Archives For 2013 Billboard Music Awards

On the outset, it looks like Khyati Shah simply locked up an attorney and changed her story with a big pay day insight.

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“Now she’s not okay, she’s got head trauma, head injuries… what are my fellow lawyers doing!” joked HLN TV contributor and New York attorney Joey Jackson on “The Ralphie Show.” Shah told Billboard backstage at the magazine’s award show last month that she was fine following the accident. Singer Miguel missed the stage while jumping over a pit of fans and landed on Shah’s head.

Her attorney, Vip Bhola, told TMZ that his client may have brain damage. All kidding aside, Jackson doesn’t necessarily doubt the story.

“There may be times when you are traumatized and you don’t know it,” the lawyer explained. “When you have brain injuries, you later consult a professional. You go to the doctor and they say, ‘Wait a minute. There’s something significant here.’”

But there’s another side to the coin, no pun intended.

“Miguel’s a deep pocket. He’s successful. He’s got some cash, and they’re looking to cash in,” Jackson speculated on another possible motive for the new wave of reports that have returned this story to the headlines. “What the facts are? What the truth is? That’s ultimately going to be for a jury to decide, if it moves forward and it goes that far.”

From a legal perspective, Jackson also mentioned the assumption of liability, which falls in Miguel’s favor.

“People who are at concerts assume a certain risk,” he said. “It’s sort of like being at a baseball game and getting hit with a ball. Can you sue the player? No.”

Leave it to Miguel to bring a new meaning to the term, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” We may find out sooner rather than later if the legal system agrees.

Perhaps you forgot that Akon played a big role in introducing Lady Gaga to the masses. In addition to the “Konvict Music” artist appearing on her breakout single “Just Dance,” he also convinced Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine to sign the singer. The joint label-deal with Kon Live yielded that GRAMMY-nominated song as well as her debut album, The Fame. The rest, as they say, can be looked up on Wikipedia.

Fast forward through two albums and an unprecedented amount of success, and we find that Lady Gaga is preparing to release her third album, ARTPOP. The timeline for the project though was derailed when Gaga sustained a hip injury that forced her to cancel her “Born This Way Ball.”

“Only she can give you news on that,” Akon told me when I asked him about any type of album update. “I’m from a distributor side; I’m on the label side.”

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The “Sexy Chick” singer explained more, revealing a bit about Gaga’s current deal.

“I was involved in the first and second album,” he said. “After that, like she’s more in control of her own content now so we just allow her to do her own thing. And then when the album is turned in, then that’s when I play the role as far as distribution.”

Speaking of distributing albums, Akon plans on doing just that with his own music soon. It seems his situation has stabilized following his record label, Universal Motown, folding in to the now Republic Records.

“Unfortunately, it does affect artists like myself when there is changes happening within the label,” he said, while also agreeing with my assessment that he could have gone independent if need be. He argued that despite his own name recognition and business acumen, he’d rather work inside a bigger machine. “If the system is broken, you can’t really move until they get it fixed.”

Akon says Stadium will be out by year’s end.

Ed Sheeran is traveling the country with Taylor Swift on her “Red” tour, and is requested to perform at some of the biggest award shows in the U.S. But while speaking with “The Ralphie Show,” he revealed that he no longer approaches artists whom he is a fan of.

“I’ve been really disappointed a bunch of times,” Sheeran told me during an interview taped the weekend of the Billboard Music Awards. “A lot of people are d–ks.”

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Sheeran estimates that for every five singers he meets, one is usually genuinely nice. At first, he thought it might be an American thing. Then he realized that it simply falls along genre lines.

“Country artists are wicked,” Sheeran said, using the term as a form of endearment. “I’m English, and I’m a massive hip-hop fan. I grew up listening to a lot of rappers. When I was at The GRAMMYs and I met some people, it was just a bit like… you know, I’m not asking for anything, just a handshake. Some people wouldn’t even shake my hand.”

The “A-Team” singer revealed later that the particular encounter he was referring to involved rapper Nas. Sheeran owns all of the star’s albums.

“It’s not that hard to be nice man, for 15 minutes,” Sheeran continued. “One of the nicest people I ever met was Paul McCartney, and he doesn’t have to be nice to anyone, because he’s Paul McCartney.”

Sheeran did have a great encounter last weekend at 95.5 PLJ’s Summer Blast-Off, where he and Gavin DeGraw ended up jamming on stage together and exchanging pleasantries over Twitter. Another massively successful artist who is great with people: Sheeran’s tour-mate.

