One Tree Hill: Friends with BenefitI arrived at the FYE record store in New York City on February 7th to witness crowds of screaming girls (and some guys) surrounding the entrance of the store.. why was this going on you ask? Oh, nothing much – just cast members from one of the hottest shows on television were there to meet and greet with fans while they promoted the release of their TV soundtrack with a message.

Hilarie Burton, Sophia Bush and Maverick recording artist/actor Tyler Hilton from the show One Tree Hill made the first stop on their Sunkist soda sponsored Friends With Benefit Tour.

The Friends With Benefit Tour is a 5-city tour in which cast members of the WB’s One Tree Hill sign autographs for their millions of adoring fans who’ve purchased the shows second various artist compilation album also titled “Friends With Benefit.” We caught up with Sophia who plays the popular cheerleader “Brooke Davis”, to ask her more about the event. “We’re also selling t-shirts, the proceeds from that go completely to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. So, we’re really just trying to be champions for the disease. Really raise awareness among teenagers,” she said.

One Tree Hill: Friends with Benefit

The thing about this soundtrack is a portion of the proceeds from every purchase goes to benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Sticking with the current storyline of the show, in which the character of “Peyton Sawyer’s” (played by Hilarie Burton) birth mother “Ellie” (actress, Sheryl Lee) loses her battle with the disease, both characters had been working on a benefit album to raise awareness of this disease that is claiming the lives of millions of women each year. “It’s commonly thought that breast cancer is a mother or grandmothers disease. But, when you meet a 16 year old who’s had a double mastectomy it really makes you change the way you think about it. We’re really trying to bring awareness so girls start detecting early, and they have better chances,” Sophia Bush said about the cause..

The soundtrack features songs by some today’s hottest artist, including Tyler Hilton, Gavin DeGraw, Jimmy Eat World and Grammy nominated pop-rock band Fall Out Boy who recently performed on the show twice, one of which was for the benefit concert that was held in a recent episode. Something Corporate front-man Andrew McMachon who’s been spending his time recovering from his battle against Leukemia and making chart-topping hits with his solo project band Jack’s Mannequin even contributed the first single to the benefit album, which is called “The Mixed Tape.”

One Tree Hill: Friends with BenefitHilarie Burton actually appears in the music video which was shot in the Wilmington, North Carolina where Hill is filmed. The video was shot during the time the band was there to also appear on the show for the benefit concert. We had a chance to ask Hilarie about the story behind the video, “It’s kind of about getting out of your funk. Peyton’s going through a whole lot on the show and I kind of play Peyton in the video, we shot in her room for the music video. Sometime all it takes is a friend, a boyfriend, girlfriend, brother or sister to give you a mixed tape or a letter; just to let you know “dude, it’s gonna be cool … you’re gonna be fine”. They’re really positive guys, I feel really lucky to have done it. They’re very optimistic, so it was kind of the theme we were going for.”

Epic recording artist Bethany Joy, who plays Haley James Scott on Hill also contributed a song called “Halo” to the disc under her character name. It’s definitely a favorite amongst the OTH fan-base.

One Tree Hill: Friends with Benefit

Singer and Walk The Line star, Tyler Hilton who’s known as Hill‘s wise-cracking, wife-stealing musician “Chris Keller,” had some of his own thoughts to speak on about the music of One Tree Hill. “It’s not stuff you’ll hear on pop radio all the time. Ya know? It’s really good music, it’s chosen because of it’s genius in song lyrics. Mark Schwahn [OTH creator] has a lot to do with it, he has a love for great music. So, he’ll pick a song for the moment it portrays, which is really cool … you don’t find that often.”

“I don’t think so,” was Hilton’s response when asked if he was anything like his Hill character. He then asked co-star Burton, “Are you anything like Chris Keller? You’re really good at music and your a good kisser.” They both shared a laugh, but rest easy ladies Tyler is truly a down-to-earth guy who when asked said Swedish band Sigur Ros and musician Robert Johnson would probably be featured a lot on the soundtrack to his own life.

Before hitting the stage to sign autographs for the hundreds of patient fans, a surprise guest MoZella performed her song “Light Years Away,” another song featured on the “Friends With Benefit” album. The Detroit native has been gaining millions of listeners after having two of her songs featured on Hill’s current third season.

Tyler Hilton then took the stage to perform a few of his hit songs including “When It Comes,” “How Love Should Be” and his stellar version of John Waite’s “Missing You” that’s featured on the soundtrack. Fans screamed and sang along while cast-mates Sophia, Hilarie and creator Mark Schwahn danced along from the side of the stage.

One Tree Hill: Friends with BenefitThe rest of the night was completely devoted to the fans as the cast took their time shaking hands, signing autographs and chatting with each fan.

If you’re a fan of the show, keep an eye out for various cast members as they hit locations such as Atlanta, Washington D.C., Dallas and the last date Los Angeles with more performances and more fun. The tour is sure to be a success and the album is amazing! Don’t forget to catch fresh new episodes of One Tree Hill all throughout March and April before the season finale in May!

Attention all Fall Out Boy fans, expect bassist Pete Wentz to be lurking around Tree Hill yet again before the seasons end!

For tour location details, fan blogs, videos and more visit:


– Courtney Justice, February 2006