Pop culture, new artists inspired by actor-singer Robert Davi

(February 14, 2012) LOS ANGELES, CA – When actor and recording artist Robert Davi sings Sinatra, not only does romance take a bow, a maturational generation of young performing artists has become imbued with the spirit of the Hollywood icon’s bullet-proof allegiance to the arts.

Davi’s exalting influence on today’s pop culture has grown exponentially due to the continued commercial appeal of such major motion pictures as “Licence to Kill,” “Die Hard,” and “The Goonies,” in addition to the course edge that Davi’s characterizations project.

It is that “tough guy” approach to a mountainous slate of memorable performances that seems to charm young actors and recording artists — from sophomoric, working performers to chart-busting entertainers, like the Jonas Brothers.

In 2008, the man who possesses one of the more identifiable faces in the world, was chosen to play a cameo role in the video “Burnin’ Up,” a phenomenally-favored hit single from the Jonas Brothers’ third album, titled “A Little Bit Longer.” The sole selection lived up to its name by scorching the pop charts, becoming the American band’s highest ranking song to date; the video, featuring Davi’s authoritative air of confidence, has received nearly 91 million hits to date on YouTube as viewership remains energetic.

Rose LeBeau, the 20-year-old talented daughter of the late, great pioneering R&B legend Teena Marie, said when Davi released in 2011 his debut album, “Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance,” his decision to pay universal respect to his mentor, the late Frank Sinatra, and classic music styles has provided incentive for an invigorating, new body of performing artists.

“Everything is inspired by something, or someone,” said LeBeau, a songwriter and recording artist, who is currently completing the highly-anticipated album her mother was working on prior to Marie’s tragic departure from life in 2010. “Kids seem to not know where things came from, which is something I don’t believe in. I think it’s smart for Mr. Davi to remind all of us where real good music came from.”

Alex Mauricio, a songwriter and singer fresh out of his teens, said the timing of Davi’s album release has had a compelling effect on the next generation of performing artists as the line of divergence between adult standards and pop culture becomes increasingly amalgamated.

“Classic music styles birthed the music we have today,” said Mauricio, whose pitch-perfect vocal range landed him a top award at the 2011 Celebrity Industry Showcase and Teena Marie Tribute held at the world-famous Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood. “Everything is derived from jazz and other easy-listening styles. And ultimately, they are making a comeback. Traces can be found in modern artists like [multi-Grammy-winning recording artist] Adele. Real music like this will never go out of style.”

Mauricio said he favors Davi’s silky rendition of ‘Best Is Yet To Come‘ because the 1959 tune encourages today’s creative and productive youth.

“Not only does Robert Davi deliver a stellar vocal performance on it, but the message is extremely positive,” said Mauricio, who aspires to become a “music icon” one day. “As human beings, most days are awesome, and then some just suck. Songs like this are so pleasant and uplifting, you can’t help but smile when listening. And they’re great for the sucky days.”

Those “sucky days,” as Mauricio described them, can be a nightmare for many young folks, whose talent extends far beyond bussing tables at fancy restaurants, parking cars for Hollywood celebrities or lending their voice and intellect to telemarketing firms.

Anyone who has ever attempted to break into the competitive entertainment industry can attest to the oft-recurring ebbs of progress, which sometimes have sadly washed away the dreams of many young people with special abilities who are struggling to make a name for themselves.

Many of those who have prospered attribute their success to persistence, fortitude and established role models, like Davi, who have helped peripherally to make their chosen paths to the top an encouraging one.

Prolific child actor and award-winning singer Aaron Refvem, best known for his pivotal role as Morgan on the daytime serial “General Hospital,” said it is Davi’s versatility and loyalty to the arts that help fuel his motivation.

“His vocal styling is definitely the most inspiring for me because he is smooth when he sings and has such a unique sound. [Davi] is so amazing with his [somewhat] endless film and TV credits,” said Refvem, a 14-year-old prodigy who taught himself how to play piano at age five and has already tucked more than 20 TV and film projects under his own expanding belt. “Robert [Davi] is proof if you just keep after your dreams, studying all the different paths, you will be successful.”

