For five of the past six years, Armin van Buuren has topped DJ Mag’s list of the world’s best DJs. Of 2012’s top five, he is arguably the only one to not obtain mainstream success on the radio… yet.


“First of all, I’m very thankful and grateful for so many people that take the time to go online and vote for me,” van Buuren explained during a phone interview on “The Ralphie Show.” “Fans saying that they love what you do, your work, that’s just the best feeling.”

But, van Buuren cautions that while there’s “a list,” it is really impossible to compile “the list.”

“Comparing DJs is comparing apples to oranges,” he said. “You can compare me to other trance DJs, that’s fine. But it’s just very different music.”

The Dutch producer said that while he’s a fan of some of the more familiar DJs played on the radio, he would never place the type of electronic music found in their playlists.

“I know Afrojack. I know David Guetta. They’re good friends. I sometimes go and see their show,” he said. “Not to say that I don’t like their music, but it’s just not what I want to represent as a DJ.”

Like the aforementioned mixers, don’t be surprised if van Buuren soon hits not just the club sound system, but also the airwaves. The first single from his new album Intense, “This Is What It Feels Like,” is heading to U.S. radio. It has already gone top 10 in four different countries.

“Trevor was inspired with this song by his neighbor who was diagnosed with a brain tumor,” van Buuren said, referring to Canadian singer Trevor Guthrie who is on the track. “Fortunately that’s cured now; the neighbor is alive and she’s doing well. But he was shocked to hear (the diagnosis).”

As serious as the song’s roots are, the track’s music video is just as light-hearted. It features adult film star Ron Jeremy.

“It was a bit cheeky, wasn’t it?” van Buuren asked, while laughing. “It’s a little bit of a sad song, so I wanted to make a big contrast with that by having a fun video.”

In yet another sign that the EDM movement isn’t completely about partying, van Buuren called me from Las Vegas and revealed the one thing he always partakes in while in Sin City. You could say it involves staying on top of another list, arguably a more important one.

“I like the shopping here so I like to bring stuff to my wife and daughter,” he said. “They have some really cool stuff here. Sometimes they have sales and stuff and my wife always goes online and tells me what she wants.”


Life & Style Weekly reports that Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine has a new girlfriend. Senior Reporter Andrew Nodell also talked about Lady Gaga’s continued recovery on “The Ralphie Show.”

Emeli Sandé’s legal first name is Adele. She claims it isn’t a common name back in the UK.

“That’s why it was so weird,” she explained on “The Ralphie Show,” referring to her connection with THE Adele, surname Adkins. “Maybe three years ago someone said, ‘Oh there’s this new singer Adele and she’s getting bigger and bigger.’ That’s when I decided I should probably pick a different name.”

By this time, the buzz had already started around Adele with her album 19 and single “Chasing Pavement.” Sandé made the wise decision to use her middle name.

“I was featured on a rapper’s track,” she recalled. “I thought, ‘The name I pick here is going to have to be completely different.’”

Sandé went on to create her own name literally and figuratively in the UK. Her LP Our Version of Events was the highest selling album in the UK for 2012, moving over a million units. Now, she is making a splash across the pond with her hit single, “Next To Me.”

“I feel like a newcomer over here, which has been really fun,” she said. “It’s a massive country but we’re slowly kind of getting things rolling.”

For just beginning her U.S. run in January, Sandé has already accomplished quite a bit. “Next To Me” cracked the top 25 on six different Billboard charts, hitting number one at Hot Dance Club Songs. The singer performed at the “American Idol” finale, on “Dancing With The Stars,” “Today,” and at a special event in the White House. Sandé also covered Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” for the Jay-Z produced “Great Gatsby” soundtrack.

“I was asked if I’d like to come and do a version,” explained Sandé of her involvement with the project. “Brian Ferry and his orchestra had put together the 1920’s version. So, I was just honored to be involved with the project.”

She also made sure to seek-out Jay at the red carpet premiere in New York.

“I think he liked it. He seemed really cool,” she said. “I think because I did my own thing on it, and it was more suited for the film, then it worked.”

