Some news and notes after Sunday night’s American Music Awards broadcast from my vantage point as an audience member inside Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater…

– Fun fact: This was my first time actually watching the AMAs from the crowd? My previous four years were spent in the press room. I was given a VIP Orchestra seat and hung out with my fellow Cumulus Media/Westwood One colleagues.

– There were other familiar faces nearby though – Rachel Platten was at the end of the row in front of us! Always love when she and I have a chance to catch up. Rachel is heading to New York for Thanksgiving; she’ll be singing for children in local hospitals on Turkey Day. How amazing is that? Not-so-amazing: after we snapped this selfie, a waiter walking up the aisle spilled a cup of ice on her. Thankfully, no harm no foul.

– During his opening, Jamie Foxx went a bit off script. Ahead of the broadcast, the instructions given to us by Executive Producer Larry Klein were that we were to stay seated and quiet for Jamie’s speech and the P!nk/Kelly Clarkson performance, saving our energy for the opening credits. But Foxx had a different plan, asking everyone to make noise and stand. It contracted what we heard and it might have come off weird on TV because Foxx was the only person lit for the entire segment.

– Especially considering it didn’t happen right in front of us on stage, the audience inside Microsoft Theater was really captivated by the P!nk “Beautiful Trauma” performance. dick clark productions really outdid itself again – Drake performing in the Bellagio fountains for the Billboard Music Awards was epic. You could say the latest stunt reached new heights…

– The BTS phenomenon was fun to witness in real life. Every time the guys stood up, the audience screamed. Every time there was a cut-away shot to the guys, the audience screamed. It got so bad that I’m pretty sure producers had to stop showing some of the cut-aways in the venue because the suddenly loud screams were probably startling performers. And there was just as much noise outside; over 5,000 people gathered in L.A. Live to try and catch a glimpse of the K-Pop boy band.


– When the crowd figured out during the commercial break that BTS was next to perform, well… here’s what it looked and sounded like…

– Some of my personal favorite performances: Demi Lovato, Niall Horan, Shawn Mendes and Portugal. The Man. Demi sang to a track for the chorus of “Sorry Not Sorry” but had no backing vocals on the verses, which she slayed.


– Final fun fact: In order to get everyone in their seats so the place looks full when the broadcast begins, the venue shut down concessions 15 minutes prior to the show’s start. As soon as the AMAs went live on ABC, the alcohol began flowing again… or at least, that’s what a well-placed source told me.

It was the day before The 2017 American Music Awards and we were very, very busy at our backstage perch by Microsoft Theater. The day started with a visit from K-Pop boy band BTS. Demi Lovato, Bebe Rexha and many more swung through as well to talk about the AMAs, holiday plans and more. Watch and listen below!



A number of familiar faces stopped by day one of our backstage broadcast from the American Music Awards in downtown Los Angeles. We caught up with Kelly Clarkson, Julia Michaels, Walk The Moon and many more artists – watch and listen below.




After People revealed that Blake Shelton was the magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for 2017, editor Kate Hogan called in to explain why – and who the runner up was in her eyes.

After the release of the singer’s latest album “reputation,” AT&T decided to celebrate its partnership with Taylor Swift by creating a pop-up experience for her fans downtown. The shop included exclusive merchandise and a number of props from the “Look What You Made Me Do” music video, including the phone and the throne.

The fine folks in charge of the production gave me a VIP tour of space, which was in the South Street Seaport and was open for almost a full week. Yes, even Ms. Swift herself popped by and surprised fans on its opening day.

Almost a week separated from crossing the finish line and I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that I ran 26.2 miles through my favorite city in the world only to learn that it’s an even better place than I originally thought.

And trust me; I was already head-over-heels in love.

Back in August my friend Kerry presented me with an opportunity I couldn’t refuse: a chance to run in the TCS New York City Marathon without having to qualify, win a lottery or raise any money. I joined #TeamULTRA and represented Michelob Ultra amongst 50,000 other marathoners scampering across the five boroughs.

Despite my love of running and my consistent schedule of hitting the trails, I knew this wouldn’t be easy; when I started training, I never ran more than 7 miles at a time. Furthermore, I have an erratic work/life schedule and I knew that eventually I’d be moving – a task that in itself is a full-time job here.

But running the marathon here was something I’ve always wanted to do. This was too good to pass up and short of a severe injury or traumatic life event, there was nothing that could stop me from pursuing this.

I could go on to document the training schedule I created for myself, the run itself and the aftermath but instead, here are a few frequently asked questions that I’ve fielded since crossing the finish line on Sunday.


“So, how was it?”
Physically and emotionally overwhelming in the best way possible. The experience far exceeded my expectations and is something I’d recommend to anyone.

“What was your favorite part?”
As far as overall, having my family there to cheer me on was special but I sobbed like a child after I finished as a result of the love I felt throughout the five boroughs. People cheering, making noise, offering food and drinks, holding signs… it was incredible. And Sunday wasn’t the nicest day weather-wise; it was colder than expected and the rain really never let-up. You wouldn’t have known that based on the crowd’s spirit.

