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In episode 3 of my new podcast, I talk about my interactions backstage at the Billboard Music Awards with One Direction and the cast of ‘Entourage.’ Then – it’s back to New York for doctors appointments and down the shore to Point Pleasant, N.J. for 95.5 PLJ’s “Summer Kick-Off.” Plain White T’s, Life of Dillon, Lifehouse and Rachel Platten all join the podcast this week.
Hey, Really Excited
“Hey, Really Excited” is a weekly-ish podcast of mine where I offer some present-day thoughts on what’s happening in music, my life and career – along with a featured artist(s).

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In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva talked about an easy summer trend, mirrored sunnies.

Photo: https://instagram.com/reesewitherspoon/

Photo: https://instagram.com/reesewitherspoon/


Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on “Ralphie Tonight.”

Rachel Platten has experienced a lot in 2015 – from performing her uplifting anthem “Fight Song” on “Good Morning America” to enjoying cupcakes emblazed with her face.

“Which I didn’t even know you could do!” exclaimed Platten of the dessert, which friends at her record label served for her birthday last week. “It makes them more delicious.”

Everything has to taste better for the New England-born singer these days. Platten dropped her first album in 2003. Her next release came eight years later. Both were recorded independently from a major label. Then Platten, “Fight Song” in tow, shopped around her and the track from label-to-label. I jokingly mention that she “may have heard ‘no’ a few times;” rightfully so she quickly dismisses this.
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“I think I’ve been rejected by probably every single person in the industry,” she responded, with little sense of hyperbole in her tone. “But I just won’t give up. I don’t know. I have this crazy little thing in my head that won’t quit.

“I didn’t care. Of course it hurt, but something in me just wouldn’t let me stop. I felt like I had this message to give the world.”

So did Columbia Records, the label that signed Platten and released her Fight Song EP. In addition to the “GMA” performance, Platten is enjoying her greatest chart success yet. “Fight Song” peaked last week at 11 on the Billboard Adult Pop chart; it’s been on the chart for 11 weeks.

“As I spread this message, I get the privilege of listening to other people’s struggles and what they’re working on overcoming, and what I’ve found to be so true is that we all have something,” she said. “Sometimes we’re shy about saying it publicly; sometimes we don’t want to declare it. But when you do there’s this power that comes from that, and you get this rush of love and support from your friends and family.”

And that rush will probably continue through the summer for Platten, as she tours in support of co-headliners Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri. The “Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too” trek kicks off at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on July 10.

In the second episode of my new podcast “Hey, Really Excited,” I recap my trip to Las Vegas for last weekend’s “Billboard Music Awards.” Guests this week include Robin Leach, Hozier (again), Tori Kelly, Prince Royce and Ludacris.
Hey, Really Excited
“Hey, Really Excited” is a weekly-ish podcast of mine where I offer some present-day thoughts on what’s happening in music, my life and career – along with a featured artist(s).

In the inaugural edition of “Weekend Scoop,” we catch up with the four acts that played this year’s “Summer Kick-Off” at Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant, N.J. and find out what they are looking forward to with the unofficial start of summer. To see more from this year’s Kick-Off, click here.
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“Weekend Scoop” will feature different artists, magazines, TV stations and more every week – reporting on subjects ranging from celebrity news to events you need to know about. Catch it every Friday on “Ralphie Tonight.”

Unlike other artists looking to release their sophomore albums on a major label, the one thing singer ZZ Ward doesn’t have to worry about is if the LP will actually see the light of day. This Means War already has a street date of September 18 and is available for pre-order now, a lengthy three-and-a-half months ahead of the album release.

“If I was a fan, that’d make me feel good,” Ward told “Ralphie Tonight” of the advance. “I’d be like, ‘Yes! I have it on lock. Like I know I’m getting it as soon as it comes out.’”
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The pre-sale was announced in conjunction with a headlining tour and the release of a new single.

“’Love 3X’ is kind of about the ups-and-downs and the good and the bad and all of the imperfections that make your relationship the perfect mess that it is,” described Ward of the track.

The Oregon native, who has lived in Los Angeles for the past five years pursuing her music career, wrote the song herself. That also comes as a surprise, as her manager is a GRAMMY Award winning songwriter with a number of big radio hits to his credit. Despite this, Evan Bogart only contributed one track to the artist’s debut effort. Ward says that they wrote together “a lot” this second time around, but that she enjoys the creative and collaborative freedom afforded to her by Bogart.

“(Evan) has the ability to really guide you as a writer in the sense that, he doesn’t have to be like writing on everything or be up in all the videos,” Ward explained. “He can kind of let you do your thing, and so that’s been really great working with Evan.”

Could you imagine hanging out at a Cinco de Mayo party with friends, sipping on a beverage… and then checking your phone to find out that you have an email from Adam Levine?

Rozzi Crane doesn’t have to “imagine” that because it happened to her in real life.

“I was like, ‘I gotta go!’” Crane recalled telling her friends at the party during a chat on “Ralphie Tonight.” “I didn’t tell anyone for like, six months.”
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Crane waited until the paperwork was signed before informing everyone that she was in fact, the first signee to Adam Levine’s 222 Recordings, an imprint on Maroon 5’s home label of Interscope Records.

The 24 year-old attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and met a mutual friend of Levine’s in a songwriting class. They started working on music with another mutual friend who was managed by Maroon 5’s manager. That is who sent “The Voice” coach a YouTube link of Crane performing.

For all intents and purposes, Levine “turned his chair around” and signed the near-USC grad. She walked, but is a semester’s worth of credits away from a degree.

“I’ll do it at some point. I’ll finish it.”

In the mean time, Crane is promoting and touring behind her EP, Space, which features the single “Psycho.” No the song is not about an ex, but rather those who perhaps think you’re a little crazy for attempting to achieve your dreams.

And if your dream is to one day receive an email from Adam Levine, then maybe this is the song for you.

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In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva highlighted a trend she spotted on the Billboard Music Awards’ Red Carpet, sexy slits.

Photo: instagram.com/meghantrainor

Photo: instagram.com/meghantrainor


Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on “Ralphie Tonight.”

The second day of Red Carpet Radio at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards was hectic, as many BBMA finalists, presenters and performers stopped by to chat with “Ralphie Tonight.” Check out some of the photos and conversations below with Hozier, Tori Kelly, Fall Out Boy and more.
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Special thanks to BBMA co-host Ludacris, who also made some time for the show. We chatted with him while he waited for a car to pick him up… in the back of the MGM Grand Arena… on a curb. In Vegas, there is a first time for everything.





A few staples of the Las Vegas scene stopped by Red Carpet Radio at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards to chat with “Ralphie Tonight.”
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Terry Fator won the second season of the NBC competition “America’s Got Talent.” The entertainer just marked his sixth year headlining at The Mirage on The Strip. Fator believes he’ll be there many more years to come. He also gave his thoughts on the end of “American Idol,” noting that he’ll miss it and is happy there are other shows like “AGT” and “The Voice” still on the air.

Carrot Top has been in Vegas for 30 years – he’s spent about the last 10 performing at The Luxor. The comedian is hoping to attend Sunday’s award show, and you might be surprised as to what he is looking forward to. Of course, Carrot Top also quipped about everything from “Fifty Shades Of Grey” to “Deflategate.”

And Robin Leach – a former Channel 7 reporter – needs no introduction. The former “Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous” host dished about his recent chats with Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey regarding their Vegas residencies.