For those keeping track at home – yes, that’s events with Jay-Z and President Barack Obama in a month’s span. You could say Sandé’s plan to switch her name as to not cause any confusion worked out just fine.

Perhaps you forgot that Akon played a big role in introducing Lady Gaga to the masses. In addition to the “Konvict Music” artist appearing on her breakout single “Just Dance,” he also convinced Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine to sign the singer. The joint label-deal with Kon Live yielded that GRAMMY-nominated song as well as her debut album, The Fame. The rest, as they say, can be looked up on Wikipedia.

Fast forward through two albums and an unprecedented amount of success, and we find that Lady Gaga is preparing to release her third album, ARTPOP. The timeline for the project though was derailed when Gaga sustained a hip injury that forced her to cancel her “Born This Way Ball.”

“Only she can give you news on that,” Akon told me when I asked him about any type of album update. “I’m from a distributor side; I’m on the label side.”


The “Sexy Chick” singer explained more, revealing a bit about Gaga’s current deal.

“I was involved in the first and second album,” he said. “After that, like she’s more in control of her own content now so we just allow her to do her own thing. And then when the album is turned in, then that’s when I play the role as far as distribution.”

Speaking of distributing albums, Akon plans on doing just that with his own music soon. It seems his situation has stabilized following his record label, Universal Motown, folding in to the now Republic Records.

“Unfortunately, it does affect artists like myself when there is changes happening within the label,” he said, while also agreeing with my assessment that he could have gone independent if need be. He argued that despite his own name recognition and business acumen, he’d rather work inside a bigger machine. “If the system is broken, you can’t really move until they get it fixed.”

Akon says Stadium will be out by year’s end.

If you’re like me and you follow YES Network analyst Jack Curry on Twitter, you know that the seasoned reporter is well-versed in more than just baseball. Curry is an avid music fan who tweets about Gaslight Anthem and Mumford and Sons in between updating his 40,000-plus followers on Derek Jeter’s rehab progress.


With his new YES Network web series, “JCTV,” Curry hopes to combine his loves for sports and tunes with his profession of telling great stories and interviewing newsmakers. When I asked the reporter who he’d most like to chat with from the music-sphere, one person he responded with was Jay-Z.

“He was a part owner for the Nets and now he’s one of Robinson Cano’s agents,” said Curry via telephone. “There’s a nice baseball-sports connection there, so I would love to interview somebody like that as well.”

Curry tapped former Yankees catcher and current YES co-worker John Flaherty as his first guest. The 11-minute long episode premiered Wednesday, and the former New York Times writer aims to release a new show weekly. “JCTV” is currently shot in black and white, with two handheld cameras, and in a more casual setting – all variables that Curry doesn’t see changing as the show moves forward.

“We want people to have a destination, we want people to care about it,” Curry explained. “I want to trend on Twitter like you did in New York last night!”

Yes, “#RalphieShow” did trend in to the wee hours of the morning, due to dedicated fans of the groups Emblem 3 and Little Mix. Curry joked that he could call in a favor with Jeter, and that isn’t as far-fetched as it might sound: the reporter and Yankee captain co-wrote a book together in 2000.


In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva highlights a trend that many A-List celebs love, colored lashes.

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


Life & Style Weekly reports that Miley Cyrus and fiance Liam Hemsworth are still on rocky ground. Editor Laura Lane also talked about Katy Perry’s advice to Robert Pattinson and Kelly Rowland’s new song on “The Ralphie Show.”

Ed Sheeran is traveling the country with Taylor Swift on her “Red” tour, and is requested to perform at some of the biggest award shows in the U.S. But while speaking with “The Ralphie Show,” he revealed that he no longer approaches artists whom he is a fan of.

“I’ve been really disappointed a bunch of times,” Sheeran told me during an interview taped the weekend of the Billboard Music Awards. “A lot of people are d–ks.”


Sheeran estimates that for every five singers he meets, one is usually genuinely nice. At first, he thought it might be an American thing. Then he realized that it simply falls along genre lines.