“Most big artists do pay-for meet-and-greets,” Sheeran noted, explaining how Swift’s “Club Red” works. “She sets up a club, they put pizzas in it, there’s like a photo booth in it, there’s Coca-Cola, all of this cool stuff, and her team goes out in to the crowd every night and picks out the most dedicated fans.”

The songwriter says most of the time, the fans that weren’t able to afford the best seats in the house end up with an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of hanging out in Club Red with T-Swift.

“For her to do something like that every single night, to walk off stage and not even take a break… and go in to Club Red, and do an hour and a half meet-and-greet for 20 people is pretty cool,” Sheeran said. “Because it’s not just a picture and a ‘See ya later,’ it’s (more).”

Another one of Sheeran’s friends that doesn’t mind giving back is Harry Styles. The last time Ed and I spoke, he revealed the story of Styles buying Domino’s Pizzas for the homeless in Los Angeles. When I informed the singer that The Mirror UK and subsequently the world picked up the story, he smiled.

“You know what, I’m down with Papa John’s as well,” Sheeran responded. “Can we just put out a story about them? They do these cheese-sticks that are out of this world. We don’t get them in England.”

In an interview taped after Miguel finished his rehearsal for the now-infamous Billboard Music Awards performance of “Adorn,” the crooner may have inadvertently previewed the reason he’d become a viral-sensation.

“I think the point is to kind of make an impact,” Miguel said of his mindset when he conceptualizes an award-show performance. “Whether it’s on tour, or it’s for a live performance, it’s almost like, ‘What can we do that we haven’t seen before?’ Or something interesting, or if it’s gonna make people think, or kind of wake them up, yunno? And make an impact, that’s our biggest goal.”

Literally and figuratively, the singer made an impact when he attempted to leap over a pit of fans and land on another platform of the stage. Miguel’s timing was a bit off, and he instead landed on a fan. No one was injured, although you could say he also checked off “wake them up” off the list.

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Back in February, Miguel’s performance at The GRAMMYs made more of a figurative impact on Kelly Clarkson, who used her award acceptance speech to fawn of the R&B singer’s talents.

“I hope so, if she can find some time for me,” Miguel said of the prospects of a duet between him and the “Idol” winner. “It is just the hugest compliment. I’m looking forward to that time when we can get in the studio and hopefully create some great music.”

The “Lotus Flower Bomb” singer recently hopped in the studio with Mariah Carey for their collaboration, “#Beautiful.”

“Personally, (the collaboration) is life-changing,” he said. “Just working with Mariah Carey is a huge, huge honor. It was really tough; I’ll be honest with you. She can be very distracting, she’s a beautiful woman.”

Miguel hinted that it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that he would be on the final version of the song, saying that he was happy Carey “was keen on keeping me on the record.” He also credits “M.C.” with adding the pound sign in front of “Beautiful” on the title.

“For this song it was particularly fitting, only because the word that comes before beautiful (in the song) is an expletive that I can’t say,” he explained. “But pound happens to be the perfect symbol for the song. I’ll be honest with you, that was Mariah’s genius.”

When it comes to Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift simply “ain’t got time for that.”

“Can we have another question?” Swift responded when asked about Justin Bieber receiving Billboard’s ill-titled “Milestone Award” on Sunday night at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. Swift answered a couple of questions from the media in the press room after the night ended. That of course, was not one of them.

Immediately I flashed back to the program and thought I knew why Taylor decided to dodge the question. Selena Gomez introduced Swifts’ performance of “22,” and the best friends sat next to each other all night. Of course, Gomez and Bieber recently broke up, again, for good… we think (hope?).

Then I flashed back to Saturday, backstage at the BBMA. Ed Sheeran, T-Swift’s current tour-mate on the “Red” tour, told me that Swift wanted to win the “Milestone Award” the most because it was a fan vote. You’ll hear my full interview with Ed later this week on “The Ralphie Show.”

But is Taylor’s snub of the Biebs simply award show sour grapes? She’s had her fair share of interesting moments at these events, but let’s not forget Swift was the big winner on Sunday night. The songstress took home eight awards, including Top Artist and Top Billboard 200 Album.

I still believe it’s the former: Taylor was not about to pay props to a kid that wronged her best friend. Regardless of how she answered, she would have made even more headlines than she did with her non-answer. Perhaps the T-Swift media machine wins yet again.