BRADENTON -- The four members of platinum-selling band We the Kings made for an unusual and welcome sight today at the Manatee County Commission meeting.
“It’s so nice to have young people in the chamber,” said Carol Whitmore, county commission chairwoman.
Attendees then viewed the music video for the band’s single “We’ll Be a Dream.” The song, from the 2009 We the Kings album “Smile Kid,” features guest vocals by singer/actress Demi Lovato.
Whitmore spoke about the group’s many accomplishments, including the hit single “Check Yes Juliet” garnering 12 million views on YouTube and earning platinum-record status in 2010 for selling 1 million copies of the song.
She then handed each musician a framed document proclaiming Oct. 11, 2011, “We the Kings Day.”
Singer, guitarist Travis Clark, wearing sunglasses and a short sleeve shirt that revealed his ample tattoos, gave Whitmore a hug before addressing the audience.
“This is one of the awards you remember the rest of you life,” he said. “In 2008 we received the key to the city and now this from our hometown, it’s remarkable. We’re so appreciative of all of you.”
Clark graduated from Manatee High School in 2003. The front man, along with his We the Kings band mates Hunter Thomsen (guitar, backing vocals), Drew Thomsen (bass) and Danny Duncan (drums), grew up in Bradenton and attended King Middle School, which is where the group got its name. They all still have homes in The Friendly City.
“I don’t think we could accomplish this without the support from the community,” Hunter Thomsen told the Herald after the ceremony. “For me, this is bigger than winning a Grammy.”
Jamie Gregorich was also honored at the county commission meeting today for the classy way she displayed her immense cooking skills this season on the hit Fox television show “Hell’s Kitchen.”
Gregorich also lives in Bradenton. She’s the sous chef at award-winning Longboat Key restaurant Euphemia Haye and a culinary instructor at Manatee Technical Institute. The county has proclaimed Oct. 12, 2011, “Jamie Gregorich Day.”
“Thank you so much,” the 25-year-old Bradenton native said. “The support of my hometown is why I’m still here.”
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at (941) 745-7057. Visit his blog at heraldbuzzworthy.blogspot.com.