“Country artists are wicked,” Sheeran said, using the term as a form of endearment. “I’m English, and I’m a massive hip-hop fan. I grew up listening to a lot of rappers. When I was at The GRAMMYs and I met some people, it was just a bit like… you know, I’m not asking for anything, just a handshake. Some people wouldn’t even shake my hand.”

The “A-Team” singer revealed later that the particular encounter he was referring to involved rapper Nas. Sheeran owns all of the star’s albums.

“It’s not that hard to be nice man, for 15 minutes,” Sheeran continued. “One of the nicest people I ever met was Paul McCartney, and he doesn’t have to be nice to anyone, because he’s Paul McCartney.”

Sheeran did have a great encounter last weekend at 95.5 PLJ’s Summer Blast-Off, where he and Gavin DeGraw ended up jamming on stage together and exchanging pleasantries over Twitter. Another massively successful artist who is great with people: Sheeran’s tour-mate.

“Most big artists do pay-for meet-and-greets,” Sheeran noted, explaining how Swift’s “Club Red” works. “She sets up a club, they put pizzas in it, there’s like a photo booth in it, there’s Coca-Cola, all of this cool stuff, and her team goes out in to the crowd every night and picks out the most dedicated fans.”

The songwriter says most of the time, the fans that weren’t able to afford the best seats in the house end up with an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of hanging out in Club Red with T-Swift.

“For her to do something like that every single night, to walk off stage and not even take a break… and go in to Club Red, and do an hour and a half meet-and-greet for 20 people is pretty cool,” Sheeran said. “Because it’s not just a picture and a ‘See ya later,’ it’s (more).”

Another one of Sheeran’s friends that doesn’t mind giving back is Harry Styles. The last time Ed and I spoke, he revealed the story of Styles buying Domino’s Pizzas for the homeless in Los Angeles. When I informed the singer that The Mirror UK and subsequently the world picked up the story, he smiled.

“You know what, I’m down with Papa John’s as well,” Sheeran responded. “Can we just put out a story about them? They do these cheese-sticks that are out of this world. We don’t get them in England.”

In an interview taped after Miguel finished his rehearsal for the now-infamous Billboard Music Awards performance of “Adorn,” the crooner may have inadvertently previewed the reason he’d become a viral-sensation.

“I think the point is to kind of make an impact,” Miguel said of his mindset when he conceptualizes an award-show performance. “Whether it’s on tour, or it’s for a live performance, it’s almost like, ‘What can we do that we haven’t seen before?’ Or something interesting, or if it’s gonna make people think, or kind of wake them up, yunno? And make an impact, that’s our biggest goal.”

Literally and figuratively, the singer made an impact when he attempted to leap over a pit of fans and land on another platform of the stage. Miguel’s timing was a bit off, and he instead landed on a fan. No one was injured, although you could say he also checked off “wake them up” off the list.


Back in February, Miguel’s performance at The GRAMMYs made more of a figurative impact on Kelly Clarkson, who used her award acceptance speech to fawn of the R&B singer’s talents.

“I hope so, if she can find some time for me,” Miguel said of the prospects of a duet between him and the “Idol” winner. “It is just the hugest compliment. I’m looking forward to that time when we can get in the studio and hopefully create some great music.”

The “Lotus Flower Bomb” singer recently hopped in the studio with Mariah Carey for their collaboration, “#Beautiful.”

“Personally, (the collaboration) is life-changing,” he said. “Just working with Mariah Carey is a huge, huge honor. It was really tough; I’ll be honest with you. She can be very distracting, she’s a beautiful woman.”

Miguel hinted that it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that he would be on the final version of the song, saying that he was happy Carey “was keen on keeping me on the record.” He also credits “M.C.” with adding the pound sign in front of “Beautiful” on the title.

“For this song it was particularly fitting, only because the word that comes before beautiful (in the song) is an expletive that I can’t say,” he explained. “But pound happens to be the perfect symbol for the song. I’ll be honest with you, that was Mariah’s genius.”


In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva highlights a trend Taylor Swift wore at the Billboard Music Awards, high-waist shorts.

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