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Just 11 months ago, Daya’s parents were pushing her to apply to college, just in-case this whole singing career didn’t pan out.

Fast forward to October 2016, just a few weeks shy of her 18th birthday, and suffice to say the artist will be deferring.

“I did apply last year,” Daya, nee Grace Tandon, told me last weekend after opening for Fergie inside Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena. “It was just kind of a back-up and my parents wanted me to, blah-blah-blah.”

Daya’s older sister attends Brown University in Rhode Island. And the “Hide Away” songstress doesn’t rule out an eventual return to the classroom, but at the moment that certainly isn’t necessary. In less than a year, the Pittsburgh-born singer has scored two top 10 hits at pop radio as a title artist.
But without question her biggest song to-date is the contribution she made to The Chainsmokers’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” a song that grabbed Daya her first ever American Music Award nomination for “Best Collaboration.” “Don’t Let Me Down” also ended up accumulating the most spins of any single this past summer at pop radio.

“That’s crazy! That’s just so wild!” a clearly excited Daya replied when I informed her of that fact. “I didn’t know that it would be that big. I mean, I knew that it was a great song and I was so happy to collaborate with them on it because they’re awesome but you never know with radio.”

Daya is certainly becoming more familiar with the airwaves though. Her latest hit is the title track from her debut album, “Sit Still, Look Pretty.”

“(The song) was always special to me,” she said. “It just kind of felt natural for me to name the album ‘Sit Still, Look Pretty,’ and I think that’s kind of what I want my brand to be as young female artist in this industry; don’t let people limit you in what you can do.”

After all, it’s not like Daya was born in Los Angeles or New York. She grew up in Pittsburgh and the man who executive produced her album, Gino Barletta, is from Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

“This is our baby together that we just created over this past year and a weight feels lifted off of all of our shoulders,” she noted. “We’ve all just helped each other out. We all work hard and are passionate and good things are happening.”

And if they keep that up, who knows what the next 11 months could have in store.

Jonas Blue called in from Dubai (!) to talk about his latest single, “Perfect Strangers,” joining “Team Follow Back” with Sam Smith and looking up to the great Max Martin.
Fun fact: Blue is the 20th most-streamed artist on Spotify!

Rachel Platten’s 2016 has brought her many different places; one of the latest being Times Square where she, along with Joe Jonas, helped reveal some of the nominees for the 2016 American Music Awards.

When it comes to the show’s biggest prize, “Artist Of The Year,” the “Fight Song” artist knows a thing or two about some of the potential winners. Platten met Selena Gomez (“She’s a wonderful person”), is nominated with Adele in the category of “Favorite Female Artist – Adult Contemporary” and even drew inspiration for her set list from one of the category’s nominees.

“I cover his song on my tour,” she replied when I brought up Justin Bieber. She tackles the hit “Love Yourself” during her show. I then mentioned another artist in the category, Bieber’s fellow Canadian, Drake.
“I also tried to cover his song on my tour, and realized that it wasn’t very good when I did it,” Platten deadpanned regarding the hit “One Dance.” “I wish I had figured it out.”

Platten’s “The Wildfire Tour” kicked off in February, a month after she dropped her major-label debut album. The LP also spawned the hit “Stand By You.”

“I feel like all of my wildest dreams came true the past two years,” she told me. “It’s been so amazing. I worked for a long, long time to get here so I think 2016 will always hold a special place in my heart.”

And the year is far from over; Platten wraps up her tour in Florida on Saturday and will attend the AMAs, which air live November 20 at 8 pm EST in Los Angeles.

By Ralphie Aversa

Charlie Puth confirmed to me that the “Nine Track Mind” album cycle is finished but he stopped short of saying that he wouldn’t be a part of any other new music before year’s end.

“We filmed a video for ‘Dangerously’ just as like a fan thank you,” he revealed. “Yunno, thanks for this amazing life-changing year; here’s a really cool video for a very popular song on the album.”

“Life-changing” is an apt way to describe Puth’s world since the release of “See You Again.” The Wiz Khalifa-fronted song, which served as the main single from the “Furious 7” soundtrack, went on to accumulate GRAMMY and Golden Globe nods while also racking up a billion plays on YouTube.
Then you factor in Puth as a solo artist: three hit singles off a Gold-certified debut album with two U.S. tours in support of it.

“Kind of like a whirlwind,” is how Puth characterized the past year-and-a-half. “I went from literally having nobody know me to, yunno having five security guards around me when I walk around Times Square.”