Refvem, who has a supporting role in the 2011 thriller, “Identical,” opposite Emmy-award-winning actor Ed Asner, said he has learned early on that the more adaptable an artist can become, the easier it is to nail the gig.

“It is very important to learn how to act, sing, dance and play an instrument because many opportunities come along from different skills and having all those skills will give you many more auditions and possible jobs,” said Refvem, who is also a professional composer. “You don’t ever want to limit the possibilities.”

Like Refvem, actor/singer/pianist/dancer/songwriter Sean Yves Lessard refuses to stifle the prospects of his career choices. The star of “Abraham’s Desert,” an independent film currently in production, said he commends Davi’s effort to keep The Great American Songbook alive by perpetuating those classic music styles the historic canon holds unalterably in perpetuity.

“Classic music styles deserve a spot in pop culture because music is about learning and growing from the past,” said 23-year-old Lessard, who is a classically-trained artist, like Davi. “It’s about recognizing what is beautiful about the music we draw from today. Reviving the classic styles is a way for people to fall in love with loving music all over again. Robert Davi inspires me because at an age when most people in the industry start to slow down and do less, he has taken it upon himself to do more. To keep sharing his art with the world is a beautiful thing.”

Davi is set to headline The Venetian Las Vegas on February 23, 24 and 25. To learn more about his “Davi Sings Sinatra” concert series, follow this link.


Image“I like Robert Davi’s swag,” said recording artist Rose LeBeau, daughter of the late pioneering R&B legend Teena Marie. “He’s always had this ‘don’t mess with me demeanor.’ He’s dope [awesome] for executing what he sets out to do.”


Hollywood Roundup Pushes Tax Relief for Pet Owners, Congress Considers

LOS ANGELES, CA (10/07/09) – If pet-loving actors and related consumers have their way, they will be able to deduct as much as $3,500 from their 2010 tax returns for pet care expenses. The idea of a pet tax-exempt initiative was conceived and generated by actor/animal welfare activist Leo Grillo, who has been on a 30-year odyssey rescuing and tending to domesticated animals abandoned in the wilderness.  

Leo Grillo is a world-renowned expert in animal rescue.

Leo Grillo is a world-renowned expert in animal rescue.

Grillo is best known for founding D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, the largest animal sanctuary of its type in the world. It is a 150-acre mountaintop refuge where more than 1,500 animals are cared for on a daily basis by a staff of seventy. Grillo said an amendment to the 1986 Internal Revenue Code will help accelerate the nation’s economic recovery and improve the aggregate condition of America’s body and mind.  

Our nation is mentally, emotionally and financially sick,” said Grillo. “We might be listening to the urgent needs of the lonely, the elderly and those afflicted by personal tragedy, but we’re not moving fast enough to help center their expectations and turn the tide for them.”

 Grillo’s stout-hearted movement to push for pet tax-exempt status falls on the heels of alarming data. A 2008 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care survey revealed that nearly 600,000 Americans were treated for self-inflicted injuries between the pre-and-recessionary years of 2006 and 2008. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 30,000 Americans each year turn to suicide as their means to an end.  

In addition to medical intervention by physical and mental health care authorities, some animal welfare activists, veterinarians, politicians and medical care professionals are of the collective opinion that if more humans could afford the cost of owning a pet, the effect would perhaps have a positive impact on America’s tattered state of mind.  

People are depressed,” Grillo said. “Pets help them to live and are sometimes the only beings that show these people love. So [H.R. 3501] makes pets a necessary part of their lives, not a frivolous commodity. People who live happily and are productive are good for the economy and the country. Therefore, this bill not only saves pets, it saves people.” 

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue is located near Glendale, California – a state where more than 2.2 million residents are out of work. A few weeks before Grillo’s bill was introduced, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, Our wallet is empty, our bank is closed and our credit is dried up.” But it is not political hand-wringing taxpayers want to see, said Grillo, as the number of families suffering from both want and need continues to escalate.


