David Archuleta sings, Queen Rania inspires at U.N. Girl Up events in L.A. [video]
Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan would be the bigger celeb in most parts of the world, but this is Hollywood, so we're going to lead with David Archuleta when it comes to the Girl Up events held Thursday and Friday in L.A.
Archuleta debuted his single "Complain" at a reception Thursday night (see the video below), where Nigel Barker of "America's Next Top Model" encouraged fathers, brothers, uncles, and grandfathers to support girls as well.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined the queen on Friday, rallying more than 400 girls (and some guys) gathered at the Marlborough School to support their counterparts in nations such as Malawi, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Liberia. Archuleta made a surprise appearance at the school as well.
The queen and the "American Idol" prince are global ambassadors for the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up program, which channels American girls' enthusiasm -- and donations -- to support proven U.N. programs that address adolescent girls' needs in developing countries: school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more. The Unite for Girls nationwide tour is promoting Girl Up's "High Five" campaign.
Also on hand Friday were actress Amber Heard, "Gimme Mo'" actress Monique Coleman, and Olympic swimming gold medalist Rebecca Soni, a USC graduate.
But back to the queen: Rania, recently ranked 76th on the Forbes list of the world's 100 most powerful women, brought that star power with her to L.A.
"Keep on being yourselves," she said. "Believe in your own potential. Be bold, brilliant and beautiful inside and out. And remember the girls of the developing world. Fight for them, as others are fighting for you. Show the world that girls can lead and make the world a better place!”
"Is she really a queen?" asked one girl at the rally. "I've never seen a queen before! And I didn't know that queens were so cool!"
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Photos: David Archuleta, top, and Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan interact with rally participants Friday at the Marlborough School in L.A. Credits: United Nations Foundation