John Ondrasik

John Ondrasik


1/7/1965, Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Birth Name

Vladimir John Ondrasik III



Also Known As

Five For Fighting
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User Rating
3 votes


A born-and-raised native of the sprawling San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, Ondrasik's began his music studies at age two under the direction of his piano teacher mother. His introduction to sports came later, and hence the explanation to the still lingering question of just what Five…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • The first record John ever owned was Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke.

    • He adopted the stage name Five For Fighting for his 1997 debut album "Message for Albert".

    • In 2005, John (as Five for Fighting) was one of the five artists asked to appear on ESPN's SportsCenter during a weeklong segment series on the connections between music and sports.

    • John's hit song "100 Years" was used in a JP Morgan Chase commercial, in an episode of Scrubs, in the last scenes of the final episode of JAG, and in a retrospective during Katie Couric's last day on the Today Show.

    • John performed his famous song "Superman" at 'The Concert for New York City' in late 2001.

    • John's latest (fourth) album, "Two Lights", was just released on August 1, 2006.

    • John's 2000 album "America Town" went platinum in the U.S. mainly due to the success of his inspiring hit song "Superman (It's Not Easy)".

    • John's favorite bands (while growing up) are -
      Elton John and Billy Joel
      The Who, Led Zeppelin, U2, and Nirvana
      Leonard Cohen

    • John is a big fan of science-fiction novels. His favorite book is "Dune" by Frank Herbert.

    • John is a huge sports fan. He has been addicted to hockey and basketball since he was five.

    • John likes music both in English and in other languages. He has sung songs in German and Italian.

    • John Ondrasik wrote 400 - 500 songs before he had any interest from any record company.

    • Besides being able to sing Rock/Pop, John Ondrasik also knows how to sing opera.

    • He knows how to play the piano as well as the guitar.

    • His stage name "Five for Fighting" came from an expression in ice hockey when a player is sent from the rink by the referee for a five-minute major penalty for fighting. He chose this stage name because it's easy to remember.

    • His mother taught him to play the piano at the age of two.

  • Quotes

    • John Ondrasik: Many songs are left in songwriting purgatory. I usually write 50-75 songs for an album, and the strong survive. So far I have about 40 ideas. Some will turn into songs, some will fade away, and out of the songs, I hope to have a few that are meaningful.

    • John Ondrasik: I feel I have to write a lot of songs to end up with 10 good ones for the album," he explained. "So much of the writing process is just me sitting down, banging away, trying to write good songs. You hope there's a couple days that you get excited about. I'm always looking for inspiration.

    • John Ondrasik: To make a difference in someone's life through a song is a humbling experience and can provide inspiration and energy to continue the grind that is songwriting. There is also a cathartic nature to performing on stage that, when it goes right, is hard to top.

    • John Ondrasik: The days of the career band are few and far between; the days of the songwriter, you could make a case similar to that. Just to be able to make a living writing songs, to me, is a minor miracle.

    • John Ondrasik: (When asked about what exactly is Five for Fighting) What it is, is a group of people, musicians and non-musicians, working passionately to realize these songs and ideas.

    • John Ondrasik: (When asked about where he got the idea of the song "Superman" from) I wrote Superman about 3 years ago at a time when I was kind of frustrated with how things were going for me in music. I didn't realize until months later that it kind of went beyond that, and talked about a celebration of our own humanity.

    • John Ondrasik: (When asked about what superpower he would like to have) The ability to be able to sleep more than four hours a day....honestly, I can't say x-ray vision or my wife would hit me. I do enough flying in airplanes. My son is so into choo-choo trains that I'm sure he'd love it if I could run as fast as a train with him on my shoulders.