Ryan Seacrest Celebrates 44th Birthday with Surprise Visit to Children's Hospital
Ryan Seacrest turned 44 on Christmas Eve — and he spent the day flying to Nashville for a surprise visit to a children’s hospital, where he handed out toys.
Seacrest was greeted with enthusiasm at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. There, he met up with country duo Dan + Shay at Seacrest Studios — the state-of-the-art broadcast media center inside the hospital built by the American Idol host’s non-profit organization, The Ryan Seacrest Foundation.
Photos of the event were shared exclusively with PEOPLE.
The Live with Kelly and Ryan co-host launched his nonprofit in 2010 and it has now grown to include ten media centers all across the country, including at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s National Medical Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Boston Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Seacrest Studios – which allows young patients to explore radio, television and new media as creative tools to help their healing process – have drawn other high-profile visiting artists, including Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas, Carrie Underwood, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Usher and Britney Spears.
Seacrest and girlfriend Shayna Taylor came to Nashville to reunite with his family for Christmas. His sister Meredith, who now resides in Nashville with her husband Jimmy Leach, recently welcomed a baby girl, Flora.
At the event, the Nashville-based Dan+Shay played a set for the children, including their 2018 hit, “Speechless,” from the album of the same name.
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In July, Dan + Shay spoke to PEOPLE about their great working relationship and close friendship.
“We complement each other,” Dan Smyers, 31, told PEOPLE at the duo’s iHeartRadio album release party in New York City on Thursday night, of his partnership with Shay Mooney, 26. “We’re very much the same and we have a lot of mutual interests but we’re also different and we balance each other out. I think that’s the beautiful thing about being in a duo. I can’t think about what we would fight about — something stupid probably, like whether we should have another Guinness or not.”
Seacrest and the duo will be reunited for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest in New York City to ring in 2019, which Seacrest will also host and executive produce the live show on ABC.