I have to mention as well that multiple people told me I’d hate the Bronx. If you look at my mile-by-mile breakdown, I ran some of my fastest miles up there. My playlist synced to my run perfectly so that just as I was crossing the Willis Ave. Bridge I heard The Tramps’ “Disco Inferno.” Of course, it was on my playlist because I’m a diehard Yankees fan and those overtures of “Bern, baby bern!” brought back a lot of great memories from Yankee legend Bernie Williams.


“What was the most difficult part?”
Overall the mental game you play as you attempt to overcome physical shortcomings. I cramped and tightened up quite a bit during the run; while it slowed me down once I never stopped and I escaped injury-free.

“How are you feeling?”
Great, thanks! I bought a new pair of running shoes and should be back on a treadmill this weekend. I think not over-training and eating clean helped me to recover quickly.


“Will you do it again?”
Never say never but probably not. It’d be tough to top this experience, one which despite still attempting to fully process I am extremely grateful for.

Our old friend Jax called in to the show from her new home in Los Angeles and we had a lot to chat about it. I ran the New York City Marathon this year and she completed it last year so we compared notes on the 26.2 mile trek before moving on to Jax’s new music and the next season of “American Idol.”

Attorney Jill Stanley, PROOFWithJillStanley.com, called in with an update on the report regarding the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office pursuing rape charges against disgraced studio head Harvey Weinstein.

Photo: David Shankbone

Photo: David Shankbone


Prior to last weekend, Ross Lynch was mostly known as one of the stars from Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally” as well as a member of the pop group R5. To say people are now seeing him from a different perspective would be quite the understatement; Lynch portrays a teenage version of Jeffrey Dahmer in the new film, “My Friend Dahmer.”

“I think a lot of people are really excited – R5 fans, not R5 fans,” Lynch responded when I asked him about the reaction he anticipated from the band’s supporters. The artist phoned me from the Bowery Hotel downtown where he was participating in a press junket for the film. “I think (R5 fans) are expecting to see Ross Lynch acting but I think pretty early on in the movie you forget that it’s me.”

However critics are not forgetting and Lynch is earning praise for his role. The actor told “Rolling Stone” that when his agent presented the film’s script, he had “no idea” who the serial killer was.

“It was my first time playing a serial killer,” Lynch revealed to me. “So I really just wanted to get all the information I could, whether it was Wikipedia, whether it was the interviews (Dahmer) did with his father after he got caught and convicted.

“I did a lot of research. I just really wanted to do a good job, so I just read anything I could get my hands on.”

Lynch didn’t have any contact with Dahmer’s remaining family, although the film was shot in Akron, Ohio where the killer’s father is believed to reside. The actor did speak with author John Backderf, who was friends with Dahmer and penned the novel and memoir from which the movie and its title was adapted.

And while the film is certainly providing Lynch with his breakout role, the artist doesn’t seem to be straying from his band. R5 will play a handful of dates later this month in South America, and Lynch promised a new single from the group soon.

He just returned from a cruise and is preparing for a cross-country move, but thankfully neither stopped New Kids On The Block star Joey McIntyre from calling in to my radio show this week.

For those who don’t know, I’m running this weekend’s TCS New York City Marathon with #TeamULTRA, and this week I’ve been gathering advice on what to expect as a first-time marathoner both privately and publicly. When I thought of music artists that ran a marathon, McIntyre was the first person who came to mind; he completed the 2013 Boston Marathon about five minutes before the terrorist attack. The singer/songwriter returned with bandmate Danny Wood to then complete the marathon again in 2014.

So I was very pleased when McIntyre agreed to an interview, candidly sharing experiences, advice and a few mantras that helped him along the way.

“’What can I do to make my situation better?’” was the first phrase he told me about. “Meaning like, ‘Focus on my feet, am I working on my feet?’ or ‘Focus on how my shoulders are.’”

The idea is to make yourself feel more comfortable and also preoccupy your mind “for chunks at a time.”

And that was the vibe I caught from McIntyre; this will be just as much mentally challenging as it will be physical.

“But it’s thrilling man,” he assured me. “There’s such a high. You go through the tough times but there are moments when you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m really doing this.’”

McIntyre didn’t completely rule out doing it himself next year; the NKOTB artist just launched a new podcast called “The Move” which is inspired by his family’s pending move back east to New York City.

“My wife is from the city; I put in a solid 10 years in my 20’s so it’s been bubbling up,” he revealed. “We’re ready for a move and we’re going back to New York.”

McIntyre plans on using his new podcast to tell stories from his move while also inviting others to share their experiences of relocating.

“Moving, no matter where you’re going, brings up a lot of feelings and thoughts and history,” he noted. “I think it cuts through a bunch of levels on an interview basis.”

Despite the move to the Big Apple, don’t expect McIntyre to abandon his routing interests. We talked just days after his Patriots traded backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and like any true New Englander, the singer had a thought or two on the matter.

“People are sort of dumb-founded, a little shaking-their-head,” he mused before adding, “It’s hard to argue with Bill Belichick.

“We’ve been so lucky with the Patriots man. At this point, we don’t even get worked up.”