For the first time ever on ABC's General Hospital, actor and musician Rick Springfield will sing on the multi-award winning daytime drama, it was announced by Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney-ABC Television Group. Airing on Friday, August 24, Springfield will perform the song "Who Killed Rock 'n Roll?" from his upcoming album due for release in early 2008. In addition, national non-profit LIFEbeat will be incorporated into the concert storyline to educate the audience on the worthwhile, real-life charitable organization that works with the music industry and those affected by HIV/AIDS.
In storyline, Dr. Noah Drake (Rick Springfield), his son, Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson), and Dr. Robin Scorpio (two-time Emmy winner Kimberly McCullough) tell hospital patient and rock star Eli Love (Rick Springfield in a dual role) that he needs emergency surgery and must cancel his appearance in a charity concert benefiting LIFEbeat. Enter Anna Devane (Emmy winner Finola Hughes) who quickly devises a plan to transform Dr. Noah Drake - who strikingly resembles the rocker - into the musician so that the show goes on as scheduled. Pandemonium ensues as Dr. Drake tries desperately to become the rock star for whom he is "pinch hitting."
"We love to find new, fun ways to keep the genre fresh, and this story fits nicely into that plan - good story and a fun ride. Too boot, we are happy to partner with LIFEbeat in their mission to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS," commented Mr. Frons.
"The town of Port Charles is literally going to rock," says Executive Producer Jill Farren Phelps. "Long-time viewers as well as Rick Springfield fans will be entertained, while new viewers will see why General Hospital is appointment television."
The on-air concert culminates a show integration that began earlier this month between General Hospital and LIFEbeat with numerous script mentions - including the organization's web address - as well as banners used in set decoration throughout the series, including a special benefit event at the Metro Court Hotel's rooftop restaurant. General Hospital has been consistently committed to exploring issues and experiences around HIV/AIDS, including one of their continuing storylines about Dr. Robin Scorpio, one of the first characters on television to be infected and diagnosed with HIV.
"We at LIFEbeat are thrilled that General Hospital has chosen to bring additional awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic -- which still infects 40,000 new people a year in America -- by writing a real AIDS organization into the storyline," emphasized LIFEbeat Executive Director John Cannelli. "As the music industry's AIDS organization, part of our work is to bring HIV/AIDS prevention awareness and education to young people through our concert outreach programs, so this opportunity to reach the huge General Hospital audience with our like-minded message is just amazing!"
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