Robert Davi is best known for his outstanding work in such movie greats as "Licence to Kill," "Die Hard" and Predator 2." He is currently filming "The Irishman" in Detroit, MI. He is shown with his dog, Stella.

So Grillo shared his proposal with fellow actor Robert Davi, who admits spending a minimum of $4,800 each year caring for his four dogs and cat. “And that’s if there are no medical emergencies,” Davi said.  

Davi is best known for his strong character roles in a number of popular feature films. He is currently working on a movie set in Detroit, MI, a sprawling metropolis slammed to its knees by the collapse of its auto-making industry and a 28.9% unemployment rate.  

A pet tax-exemption will also encourage owners to take better care of their animals, said Grillo. “Pet owners will have more discretionary income from which to do that, and we think there will be a demand for pets since they will be more affordable,” he added.  

The New York headquarters of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals agrees. “Pet care can be expensive,” said Emily Brand, ASPCA’s national spokesperson. “And in these trying economic times, families all over the country have been forced to give up their pets because of financial hardship.” Most owners spend an average of $800 each year caring for their pets. 

Brand believes if owners are able to receive tax relief, “more pets [will] get to remain in their loving homes and [not] wind up on the streets or in the already overburdened shelter system,” she said. ASPCA celebrates Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month each October for good reason.  

According to latest statistics, more than $2 billion is spent annually by local governments to house and ultimately destroy up to 10 million discarded, yet adoptable, dogs and cats due to a shortage of homes. The Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science estimates that animals with a registered pedigree account for 30% of all animals in shelters. The Doris Day Animal League reports the number of abandoned animals has ascended into the millions nationwide. 

In response to Grillo’s quest to help improve the economic standing of an instable and troubled nation, Davi presented Grillo’s proposition to Thaddeus McCotter, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan’s 11th District. McCotter introduced Grillo’s plan of action, which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 111th Congress.  

The bill was cited as the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act. It is designed to change for the better the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by allowing a deduction for pet care expenses. McCotter is asking Congress to deliberate on foremost documented facts which show that 63% of all United States households own a pet and that the human-animal bond has been proven to have therapeutic impact upon the emotional and physical well-being of humans.  

Pet care expenses include the cost of food, veterinary care and pet insurance. A qualified pet is defined as one that is legally owned, domesticated and alive. Those pets possessed by owners for the intention of research or utilized for a trade or business are excluded.  

Grillo’s bill was introduced in the House by McCotter on July 31, 2009. 

McCotter believes that a modification to the IRS Code of 1986 will be a simple procedure. He wants the subdivision which relates to additional itemized deductions for individuals altered by re-designating an existing section and inserting a new one. 

Grillo hopes the bill will inspire pet owners who have fallen on difficult economic times to start seeking routine wellness checks, emergency attention and follow-up care for their animals.  

As much as eighty percent of them never go to the vet, not once in their lifetime,” said Grillo. “This way, owners will have more discretionary income to take better care of their pets. And we think there will be a demand for pets since they will be more affordable.” 

Grillo said he is pleased that Rep. McCotter was the one Davi chose to walk in the legislative measure. “Thaddeus [McCotter] is not the typical politician. He has integrity,” Grillo said. “He has stayed with our ideas, even though there are easier political ways to get something passed and look good to pet owners. Instead, he is with us to get the whole thing passed.”  

Grillo added that he is not astonished that the number of Americans supporting H.R. 3501 has entered into the millions within just a few weeks.  I do not understand how there could be even one animal organization that is not on our bandwagon on this one, supporting us in our efforts, despite real world competition between us. This one is purely for the animals,” Grillo said. Grillo and Davi co-starred in the feature film Magic. Grillo also starred in the movie Zyzzyx Rd, opposite Katherine Heigl.

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue operates two state-of-the-art hospitals at its private sanctuary, which is also home to Horse Rescue of America – a successful operation Grillo founded as well. Grillo is a world-renowned expert in animal rescue.

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