LIANE HANSEN, host:
American rock star Jon Bon Jovi wanted to show his support for Iranians who are protesting the results of the June 12th presidential election. He did what he does best: sing.
(Soundbite of song, "Stand by Me")
Mr. JON BON JOVI (Musician): (Singing in foreign language)
HANSEN: That's from a YouTube video, "Stand By Me," in which Bon Jovi and his guitarist, Richie Sambora, perform with Iranian pop star Andy Madadian. His music is banned in Iran, but he still has fans there. Madadian has lived in the United States for the past 30 years and he joins us from Los Angeles. Welcome to the program.
Mr. ANDY MADADIAN (Iranian Pop Star): Hello, everybody.
HANSEN: How did you end up working with Bon Jovi on this song?
Mr. MADADIAN: By faith and good luck.
HANSEN: Tell me about the fate part.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. MADADIAN: Well, for many years I've been trying to work with Don Ward, who to me is one of the best producers in the world. And out of the blue Don called and said, hey, because of the situation in Iran, do you want to sing a song of solidarity with some American rock stars? And I said is the Pope Christian? And so we went down to the studio and we just started recording. In a few hours we had a song finished and the video made. And that's why I call it fate because we could've planned for months and it would not have been this perfect.
HANSEN: So the message you're sending to the people of Iran with the release of this video is what, freedom of expression?
Mr. MADADIAN: The message we're sending, actually, is a message of peace and solidarity. Both Bon Jovi and I are not really political people. We are humanitarians and we want to see people living in peace. We're not taking sides. We're not politicians, but we wish for a peaceful and quick resolution.
HANSEN: How is Jon Bon Jovi's Farsi?
Mr. MADADIAN: Phenomenal. He was born a Persian-speaking person. You know, he has a cute accent in Persian. I believe girls are going crazy over him now.
HANSEN: Have you seen Joan Baez's video? She's singing "We Shall Overcome" and part of it's in Farsi?
Mr. MADADIAN: I know about it and it's very brave on her part. And so I appreciate Joan Baez's effort and I congratulate her.
HANSEN: Iranian pop star Andy Madadian. To see a video of his performance of "Stand By Me" with Jon Bon Jovi, and the Joan Baez video, go to npr.org/soapbox.
Andy, thank you very much.
Mr. MADADIAN: My pleasure.
(Soundbite of song, "Stand By Me")
Mr. BON JOVI: (Singing) Darling, darling stand by me. Oh, stand by me.