New York City-born actor Zach McGowan stopped by ahead of a few big premieres: Season 3 of The CW’s show “The 100,” which he has an arc on and Season 3 of Starz’s hit “Black Sails” – a show he has been on since the start. McGowan talked about landing both roles and growing up during the 80’s on the Upper West Side.
Saying Scott Stapp has been through a lot in the 20-year span of his music career is akin to saying Adele sold “a few copies” of her latest album.
It would be a gross understatement.
The lead singer for the band Creed has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, struggled with substance abuse and found himself in a leaked sex tape. Lest we forget that Creed, while currently on an indefinite hiatus, has sold over 50 million albums worldwide.
But when Stapp speaks these days, he does so confidently and in a tone that does not suggest he’s been through so many traumatic events. Matter-of-fact, at times when reflecting on his trials and tribulations the lead singer does so in a jovial manner.
“I’m so allergic to alcohol and drugs that every time I use or drink, I break out in handcuffs and end up on the 6 o’clock news,” Stapp joked when we chatted on my radio show last week. He was making the rounds amidst his “Proof Of Life Tour,” a trek in support of his last solo project although he also plays his Creed catalogue at the shows.
“That’s literally the truth man!” he continued, not missing a beat.
Sadly for Stapp and his family, it was a long road to fully realize his “allergy.” Stapp had been to rehab but never truly sobered up. In 2009 while Creed was promoting a reunion tour, the lead singer told me that despite past, he would still have a glass of wine on occasion.
As Stapp later found out, that’s not exactly how life after rehab works.
“I didn’t want to believe that I couldn’t be normal like everyone else,” he admits now. “But a lot has changed since then, and I know that I can’t do that.”
The seemingly big breakthrough for Stapp was after his latest downfall, which included a string of bizarre Facebook videos referencing President Obama and ISIS. Stapp and his wife Jaclyn sought out MusiCares, a foundation created by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences that “provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need.” Stapp, of course, is a GRAMMY winner of the Academy’s, taking home “Best Rock Song” with Creed in 2001.
Through MusiCares, Stapp was able to end up in a proper facility that provided him with what he and his family believes was the missing piece to his rehab: the bipolar diagnosis. Now, the musician has a new outlook on his amended lifestyle.
“I just live my life 24 hours at-a-time, one day at-a-time,” Stapp stated. “When I break it down in to those small increments, it’s a lot easier to accept and digest (soberness).”
Stapp, who is planning the announcement of a new band and is working on another solo album, says that the new perspective has had a positive outlook on his life. Although, that might be an understatement too.
A goal for 2016 is to continue something I’ve been trying since 2014 – exploring, creating and experiencing more while finding ways to push myself out of my comfort zone. Specific to this year though, I’m making a conscious effort to share those moments on my social networks whenever possible. So on Sunday morning, when I awoke at the crack of dawn and decided to come to the studio and get some work done, I also made time to enjoy the view.
That is a bank which I pass on my daily/nightly commute and I JUST noticed the lighting. I found myself looking around a bit more on this particular commute, and when I arrived at 33rd and 7th, I saw a lighting configuration of the Empire State Building that was a bit different than normal.
As perhaps you can imagine, I’m planning a return trip. Also, the quinoa chips were fantastic. But alas, there was cooking to be completed (which you saw on my Snap story; add me: ralphieaversa). I knocked out a Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip and packed up the Bloody Mary bar before heading to John Foxx’s apartment, where I gave birth to a food baby.
I joined HLN “The Daily Share” anchor Rocsi Diaz to chat about Rupert Murdoch’s engagement to Jerry Hall. Murdoch popped the question this past weekend in Los Angeles, where the two attended the Golden Globes.
How hectic is Charlie Puth’s life right now? The singer behind the anthem “See You Again” didn’t realize how many GRAMMY nominations he received until Google told him.
“Well, I originally thought it was ‘a’ GRAMMY,” revealed Puth when I spoke with him after he and rapper Wiz Khalifa performed the “Furious 7” track on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” in Times Square. Puth and I chatted in a hotel lobby just blocks from the ball drop. “And then I Google-d it because, who doesn’t Google me? And then I saw that it was three GRAMMY nominations.
“Absolutely incredible. With Wiz. Mind blown.”
Puth expressed similar feelings when he described what it was like to sing in front of an international TV audience and over a million people in Times Square.
“I didn’t realize how many people were there until I looked in the abyss and saw many more millions of people going down to 59th Street,” he said. I was going to correct him and say 49th but then he added, “And I know what that is because I’m from here, so I know that that’s a long block away.”
In addition to the nods for Song of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media, “See You Again” was up for Best Original Song at the Golden Globe Awards. It lost to a formidable competitor in Sam Smith, who turned in a brilliant theme for the latest “Bond” film: “Writing’s On The Wall.”
So in the span of about five-and-a-half weeks Puth turned 24, scored three GRAMMY nominations, performed on New Year’s Eve in Times Square and attended the Golden Globes as a nominee.
Not a bad stretch for a kid from Rumson, N.J. Puth attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated after Ellen DeGeneres discovered and signed him to a record deal. Things didn’t work out with the talk show host’s label imprint, but that platform led executives at Atlantic Records to find the singer; Atlantic eventually scooped him up.
Puth is set to release his debut, full length album “Nine Track Mind” on January 29. The LP features the Meghan Trainor-assisted “Marvin Gaye” and his latest single “One Call Away.” Also appearing on the album are singer Shy Carter (“As You Are”), Selena Gomez (“We Don’t Talk Anymore”) and Khalifa.
“It’s basically a musical summary of what my crazy, hectic year has been like,” Puth explained when I asked him about the album back in October. “It’s been a life-changing year and I wanted to make something musical that represented that.”
Just think, it was already a life-changing year for him a few months ago… and that was before he was searching his name on Google to figure out if he had multiple GRAMMY nominations.
Our last guest of 2015 was the lovely Miss America, Betty Cantrell. I was in Atlantic City the night Betty was crowned, and she was nice enough to stop by and visit us just a few days after the pageant. In her dressing room at the Good Morning America building in Times Square, we chatted about some of the celebrities she has met so far and Steve Harvey’s mess-up on stage at Miss Universe (which by the way, is a different organization than Miss America).