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Andy Madadian

Andy Madadian’s immense musical talent, humanitarian efforts and diverse background have culminated in a remarkable entertainment career spanning 40 years, during which he has become a beloved icon around the world. Nicknamed the “Persian Bono,” the Iranian-Armenian American musician has toured extensively around the globe many times over playing some of the world’s most prestigious venues, theatres, and stadiums and has sold millions of albums in the process. On May 13th, 2017, Andy became the first Iranian-Armenian-American singer to receive the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York.

Andy has been awarded and recognized not only for his musical contributions to the international community, but for his humanitarian efforts. He recorded the song “Stand by Me” with Jon Bon Jovi to show solidarity and bring awareness for the people of Iran, garnering over 8 million hits on YouTube. In addition to high profile musical collaborations with Jon Bon Jovi, Ritchie Sambora, La Toya Jackson, Don Was, John Shanks and renowned Iranian lyricist Paksima, he has contributed musically and as an actor to films including “The House of Sand and Fog,” “The Keeper,” and “Guardian Angel,” as well as indie films.

In the United States, he has played for the last ten years to critical acclaim at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as the prestigious Dolby (Kodak) Theatre in Hollywood and large-scale venues in Las Vegas. He has won several awards over the course of his over 30-year career, including the Icon Award and Best Duet with La Toya Jackson from the Big Apple Music Awards, the Concord Award from Moscow in 2014, The Voice of America (a Persian news program) award for Best Artist of the Year, the FOG (Festival of Globe) Award for Legendary Artist and Excellence in Music in San Jose, CA, and several awards from AMFA. He is the first Iranian/Armenian singer to be invited to the White House.

Whether Andy is performing and producing music or acting, he is a trailblazer forging a new path that redefines traditional musical borders. He continues to play to sold-out venues all over the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Russia and the Middle East. His touring schedule regularly includes countries that American based artists rarely (if ever) perform in, including Armenia, Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates, and cities such as Tashkent and Samarkand, among others, all the while spreading his universal message of love and joy.

A true humanitarian, Andy has contributed to many international charitable causes during the span of his career. He is an officer of Voices Out, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by his wife, Shani Rigsbee, a fellow singer/songwriter and film producer. Voices Out’s mission is to provide a voice to and aid children and animals in neglectful, abusive and abandoned conditions both in the US and abroad. He was recognized twice by the mayor and City of LA, Mr. Eric Garcetti, for his continued efforts to contribute his time and talent for the overall welfare of the city. He helped organize “We Hear Your Voice,” a humanitarian song and video that promotes world peace and unity, with proceeds benefiting international children’s charities (written, performed and produced by his wife Shani). Andy and Shani have also performed and produced many songs in different languages and toured the world together. Andy has donated countless hours and performances for fundraisers to help build medical clinics and to support medical facilities around the world. Due to his international popularity and philanthropic reputation, Andy was invited to perform at the One World Peace Concert with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other musical artists in 2012. The concert was a celebration of music, peace, and common ground.

Born in Tehran, Iran, Andy’s family came from humble beginnings. He grew up with nine people living in a small one-room house. But their house was filled with love, laughter, and most importantly for Andy, music.

As Andy was beginning to explore his musical roots, his native land entered into a turbulent period that led to a civil war. He made the decision to leave Iran, and moved to California with a student visa to play soccer for Cal State University LA. Despite starting from zero with no support network or place to live, Andy managed to make a life for himself in Los Angeles. He attended classes during the day and found work playing guitar at local clubs at night. From college, he auditioned for an American band, and went on tour with them around the US. Andy then formed the musical duo Andy and Kouros with fellow musician Kouros Shahmiri. The duo released four albums together before embarking on their respective solo careers.

Andy is credited for creating a new fusion of sound that combines the music of his Iranian-Armenian heritage with African rhythms, Spanish flamenco guitar licks, and Western dance music. His global, exotic sound reflects his international roots and experiences, which have allowed him to connect with millions of people around the world. Besides the profound respect Andy has for Persian and Armenian poetry, working with the same lyricist Paksima Zakipour for over twenty-nine years, he developed an abiding love for contemporary Middle-Eastern music. Together he and Paksima have written countless number one hits witch have placed him on the top ten charts continuously until today. They are known as the Elton John and Bernie Taupin of the Persian music world. Andy also sings in English and Spanish, among other languages. Andy’s music is banned in his own country of Iran, but his albums sell in the millions. However, all sales are bootlegged and done through underground channels. Consequently, his albums’ enormous popularity does not result in financial profit.

