InStyle Magazine Senior Editor Sharon Clott Canter called in from Los Angeles to chat about Sunday night’s Golden Globes. Sharon saw many stars on the red carpet, including currently InStyle cover woman Jennifer Lopez. She also witnessed a lovely candid moment at the InStyle after party with Golden Globes winner Sam Smith.

Photo: instagram.com/samsmithworld

Photo: instagram.com/samsmithworld


There are a number of goals I’ve set for 2016; two include writing more for this blog and posting higher quality and quantity to social media, specifically Instagram. So Friday night, when I was in the studio I decided to take a second and enjoy the view.


Post-show Friday turned from a late night to an early morning. I retreated to the Upper West Side, only to head back down to Penn Station a few hours later as I had a train to catch for Providence, R.I. I love many things about Amtrak, including but not limited to the view.


My radio show has aired in Providence since 2009 and has always done well there. This certainly has endeared me to the area. Nothing but love for the Ocean State.


Oh – so I traveled up to Rhode Island for the Cumulus Providence Holiday Party. I liked that it was on a Saturday and after the craziness of Christmas and New Year’s. The party was held in scenic Newport, a town I had never visited. Thankfully my colleague Jay (who usually is with me covering award shows) picked me up from the train station and showed me around. It doesn’t matter what time of year – witnessing something as powerful as the Atlantic Ocean in person is pretty spectacular.


Extra point for me because the caption of that post read, “I keep on hoping we’ll eat cake by the ocean.” Love DNCE. Anyways, Saturday night in Newport was much fun. But alas, another early morning and early train ride awaited me. Returning to the greatest city in the world makes it all worth it though.

In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva highlighted her first winter fashion trend of the season: outer (faux) fur wear.


Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on the air!

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/ddlovato/

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/ddlovato/

I was live in Times Square for New Year’s Eve on 95.5 PLJ. In addition to counting down in to 2016, I chatted with Charlie Puth, Miss America and George Zimmer. Check out some of the sights and sounds below!



Keeping with tradition, I stayed in the city for Thanksgiving and worked, however I took a lengthy vacation around Christmas. By lengthy, we’re talking nine days. Almost a week-and-a-half. I love my family, but it was a bit much.

Nonetheless, it is always nice to return back to Niagara Falls and visit with family and friends that still live in Western New York. I flew out on Sunday the 20 and snapped this shot as the sun was rising over the RFK Bridge.


Rarely does returning back to WNY solely consist of resting, especially around the holidays. But it’s nice when I’m home for events that normally I would have to see on Instagram or hear about after the fact. Example: My very talented niece Taylor had an art showing at a local wine bar in Niagara Falls the night I landed. She is ridiculously talented (you’ll see later) and the place was packed. It was great to be able to not only join family there but support her.


On Monday we had a family dinner with my Mom’s side and on Tuesday my Dad’s favorite bar, DeFazio’s Stadium Grill, had its annual Christmas Party. Here’s me and my cousin Mike.


Yeah, it was a good night! Attending with my Dad has turned in to an annual tradition that hope doesn’t end anytime soon.


Had a chance to spend some quality time with my cousin Anthony on Wednesday. I ran a few errands with him and we grabbed lunch in Lockport – home of course of the Erie Canal.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


V ARTSY as the kids say. Thursday was Christmas Eve aka my favorite meal of the year: The Feast of the Seven Fishes. It’s an Italian thing, and I love it because I want all of the seafood.


Then Santa stopped by. We opened gifts as a family on Friday and then went to my brother’s house for brunch. That’s where my niece, the aforementioned Taylor, gave me this!


How amazing is that?! Her and I both share a love for Coldplay. All-in-all, Santa treated me well.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


It was just great to be able to hang with all of my nieces and nephews.


Saturday was a blur of a day, spent mostly visiting with friends from high school and grade school. Then on Sunday, I headed off to the Carrier Dome to see Syracuse play Texas Southern.


