at the Concert for New York City that winter, and America Town went platinum several months later.

While it was a bittersweet way to find fame, the single's success gave Ondrasik the artistic license he'd always craved. When The Battle for Everything appeared in early 2004, it was Five for Fighting's most stylistically ambitious and lyrically bold recording to date. It also yielded another high-charting single, "100 Years." 2006's Two Lights continued Ondrasik's exploration of blue-collar America by focusing on love, mortality, war, and family. A concert album entitled Back Country Live arrived in 2007, followed by Slice -- featuring several songs co-written by musical theater composer Steven Schwartz -- in October 2009. Ondrasik reunited with producer Gregg Wattenberg -- who had previously worked with Ondrasik on America Town -- for his sixth album release Bookmarks. Released in September 2013, the album was preceded by the single "What If." ~ Charlotte Dillon & Andrew Leahey

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1
Five for Fighting - 100 Years

100 Years

  The Battle for Everything

2
Five for Fighting - Superman (It's Not Easy)

Superman (It's Not Easy)

  Songs From Dawson's Creek, Vol. II

3
Five for Fighting - Chances

Chances

  Slice

4
Five for Fighting - The Riddle

The Riddle

  Two Lights

5
Five for Fighting - Superman (It's Not Easy) [feat. John Onrasik]

Superman (It's Not Easy) [feat. John Onrasik]

  America Town

6
Five for Fighting - 100 Years (Live)

100 Years (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

7
Five for Fighting - Song for the Innocents

Song for the Innocents

  Song for the Innocents - Single

8
Five for Fighting - Superman (It's Not Easy) [New Version]

Superman (It's Not Easy) [New Version]

  Playlist: The Very Best of Five for Fighting

9
Five for Fighting - Easy Tonight

Easy Tonight

  Playlist: The Very Best of Five for Fighting

10
Five for Fighting - World

World

  Two Lights

11
Five for Fighting - The Riddle

The Riddle

  Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) - EP

12
Five for Fighting - 100 Years (Acoustic Version)

100 Years (Acoustic Version)

  100 Years - Single

13
Five for Fighting - All I Know

All I Know

  Chicken Little

14
Five for Fighting - Hope (Live)

Hope (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

15
Five for Fighting - I Just Love You (Live)

I Just Love You (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

16
Five for Fighting - The I Just Love You Story (Live)

The I Just Love You Story (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

17
Five for Fighting - Symphony Lane (Live)

Symphony Lane (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

18
Five for Fighting - What If (Live)

What If (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

19
Five for Fighting - I Don't Want Your Love (Live)

I Don't Want Your Love (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

20
Five for Fighting - Chances (Live)

Chances (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

21
Five for Fighting - Superman (Live)

Superman (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

22
Five for Fighting - If God Made You (Live)

If God Made You (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

23
Five for Fighting - White Picket Fence (Live)

White Picket Fence (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

24
Five for Fighting - The Ocean (Live)

The Ocean (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

25
Five for Fighting - Two Lights (Live)

Two Lights (Live)

  Live with String Quartet

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