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3/1/2004     Aaron Neville: A Performer "In Tune"
With St. Jude   

When life's problems begin to look insurmountable, it's easy to lose hope. One of our first reactions is to wonder, 'why me?'.  It's easy to forget that troubles and difficulties can come to anyone, regardless of a person's color, background, or level of success.

A case in point is the prolific singer, Aaron Neville.

A quick glance at Aaron Neville's biography highlights a career that has achieved the ultimate in success and fame in the music industry: number one hit records, four Grammy Awards, and critical acclaim as a jazz, soul, rhythm-n-blues, and rock performer. If you listened to music in the '60's, you remember his classic "Tell It Like It Is".  In the 1980's, you'll recall his projects as part of the Neville Brothers. In the 1990's, he recorded hit duets with Linda Ronstadt and Trisha Yearwood.  My personal favorite is his version of "Everybody Plays The Fool." And his rendition of "Ave Maria" is stunning.

But a closer look at his background reveal a person who has also experienced the full range of life's pains, including a bout with drug addiction, prison time, chronic depression, and financial and marital problems.

He credits the turnaround in his life to God, his Catholic faith, and, in particular, St. Jude.

It was during a particularly rough period in his life that he recalled the strong devotion of his mother, Amelia, to St. Jude. "One day I remember my mother telling me about St. Jude," he says, "and I started going whenever I heard they were having a St. Jude Novena".

His relationship with St. Jude has continued to sustain him to this day.

Aaron has said, "I pray to St. Jude everyday, not just around Christmas.  When I was depressed, down and out, he helped me out of my hole. He's let me see some miracles."  As a reminder of his patron saint, Aaron dedicates each of his albums to St. Jude, and he wears a St. Jude medal as an earring.

He also knows a thing or two about giving back.

He has used his soul-stirring voice (which he calls a "gift from the Lord") to reach people going through their own difficulties, especially troubled youth. He has  recorded inspirational albums to raise funds for young people in his native state of Louisiana.

So, the next time you feel the weight of your troubles starting to get the better of you, take comfort in knowing that, whether you are a fulltime mom, office worker, or Grammy Award-winning performer,  you're in good company in your daily battle. And that no matter who you are, the friendship and support of St. Jude and all his followers are only a prayer away.

If you want to find out more about Aaron Neville, a good start is his website, www.aaronneville.com.

Warmest regards,

Daniel


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