Chris Daughtry had one easy task: write a song for charity. The only catch was it had to be inspired by the words “pacific standard time.” The song Daughtry came away with for Esquire Magazine’s Songwriting Challenge was, “4:00 A.M.” a modest lullaby that has him scaling back from his usual rock anthems.

Using only an acoustic guitar, the American Idol alum told the men’s publication, “When I got into music, I wanted to learn the guitar just enough to be able to write songs. I wanted to be able to express myself.”

Though Daughtry admits his song for the project is “very different than his day job,” it’s not the first time the rocker has toned things down. For his third album, Break the Spell, he included the bonus track “Lullaby,” which was dedicated to his twins born in 2010. “I wanted the twins to hear my voice before they heard my voice,” he told Esquire.

For their May issue, the magazine teamed up with other artists including alt-country singer Rhett Miller, Canadian singer/songwriter Sam Roberts, alternative frontman Craig Finn of the Hold Steady and R&B’s Anthony Hamilton, whose song features Daughtry on guitar. All five singles are available exclusively through iTunes until May 31 for $1.29, with all proceeds going to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.  Photographer Danny Clinch was behind the lens for each of their photo shoots and videos for each track, you can check them out at Esquire‘s website.

And Daughtry’s charitable efforts carry over into his current outing. A dollar from each ticket sold for his Break the Spell Tour is being donated to Malaria No More, an organization that is looking to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.

Shannon Carlin, CBS Local


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