American Idol Ruben Studdard winner launches kids' show

Posted 10:21 a.m. Tuesday

— Think of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood with much better singing.

Former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard will launch a musical show directed toward children Sunday at the Dothan Opera House. The hour-long show begins at 3 p.m.

The show is called "Uncle Ruben's House" and will feature Ruben singing traditional children's songs with his own spin as well as original creations designed to teach children manners and etiquette.

"I don't want to say it is all kids, but a lot of kids these days don't have the manners they need," Studdard said Monday while in Dothan promoting the show. "They just don't say 'yes ma'am' or 'no ma'am' or 'thank you' anymore."

The centerpiece of his show is an original song titled "Be Polite."

Studdard said the show is designed to entertain and instruct at the same time. It will be filmed live and distributed to companies in hopes of becoming a regular program.

Studdard, a Birmingham resident, has family ties to Dothan. He said some of his extended family remains in Dothan.

Studdard won the second season of American Idol in 2002. He has produced six studio albums, toured with the 30th anniversary production of "Ain't Misebhavin'" and launched many other projects. He said children's music had been in the back of his mind for several years and he decided to move forward with the project when approached recently.

"It's just fun," Studdard said. "We are targeting children ages 2-9. Usually, when you are around 9, you have developed your own musical preferences. What we want to do is expose children to all different types of music before they have formed a musical opinion.

"The show is going to have elements of jazz, classical, bluegrass, just about every genre of music I could possibly get in there," Studdard added.

Tickets are on sale at the Dothan Civic Center Box Office by calling 334-615-3175, or online at www.DothanCivicCenter.org. Advance tickets are $12 for children and $15 for adults, but will increase by $5 at the door on Sunday.


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