John Ondrasik - Singer and Songwriter, Five For Fighting
In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien captures a solid bit of advice from Bilbo, directed toward his nephew Frodo. He says,
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
In the pursuit of success, it’s tempting to chase shiny objects. That’s certainly true in the music industry. But in spite of having two platinum albums, hundreds of credits on soundtracks, ads, and tv shows, AND composing a song that brought America together in the days following 9/11, today’s guest has stayed grounded, even as he continued to dream big dreams. Together, we’ll consider the question:
How can you stay true to yourself as a leader?
A conversation with John Ondrasik, AKA Five For Fighting, on this episode of Lead With a Question.
The only way for a story to progress is to turn the page. John Ondrasik— the songwriter and performer known as the platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated, Five For Fighting—knows this well. In the two decades since his first major single, “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” hit the stratosphere, the artist has both evolved and come back ‘round full circle. Creativity, if nothing else, is paradoxical.
To date, Five For Fighting, has released six studio LPs, including the platinum certified America Town and The Battle for Everything; and the top-10 charting Two Lights, along with an EP and live albums.
Ondrasik has penned major hits, including the chart-topping “100 Years,” “The Riddle,” “Chances,” “World,” and “Easy Tonight,” which have earned tens of millions of streams and place him as a top-10 Hot Adult Contemporary artist for the 2000s. The reflective “100 Years” has joined “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” as part of the American Songbook and continues to stand the test of time at weddings, birthdays, graduations, memorials, and many a home video. Five For Fighting’s music has also been featured in more than 350 films, television shows, and commercials, including the Oscar-winning The Blind Side, Hawaii Five-O, The Sopranos and the CBS drama, Code Black.
Today, Ondrasik spends his time writing music, touring, working at the family business, and enjoying life with his wife, two children, and dog Ender.