ST. LOUIS — Everyone loves a great love song, especially when it can help children in need.
In a 5 On Your Side Original that may have you singing along, Art Holliday helps you know what love is.
This is about a girl from Glen Carbon, Illinois, and her connection to one of the most famous love songs in rock history.
It was 1984, the same year the original Apple Macintosh computer went on sale, Sally Ride was the first American woman in space and the song “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner was everywhere. You couldn’t escape hearing the song if you tried.
Conquering the world is what number one hit songs do. Mick Jones wrote the monster hit.
“It started out as a romantic song,” Jones said. “It started out as kind of a personal song even and over time it kind of went into more of a universal feeling and a lot of people took it as that and that’s fine with me.”
Mia Williams was born about 20 years after the song was released.
“I grew up in a household that listens to of 70’s and 80’s rock,” Mia said. “So, it was a song that was very familiar to me and I liked it a lot.”
With a growing list of acting credits, including the middle school lead in Annie, Mia is an aspiring actress with the biggest of dreams.
“If you have the passion to do it you will make it, so I’m really excited,” Mia said. “I have wanted to go to Broadway ever since I made it in Annie.”
But it’s been a long and difficult road for the high school freshman who had a severely curved spine when she was a toddler.
“I had a 90 percent curvature in my spine, so it was starting to crush my lungs and all the nutrition that I should get to grow whenever I was little was going towards supporting my lungs in my body because all my organs were being crushed by this curvature,” she said.
“I had about 17 surgeries with growth rods and throughout the years they helped my spine stay straight and then I got a fusion last year in 2017,” Mia said. “That's when I got my last surgery, so all my metal that's in my spine is now permanent. “
Shriners Hospitals for Children has been a significant part of Mia’s life for over a decade, now she’s giving back with the help of Foreigner.
A new recording of the band’s most famous song is raising money for Shriners. Mia was one of the Shriners’ patients who got to rock out as part of the kid chorus for a new music video that’s a Shriners’ fundraiser.
Mia first met Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen at Shriners years ago.
“I had already met Kelly before, whenever I was little, so I was already familiar with Foreigner whenever I was about five years old,” she said.
“The kids are going to be included in this video and I always like to see the looks on their faces doing something that,” Hansen said. “I’m sure they haven’t ever done before.”
In Mia’s case, it’s a song from the heart for what Shriners has meant to her.
“Most children see other hospitals as the scary place to go. But I love going to Shriners. It's just, it has a special place in my heart,” Mia said.
Mia wants people who are considering buying the song and video to know they’re making a big difference in the lives of children.
“Not only do they get something that they can enjoy, but they help out so many children to get the care that they need because all the money that they used to buy the songs goes to the treatment for children,” she said.
The TV commercials started earlier this month. This special version of “I Want to Know What Love Is” is available on Google Play and iTunes, with Foreigner donating all proceeds to Shriners Hospitals for Children.