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Date Posted: 13:39:20 02/02/05 Wed
January 2004 Most Beautiful Man Winner
Singer/songwriter Ben Jelen (pronounced Yell-in) connected with fans early - and fast - with a little help from the internet. In January 2004 - three full months before the release of his debut album, GIVE IT ALL AWAY, America Online announced that Jelen was an AOL Music Breaker Artist. In short order, AOL premiered the album's first single, "Come On," and began streaming Jelen's own Sessions@AOL to new music fans online. By mid-February, AOL reported that Ben Jelen's music had been downloaded over one million times. Since then, Ben Jelen has become a certified internet success story, consistently appearing on numerous online music charts, including Big Champagne's Bubbling Under Chart.
Ben Jelen's honest lyrics and musical craftsmanship on GIVE IT ALL AWAY reflect his nomadic upbringing (Scotland, England, Texas, New Jersey) and hand-to-mouth existence in NYC. He perfected his skills on piano, violin, and guitar throughout his youth. After earning a biology degree from Rutgers University, he moved to NYC to work as a producer and sound-engineer at a local recording studio where, after-hours, Jelen recorded the demo that gained the attention of CEO of Fearless Joseph Janus. Soon after, Janus introduced Jelen to Maverick chief, Guy O'Seary, who quickly signed him to a record deal.
An avalanche of praise followed that branded the artist as a bright up-and-comer with undeniable promise. Interview Magazine profiled him, Teen People predicted that Jelen is "What's Next," Details Magazine called him the "Next Big Thing."
People Magazine said, "not only does he possess a voice as pretty as his face, but he writes almost all his own material, in addition to playing piano, guitar, and violin(!)."
USA Today wrote, "The 24-year-old has heart-stopping good looks and writes and sings heart-melting ballads."
MTV featured Jelen during Spankin' New Music Week, he made his network television debut on Good Morning America, and performed on NBC's The Today Show. He has performed on Last Call with Carson Daly, the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, and his music has been featured in popular shows like Ed (NBC), One Tree Hill (WB), Smallville (WB), Las Vegas (NBC), Summerland (FOX), The Mountain (WB) and "Come On" is featured in the trailers for the much anticipated "Finding Neverland".
Since his album release, Jelen has traveled the country with his band and will continue touring through the Fall '04. In short time, Ben will have completed a headlining club tour, shared the stage with Hanson, Maroon 5, Moby, and Clay Aiken, and participated in Rock The Vote's 2004 Bus Tour, which has special significance for the politically aware musician. Rock The Vote is only one of the organizations Jelen has lent his name to - an active environmentalist, his concerns are reflected in his work.
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