(Feb. 1, 2019) Ocean City native Jimmy Charles, an “American Idol” alum and spokesperson for Zero – an organization raising awareness about prostate cancer – released a new country EP, “Hard Way to Go,” in December, which has received rave reviews.
His latest album has earned praise from critics and reached as high as the top four on iHeart radio as of Jan. 20.
“Every song is kind of different, but it’s all a piece of me,” Charles said. “The first [track is] ‘Blue Spaces.’ I started writing that song in the Virgin Islands which is a place that I love to go … and I was just sitting there looking out into all this blue space. I said, ‘Blue Spaces …this is a song.’”
The album features seven songs written by Charles and several other contributors, including some who have written for A-listers such as Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Hunter Hayes and the Eli Young Band. The CD includes the previously-released “Superman” and his current single, “I Am Not Alone.”
“There’s a little bit of me in every single song there,” Charles said. “I’m a country rock kind of guy. But I [also] love the soft sweet ballad.”
The reviews have been very positive for the new release, with LA Music Critic saying, “His music has depth and punch while also being extremely radio friendly deserving of heavy radio rotation on country radio and major attention from Music Row … This Artist is going to be Huge.”
“It’s kind of scary getting a review,” Charles said. “You can choose to send your album out to all these different bloggers and reviewers … and you don’t know what they’re gonna say. But it’s all been fantastic so it feels really good when you pour your heart and soul into something.”
However, Charles is more than just a country singer. He’s also an activist and spokesperson for a disease which does not receive a lot of national attention. A previously-released song, “Superman,” is included in the album, which was written to raise awareness about prostate cancer.
“I actually wrote ‘Superman’ three or four years ago with a cancer survivor,” Charles said. “I was just volunteering for Zero and they have walk/runs all across the country and there’s a big one in Baltimore. There’s about 5,000 people that go to it and I was going just to help them fundraise and be a part of it. Then, they asked me to write a song to bring awareness for men to get checked for prostate cancer.
“It’s a very personal thing,” he continued. “If you have prostate cancer you don’t want to wear a shirt and run around and say, ‘Hey, I got prostate cancer.’ This song really has opened up just so many doors for me to be able to get on to morning shows and radio shows and just really hit home the importance that you know cancer can have. Prostate cancer can happen to any man.”
A national spokesman for Zero – The End of Prostate Cancer – since 2014, Charles was named Outstanding Young Tennessean in 2017 for his work and was nominated for the Ten Outstanding Young Americans honor in 2018. He formed his own nonprofit, #IAMNOTALONE, which focuses on the strength and well-being of all cancer survivors, one year ago.
Charles will be performing his new album in Baltimore at the Cancun Cantina on Saturday, Feb. 23. He will return to Worcester County for a performance during Memorial Day weekend.
All downloads and the “I Am Not Alone” single, and a portion of the album sales, will go to #IAMNOTALONE. To donate directly to the nonprofit, visit https://fundly.com/i-am-not-alone.
For more information about Charles, visit his official website at www.jimmycharlesmusic.com or check out his Facebook and other social media handles, on Twitter @jimmycharles92 and Instagram @jimmycharlesmusic.