Today, Andy is the living proof of the American dream. A long-time resident of Los Angeles, the city’s diversity and rich culture have helped to continue to fuel his unique sound that has catapulted him to international superstardom. Andy’s songs may be a break from tradition, but young and old alike, and fans from the east to the west continue to pack his concerts and buy his albums.

Accomplishments:

-The first Iranian/Armenian singer invited to the White House

-Released 15 albums that have sold millions of copies internationally

-Performed 9 times at Greek Theatre in LA

-Performed 4 times at the Dolby (Kodak) Theatre in LA

-Contributed to the musical score and was featured singing in DreamWorks’ “The House of Sand & Fog” (featuring Sir Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly)

-Has supported and contributed to many indie films as an actor and a musician

-Featured halftime performer for the exclusive Chelsea vs Inter-Milan soccer match at the Rose Bowl Pasadena

-In “Guardian Angel,” he co-wrote and performed the theme song, “Far and Away,” and inLost Journey” he has a featured role and contributed to the score for “Futbaal,” “The Florist,” and Guide Company Films “The Keeper”

-In “American Wrestler” he performed the theme song written and produced by Shani Rigsbee and Jamie Christopherson

Awards

-2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor from NECO (National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations)

-Big Apple Music Awards in NYC: ICON Award and Best Duet with La Toya Jackson, 2016

-Concord Award from Moscow, 2014

-Big Apple Music Awards in NYC: Millennium Award 2014

-Big Apple Music Awards in NYC: Legend Award, 2009

-Big Apple Music Awards in NYC: Diamond Award, 2004

-Voice of America (Persian News Program): Best Artist of the Year

-FOG (Festival of Globe) Award for Legendary Artist and Excellence in Music in San Jose, CA

-Persian Industry Gala Ceremony at Universal Studios Amphitheater: Persian Pop Male Singer of the Decade

-City of LA: Outstanding Achievement Award

-AMFA Award: Best International Album, 2004

-AMFA Award: Best International Album, 2000

-AMFA Award: Best Armenian World Artist,1999

-AMFA Award: Best International Album, 1998

-Armenian Pulse named him the best Armenian International Singer of the Year, 2014

List of Contributions to the Community and Civic Oriented Participation:

A true humanitarian, Andy has appeared and contributed to many international charitable causes during the span of his career, including:

-He is an officer of Voices Out, a (pending) 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by his wife Shani Rigsbee. Voices Out’s mission is to provide a voice and aid children and animals in neglectful, abusive and abandoned conditions both in the US and abroad. They have traveled to Armenia to assist rescue missions for animal sanctuaries and spends time in LA helping dogs find their forever homes. The organization also financially helped Syrian refugees in Armenia.

-He has performed countless concerts gratis for the City of Los Angeles for various fundraisers with the goal of unifying people of various religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds including the Jewish community, Armenian community, the LAPD, etc. His continued efforts to contribute his time and talent for the overall welfare of the city were recognized and awarded twice by Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles.

-He recorded the song “Stand by Me” with Jon Bon Jovi and Ritchie Sambora to show solidarity and bring awareness for the people of Iran. The Persian lyrics of the remake resonated with people garnering over 9 million hits on YouTube.

-He helped organize “We Hear Your Voice,” a humanitarian song and video that promotes world peace and unity, with proceeds benefiting international children’s charities (produced by his wife Shani Rigsbee). “We Hear Your Voice” included the participation of 11 notable musician superstars from 11 different countries who all came together with the goal of spreading hope and love throughout the world.

-He performed at the One World Peace Concert with the Dalai Lama and other high-profile musical artists in 2012 to promote international peace.

-He recorded a humanitarian song, “Bi Sabah El Alf El Talet,” with Lebanese singer Mayssa Karaa and Persian lyricist Paksima ,and performed at the historical MasterPeace Concert in Amsterdam.

-He has visited the UCLA cancer ward, using his talent, warmth, and love to bring happiness to those in need.

-He has traveled to the MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas to visit children with cancer.

-He has donated countless hours and performances for fundraisers to help build medical clinics and to support medical facilities around the world, including in Afghanistan, for those without access to quality medical care.

-A vegetarian for 38 years, he has been an active advocate for animal welfare and health.