‘Cuse won and I got to see one of my old college roommates and my family that lives there, so it was a solid trip back to Central New York. I kept with the sports scene Monday night, heading to Buffalo to see my Sabres play the Caps. Sadly they lost but it was still nice to get back to the First Niagara Center and see all of the great development happening in downtown Buffalo.


Of course it’s not a trip back to Western New York in December if you don’t have inclement weather.


But soon enough I was back in the air and en route to the city.


Definitely a trip home for the books and a solid way to end my 2015 travels.

A couple of superstar comebacks, an uncoordinated dancing shark and a boy band shake-up were just a few of the highlights provided to us in 2015 courtesy of pop music.
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– America loves a good comeback story, and we received two big ones in 2015: the songstress reclaiming her throne (Adele) and the bad-boy seemingly turning good (Justin Bieber). Both artists rewrote the record books in their respective returns to the spotlight.

For Adele, here’s the final figure as of press time: Over 7 million copies of “25” sold in the U.S. The album tallied its second-highest week of sales in the days leading up to Christmas, moving 1.16 million units as reported by Billboard. And there’s still a week of reporting left before the new year. As for “Hello,” that holds down the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for a ninth consecutive week.

With a sold-out tour on the slate for 2016, it doesn’t appear as if Adele is leaving the spotlight anytime soon. Judging by the way she has been received, most people don’t have a problem with this.
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As for Bieber, when he released “Purpose,” he broke a 36 year-old record held by The Beatles, charting 17 songs simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100. Bieber’s LP went to number one in 108 countries and was his sixth to top the Billboard 200 in the U.S. The album was certified platinum just three weeks after its release.

And like Adele, he has a sold-out trek that spans over 50 shows next year in North America alone.

– The week that Bieber dropped “Purpose,” One Direction released “Made In The A.M.,” the group’s final LP before a well-deserved break. The four remaining members of 1D have told fans of the group that they definitely plan to reunite at some point, despite rumors to the contrary.
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Those reports came to a head in March of this year when Zayn Malik announced he was leaving the group, eventually to launch a solo career and land a deal with RCA Records. The quartet continued on with appearances at the Billboard Music Awards and American Music Awards, the latter where they took home “Artist Of The Year.” Niall, Harry, Louis and Liam also went forward with the band’s “On the Road Again Tour,” performing in stadiums throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Don’t say goodbye to 1D just yet though: the band will perform at the Billboard Hollywood party for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” this Thursday night on ABC.

– A big congratulations to Katy Perry, who Forbes named as the top earning musician in 2015, raking in over $130 million. Forbes tracked revenue from June 2014 through June of this year, with Perry’s worldwide sold-out tour falling within that timeline. Perry performed last year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show to rave reviews, although afterwards it seemed most people want to chat either about the return of Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott or the shark to the left of Katy Perry during her “California Girls” performance that probably skipped a rehearsal or three.

In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva offered up a beauty tip for New Year’s Eve: cat eyeliner.


Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on the air!

Photo: instagram.com/gwenstefani

Photo: instagram.com/gwenstefani

FOX News sought out my opinion this past week for an article that compared Taylor Swift and Adele, two titans in the pop music world.

“Who’s the most powerful woman in pop music?” the outlet inquired. “Adele is making a case for herself. They both now have top celebrity squads and share a similar subject matter when writing (ex-boyfriends) and have each broken music history.”

I suppose when you throw it in that context, it’s easy to place the two side-by-side. But in reality, there is no comparison as the singers are completely different artists who have traveled much different paths to their respective success.

Swift has spent far more time in the spotlight, especially here in the U.S. The Pennsylvania-born artist scored her first song on pop radio when she was just 17 with “Teardrops On My Guitar.” Her sophomore album, “Fearless,” was released in 2008. The LP netted four GRAMMYs, including Album Of The Year, making Swift the youngest artist ever to win that award.

