With his single, Tell Me I’m Wrong, having hit #21 on the adult contemporary Billboard charts in the U.S. before Christmas, Justin Hines continues to catch international attention with his voice and charisma.
And he’ll be spreading his message of goodwill through his songs when he gives a concert at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Saturday in support of the Kindale Developmental Association.
“Justin is a shining example of turning a disability into an ability. He shows that all people have abilities and he is an inspiration to everyone,” said Cindy Masters, Kindale development officer. “People everywhere will be inspired by his amazing voice and incredible talent.”
Kindale has been working on bringing Hines to Vernon for a long time. His appearance in B.C. also includes a show in Grand Forks, where his father-in-law lives, so it worked to bring him to the Interior for two appearances, said Masters.
“He has an amazing story. It’s one of those inspirational feel-good stories,” she added.
Self-taught on the piano, where he now does most of his songwriting, Hines has Larsen Syndrome, a joint dislocation condition that confines him to a wheelchair.
After winning a contest at the age of 14 to sing both the Canadian and American national anthems at a Raptors basketball game in Toronto, Hines has gone on to become a household name in his native Canada and other parts of the world.
He performed at both the Beijing and Vancouver Olympic Games, and his other hit single, Say What You Will, which appeared on Hines’ second Canadian album and is on his U.S. debut Days to Recall, released in August, was used as part of a South African campaign to build 20 schools in 11 days.
Hines has since performed in South Africa and saw the schools that will educate more than 22,000 students.
“It’s so beyond an honour knowing that a song we did was part of this, that we get to be part of that beauty,” he said.
Hines has also made an impact in the U.S. He has appeared on the CBS Morning Show and starred in a concert, which was taped at Toronto’s Royal Cinema with special guests Ron Sexsmith, Natalie MacMaster, Donnell Leahy, Sierra Noble and the Canadian Tenors, that was shown on PBS.
The music video for Tell Me I’m Wrong was primarily filmed in Joplin, Missouri, following the devastating tornado that touched down there in late May, 2011, and he continues to perform south of the border as well as at home for fundraisers and concerts.
Tickets for his Vernon concert are still available, and Masters says she would love to see a full house to greet Hines.
“He often meets his fans after the show, so the audience should stick around after the concert ends.”
Hines will be at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30, available at the Ticket Seller box office, 549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.