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A.J. Shively: I Don't Want to Be

Broadway Sings for Pride

A.J. Shively stars as Owen Duignan in the musical "Paradise Square", which opened on Broadway at the Barrymore Theatre on April 3, 2022. Shively has also been seen on Broadway in "Bright Star" (where he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award), "La Cage aux Folles", and "Brigadoon". Additionally, he performed in the National Tour of "The Sound of Music".

On television, Shively was seen as Jerry McConnell on CBS' "Bull", as well as Chef André Soltner in HBO Max' "Julia". Additional television credits include "Hunters", "The Blacklist", "Madam Secretary", "Younger", and "Homeland".

On June 20, 2016, Broadway Sings for Pride premiered its 6th anniversary benefit concert "Ovation" in New York City, at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. This milestone event was filled with singing (from pop to Broadway), stories, special celebrity guests, and more. The show honored Tyler Clementi Foundation and AIDS pioneer and activist Ruth Coker Burks. Broadway Sings for Pride is a multiple award-winning, non-for-profit organization that brings together Broadway talent, activists, and celebrities, to educate the public, raise awareness of the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, and support these young people, so that they may reach their full potential.

Shively performed the song "I Don't Want to Be" during the benefit concert, where Shefik served as Videographer. It is a song by American singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw from his 2003 debut album, "Chariot". The song gained exposure after being featured as the opening theme to The CW teen drama series "One Tree Hill", and it was released as a radio single on February 17, 2004. It peaked at number 10 in the United States in 2005 and became a top-20 hit in Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

DeGraw wrote the song as a message to adolescents, encouraging them to be themselves, and to not let outside factors change their personalities.


  • Videographer: Shefik

Last Updated: April 30, 2023

About Shefik

Celebrating over 25 years in the entertainment industry, Shefik has held senior-level positions at many Fortune 500 companies and celebrated brands, including IBM, NBCUniversal, and MTV World. He currently serves as a Technical Lead at NBCUniversal. His work has been featured in television broadcasts and video productions for TIME, The Washington Center, "Unsung" (TV One), and Broadway World. He is currently the Executive Producer and Host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Shefik presents Invocation", which is broadcast on over 20 terrestrial radio stations and frequencies throughout the United States, as well as the internationally distributed video series of the same name via Prime Video and other notable outlets.

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