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In this edition of Weekend Scoop, InStyle Magazine Senior Editor Sharon Clott Kanter called in and talked about the music video debut of Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose. Also discussed: the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s championship parade in Manhattan and a possible collaboration between Jazmine Sullivan and Sam Smith.

Photo: twitter.com/coachgalanis

Photo: twitter.com/coachgalanis


As chronicled in the new documentary Amy, almost anyone who came in contact with the late Amy Winehouse experienced some type of very intense, dark time with her, especially later part of her 27 years alive. Yet it takes almost no effort for her first manager Nick Shymansky to recollect brighter moments he spent with the gifted singer.

“Because we were flown out by the label, we decided to make the most of it,” Shymansky, the nephew of Universal Music Group’s Lucian Grainge and current Senior A&R at Island Records was telling me on “Ralphie Tonight” during a story about how he and Winehouse were in New York City. They had a meeting with her label that didn’t go as planned; due to the lack of “heat” around the artist at that particular moment, label execs were pumping the breaks on releasing Winehouse’s first album Frank in the States.

“Amy just made her first bit of money. She wasn’t really famous but she was getting a lot of acclaim. We ended up going to Tower Records and she got a massive trolley. She was like a kid in a candy store.”

Winehouse went to town in the once-booming store (Shymansky believes they were at the former Upper West Side location), not taking in to account anything – whether it be the price of the records nor the tax and shipping cost to send them all back to the UK.

“I remember she bought all this music and we paid a huge fine for taking it back (overseas),” he recalled with a smile. “It was amazing seeing her just realize, ‘I can have whatever music I want. I’ve got money.’”
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Shymansky contributed over 12 hours of footage he taped to the piece, which was directed by Asif Kapadia. He, along with rapper Mos Def, producer Mark Ronson and many other friends and family of Winehouse’s, sat down with Kapadia for audio-only interviews that are woven throughout the two-hour-plus film. The singer’s former manager cooperated with the filmmaker in part to help show different sides to Winehouse’s personality and artistry; perhaps those neglected and/or ignored by the media that maligned her until she died of alcohol poisoning in July 2011.

But the film is honest and comes with its share of cringe-worthy moments: watching Winehouse stumble in front of tens-of-thousands on stage, the singer’s mother admitting that she missed early signs of bulimia and Winehouse’s father Mitch showing up to Sr. Lucia, where his daughter was supposed to be recovering on while avoiding the media… with a reality-show camera crew in tow.

“I think one of the most powerful things about this film is that you’re not really told what to think of people,” Shymansky explained. “Opinions aren’t flying. You can’t ignore there were certain decisions, certain things that were handled badly. But I think you come away from this film… it’s two hours and 10 minutes of you being close to the artist.”

From that proximity, it is hard not to see why after viewing Kapadia’s final cut, Winehouse’s father decided to disassociate the family from its release. In addition to the aforementioned incident on the island, Mr. Winehouse also plays an integral role in the creation of his daughter’s breakout hit, “Rehab.” Shymansky actually tried to admit Winehouse; the singer responded by deferring the decision of whether she should go or not to her father.

Despite working out a plan ahead of time with her manager, Mr. Winehouse told his daughter that she didn’t need rehab. Of course, you know this by simply listening to the song, which is almost a verbatim play-by-play of the entire situation.
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“Popular music, up-tempo music, hit music, whatever you want to call it… is very often, when you really look in to the context of what that song’s saying, it can be quite deep,” Shymansky noted, citing hits from Motown as an example. “For me, I can never listen to ‘Rehab.’ Although, I appreciate why a lot of people get it, dance to it, love it… but I knew what was behind it, and I always found it a bit of a ridicule in to my belief that Amy needed help.”

Shymansky could have easily forgotten about Winehouse altogether after his refusal to leave the company he worked for, 19 Entertainment, led to the singer switching managers prior to the release of Back To Black. But Shymansky still cares very much about the singer and her lasting legacy, knowing full well that his discovery of Winehouse helped cement his own credibility in the industry.

Lioness record came out, and I always felt very strange about that record coming out because it wasn’t a record that Amy said, ‘This is my body of work. I’ve finished it. I’ve done it,” he responded when I inquired about the possibility of any unreleased demos seeing the light of day. Keep in mind who Shymansky’s uncle is and what label he now works for, and this is an obvious example of the former point regarding his interest in the singer’s legacy. “Amy took her music very seriously…I hope that if music does emerge, it’s not put out there.”

It’s been a minute, but “Hey, Really Excited” is back! In our latest edition, I fill you in on turning 30, what I’ve has been up to and why I’m participating in this year’s Urban Mudder race in New York on July 25. All of the money #TeamRalphie raises goes to Make-A-Wish.
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This week, in honor of bringing attention to the cause and event, I chat with Make-A-Wish’s Alumni Team Captain: 15 year-old (now 16) Amanda. She is a Wish Kid – after being diagnosed with sickle cell disease, Amanda’s wish was to go to the Dominican Republic. Make-A-Wish flew her family there for Christmas!

You’ll also hear from Tough Mudder’s VP of Event Development, Ashley Ellefson.