The Rumson, New Jersey-native seems to enjoy the ride. Just a few nights prior to our chat, he played to a sold-out Beacon Theatre on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

“We shut down two streets!” he exclaimed, before chastising me over a tweet I sent about thankfully not grocery shopping that night. The venue is across from my neighborhood store, a Fairway.

“Saw your tweet; you were like, ‘I’m glad I didn’t go shopping!’” Puth repeated, while clearly amused before adding, “Don’t get it twisted. I read your tweets!”

The one consistent since I started interviewing Puth a year-ago is his demeanor: he takes his art seriously but certainly enjoys lightening up a bit too. Apparently, that doesn’t just occur during interviews either.

“I joke around with my boys The Chainsmokers all the time like, ‘When are we going to make a song where we can like, turn up to in Vegas with everybody and make a big party out of it?’” he told me. “I’ve written records with a lot of amazing, legendary artists, new and old, even in these past couple of months.

“So… that’s all I’m going to say.”

“I stepped on stage, at Live Aid. I’m one-of-the-reasons why Yeezys can get made.”

It is the rhyme that Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, a member of the legendary Run-D.M.C., drops when he speaks at schools and kids question his modern-day relevance. And while the average grade school student might not know any better, any older music fan certainly does, right down to the relationship that both DMC and Kanye West have with Adidas.

“When Steven Tyler took the mic stand in the ‘Walk This Way’ video that we made with Aerosmith,” McDaniels began to recall. “When he knocked the wall down, people tell me, ‘Yo D, it didn’t just happen in the video; that happened in the world.’”

That single moment can somewhat encapsulate the global impact of Run-D.M.C., both musically and culturally. But the group’s influence also reached far in to the fashion world. In 1986 the Queens-natives dropped “My Adidas.” It spurred the first time a major apparel company offered a sponsorship deal to a non-sports entity. Now three decades later, Run-D.M.C. has partnered with retailer Fanatics to release a line of officially licensed apparel that personalizes the iconic Run-D.M.C. logo for different teams based on the organization’s home city and colors.
“Our influence is respected,” McDaniels responded when I asked what it meant to him that so many years later, the logo and culture of Run-D.M.C. is still relevant and sought after. “But we had no idea that our presence was respected…to still be allowed to participate is very humbling.”

However as DMC accurately pointed out, the idea of the group’s logo changing for a city or cause is nothing new.

“But what (the Fanatics partnership) does is, it universally makes it personal to the particular person who is going to wear the merchandise,” he explained. The line, which includes shirts and snapback hats, officially launched with all NBA teams at the Association’s flagship store in New York on Wednesday.

McDaniels, who works closely with Madison Square Garden’s “Garden Of Dreams Foundation,” wore the Knicks shirt during Wednesday’s launch event. Despite his status as a New Yorker, DMC noted that seeing the logo repurposed for cities like Boston and Philadelphia wasn’t weird.

“Yunno why? Because it’s not our black, red and white logo with the city,” he said. “It’s the team’s colors.”

And like that wall-breaking collaboration with Aerosmith in the 80’s, McDaniels hopes that with the Fanatics partnership, the new incarnations of the Run-D.M.C. logo can unite fans of different teams.

The duo Korbee, consisting of husband-and-wife Tom and Jenn, stopped by to chat about their single “Hey Child,” touring as a couple and their allegiances when it comes to Football Sunday.

Tom and Jenn also hopped on my Facebook Live to perform “Hey Child” A Capella – check it out below!

Friend-of-the-show Marc Scibilia stopped by to talk about the endless tour he’s on with some amazing tourmates, from Gavin DeGraw and Andy Grammer to Michael Franti and Jon McLaughlin. Scibilia also talked about working with Jacob Whitesides and preparing to record new music later this year.

The 96th Miss America pageant took place Sunday night in Atlantic City at Boardwalk Hall. I was on the red carpet before the show and spoke with a few of the judges (Cole Swindell, Gabby Douglas, Mark Cuban, Laura Marano) and one of the co-hosts, Sage Steele, about the big event.

Ahead of Sunday night’s competition, five Miss America finalists from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island called in to talk about prelims and their path to the crown.
A new Miss America was crowned Sunday night on ABC.

TLC’s Chilli called in to chat about the group’s tour with En Vogue, upcoming final studio album, awkward moments on stage and those Nick Cannon rumors.
Check out TLC and En Vogue on tour later this month: September 25 at the NYCB Theater in Westbury, N.Y. and the 26 at the Wellmont Theater in Monclair, N.J.