And in 2015, Swift’s popularity has only grown. Her latest album, “1989,” put the singer in yet another category of her own: the first artist to have three albums sell a million copies or more in the first week of their release. The recently-wrapped “1989 World Tour,” was the highest grossing trek of the year, bringing in over $250 million.
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Sure Adele won’t be playing stadiums in 2016, but she’ll spend multiple nights at most venues – six at New York’s Madison Square Garden alone – and will be playing to a sold out house every time she takes the stage. Adele didn’t release her latest album until the end of November, and yet still “25” is the best selling LP of the year on iTunes.

It’s also the biggest selling album in the U.S. since Adele’s last album, “21,” in 2011. In just its first four weeks out, “25” has sold just shy of 6 million copies. According to Billboard, Swift’s “1989,” which was released in October of 2014, has sold 5.57 million to date.

The last time an album was purchased more than Adele’s latest release in a calendar year? That would be Usher’s “Confessions” in 2004, which tallied almost 8 million units. As Billboard points out, with two weeks left in the tracking year, it is not unfathomable for “25” to have its eyes set on that mark.

So in 2015, Taylor owned the box office and Adele owned the Billboard 200 (it should go without saying that “25” has been atop the chart since its release). But Swift took a different route to pop stardom, one that traveled through Nashville and gained her a loyal country music fan base in the process. And Adele, nee Adkins, took time off to mend a vocal cord issue and start a family (she has 3 year-old son, Angelo).

There is no clear comparison between the two artists; the only obvious deduction when you look at each of their careers is that this holiday season, both singers have much to be thankful for.

The return of Star Wars to the big screen has sent fans in to a frenzy. Die-hards are signing up for light saber exercise classes, purchasing Star Wars-themed ice cream and inspiring “SNL” skits.

It seems the influence and reach of “The Force Awakens” knows no boundaries, thus it made sense that at last month’s “American Music Awards,” there would be a tribute to the movie’s original score. The music, created by distinguished composer John Williams, was adapted to the AMA stage by acapella group Pentatonix. It was a task that the quintet did not take lightly.
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“That was the tough part about it. (The music) is all instrumentals, and all the melodies, chords and rhythm stuff are very instrumental,” explained vocalist Avi Kaplan when I spoke with the group a few days before the award show. “So making them vocal was a really tough thing. There are no lyrics. It’s very choral and operatic.”

“Figuring out what sounds good (was tough) too… we have to change things around,” added group member Scott Hoying. “It’s just kind of crazy.”

Most musicians would agree that it is a little unnerving to have to alter an iconic theme like the “Imperial March,” and then perform it on national TV. But the 2011 winners of NBC’s show “The Sing-Off” approached the performance with a very specific goal.

“We just wanted to keep the essence of Star Wars and make sure it was dope,” Hoying said. “We didn’t want to try and make it about us at all.”

Yet if there was one person who wouldn’t have minded the piece centering on the acapella group, it was Han Solo himself. Just ahead of the show’s start, TMZ broke the story that Harrison Ford counted himself as a big fan of Pentatonix, and was tabbed by dick clark productions to introduce the performance during the broadcast on ABC.

After Ford’s intro, the quintet took center stage inside Microsoft Theater and ran through a 3 minute-plus medley; about a minute-and-a-half in, a full symphony orchestra joined Penatonix on stage and ushered in the movie’s main theme.

In the press room, it almost seemed as if everyone stopped what they were doing to find a TV monitor and catch the performance. All four members of Fall Out Boy, who were making the media rounds following the band’s AMA win, took a break from interviews to watch the segment with us. No one really spoke; we were all kind of transfixed to what was unfolding on the show.

And when the final note was sung, the entire audience rose to offer both Pentatonix and the orchestra a standing ovation. As the acapella group has proven so many times on live TV, with them, the force is strong.

Paul Kalemkiarian, creator of the original Wine of the Month Club, called in to chat about popular holiday wines and gifting ideas.
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