Get more here:
https://www.crowdrise.com/TeamRalphieForMAW/fundraiser/ralphieaversa

https://www.facebook.com/ralphieaversa/videos/vb.148218461933509/836898973065451/?type=2&theater

“Extra” New York City correspondent AJ Calloway swung by “Ralphie Tonight” to talk about a few big stories of the week – including AJ’s interview just the day before with actor Ryan Reynolds. Calloway also talked about the recent breakup of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick along with the latest regarding the Miss USA competition and Donald Trump.
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In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva dished on a seasonal trend seen over the holiday weekend: Birkenstocks.

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

Photo: instagram.com/jessicaalba

Photo: instagram.com/jessicaalba

Hello! Magazine.com Lifestyle Editor Jordi Lippe called “Ralphie Tonight” for this week’s Thursday edition of “Weekend Scoop.” She had news on Jessica Simpson’s wedding anniversary, Shakira’s stance on Donald Trump’s derogatory statements and talked about a few celebrities she saw out and about in New York City recently – Ricky Gervais and Will Ferrell, who was on 23rd Street in Christmas pajamas, filming something.

Photo: twitter.com/holyrollerscart

Photo: twitter.com/holyrollerscart

Demi Lovato’s fans are calling the release of her latest single “Cool For The Summer,” “a new era” for the singer. Lovato concurs.

“It’s definitely sexier, it’s more mature and it’s fun,” she said of the new track. “That’s the thing about my music that I feel that sometimes I lack is, the fun element of it because I get so deep with my story and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.

“It’s just like, ‘f— this!’ I just want to have fun with my music. I want to talk about things… sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll – let’s do it.”
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Yep, it’s a new era alright. By her own account, Lovato’s trials and tribulations are well documented. She’s dealt with an eating disorder, substance abuse and a stint in rehab. Through her autobiography and music that was subsequently released, Lovato has addressed all of this with a strong front, inspiring other young girls that they too can overcome their obstacles.

The current state of Lovato may be perhaps the greatest evidence of that achievement. The singer exudes confidence and is as busy as ever: a joint record label venture with Nick Jonas, a skincare line, hair extensions, a new iPhone game and music are all on her plate at the moment.

“I have never been more confident in my music, in myself and just ready to go,” she confirmed. “I’ve never wanted it this bad my whole life and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make this album the biggest album I’ve ever released.”

Lovato’s fifth studio LP has no street date as of yet. While she elaborated on the direction of her art, she admitted that she has “no idea of what the track listing is going to look like yet,” although did confirm that she plans to record a collaboration for the project with rapper Iggy Azalea.

And that in itself should tell you that regardless of how it appears, the final set will look much different from anything Lovato has released before.




January and February were a bit of a blur for me. I started off the year with a live broadcast in Times Square for the ball drop. From there, it was off to Jamaica, Florida and Los Angeles to cover my third consecutive GRAMMY Awards.

The following weekend – we’re at Valentine’s Day now – I found myself back in New York City for NBA All-Star Weekend. Festivities were split between the Barclays Center (All-Star Saturday including the Slam Dunk Contest and 3-Point Shootout) and Madison Square Garden (Sunday’s All-Star Game). But of course, this is the Big Apple, so parties and events were taking pace throughout the five boroughs.

Our All-Star Saturday started in Times Square, where I covered a charity event that Dwyane Wade was holding in conjunction with the Sandals Foundation – the charity arm of the famed Sandals Resorts. After a quick trip back to my apartment uptown for a workout, shower and dinner – I hopped on the train and made the trek down to Brooklyn. Spike Lee was holding an event at an art gallery not far from Barclays Center, and I was invited to cover its red carpet.
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From a content perspective, the soiree was a brick. But from a cultural and educational scope, it was a slam dunk. I met many personalities, including Spike (who I had just interviewed at The GRAMMYs and actually recognized me; surreal moment) along with some of the stars of his film “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.”

I also took a different approach to this red carpet: I decided that I would agree to interview anyone that the publicist asked me to speak with. I normally don’t do this but I decided that while I might not recognize the name of every person there, because it was a Spike event the people would all be at least interesting. And they were, tenfold.

Fast forward to last week – I sign on Twitter and see that Misty Copeland is trending. The ballerina became was named the American Ballet Theater’s principal dancer: the first female African American to hold this title in the organization’s 75 year history. The name sounded so familiar to me.

Because thankfully, I agreed to interview her at Spike’s event. She couldn’t have more graceful in speaking with me; some random radio DJ that has never even been to a ballet. I was able to connect the dots by a quick Google search. As soon as I saw that “Misty Copeland Under Armour” was a suggested term, I knew I had my woman, as I was able to recall us chatting about her cheering on fellow UA Athlete Steph Curry during All-Star Saturday.

Congrats “#PrincipalMisty,” and check out the audio below.

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In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva spotted and talked about a couple of seasonal colors that work well together: white and gold.

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

Photos: Instagram

Photos: Instagram

In the latest edition of “Weekend Scoop,” we checked in with our friends at People! Staff Writer Patrick Gomez was in New York from Los Angeles and talked about celebrity reaction to the history ruling that lifted the ban on same-sex marriages nationwide.
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Gomez also chatted about People‘s cover story – an interview with “Magic Mike XXL” star Channing Tatum.