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On Sunday I covered my fifth consecutive Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. I also acted as the on-stage warm-up act, hyping and prompting the crowd before the show and during commercial breaks, for my fourth year. Here are some news and notes from my perspective both on the Magenta Carpet and backstage.

– Any artist that actually stopped and did media on the carpet should get some type of award. The temperatures outside T-Mobile Arena were near triple digits. It was so hot outside that inside they actually blasted the air conditioning during rehearsals. Perhaps it was a nice way to test how cold the venue can become ahead of it receiving an NHL franchise?

– I brought a change of dress shirts to account for the weather. Almost everything I wore in both outfits came from my favorite designer, John Varvatos. The tuxedo pants were H&M and my flower and pocket square were both from TheTieBar.com.

– I’d hate to say I called it but… I called it. Celine Dion stole the show at the BBMAs. I had chills listening to 18,000 inside T-Mobile Arena sing-a-long to “My heart Will Go On.” Celine is beloved as an icon, her voice is still impeccable, the movie is adored and the song as of late has gained new life as a meme of sorts. It was one my second-favorite moment from Sunday night.

– Great running in to Dan Kanter backstage. I first met Dan in 2009 inside The Mall at Steamtown in Scranton; at the time he was playing guitar for this new artist… maybe you’ve heard of him… Justin Bieber? Kanter is Bieber’s musical director and assumed similar duties for Julia Michaels’ performance of “Issues” – which I was a big fan of.

– That Rachel Platten “La La Land” adlib was just that – it was not in the teleprompter. I got a kick out of it.

– Something I really loved about this year’s show is that the stars really seemed to be enjoying themselves. You had Young Money – Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Drake – front and center both literally and figuratively for the entire show. Instead of acting too cool for the room they decided to simply join in on the party. With Drake setting the new single-night record for awards, they had plenty to celebrate.

– One of my favorite backstage moments came when BK and Tyler from Florida Georgia Line walked off stage after accepting the BBMA for “Top Country Song.” The duo embraced, let out a Ric Flair-like “Woo!” and said to each other, “Man that never gets old!” Nice to see a genuine moment of gratitude between the two.

– Another cool backstage interaction involved Diddy, who was about to pay tribute to The Notorious B.I.G. and reveal the trailer for the new Bad Boy movie “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.” The Chainsmokers were walking off the stage after accepting another award and Puff gave them a standing O before chatting with Alex and Drew for a few minutes. That’d be a fun collaboration right?

– Give credit to Vanessa Hudgens for holding her own on national TV and to Ludacris for once again making the whole hosting gig appear way easier than it actually is.

– Some other familiar faces that said hello backstage: Chris Daughtry, Miss America Savvy Shields, Mark Cuban and Hailee Steinfeld.

– I mentioned my second-favorite moment but not the one that tops the list. That honor belongs to my Mom. She was in the crowd cheering on her son while putting the video camera on her new-er iPhone to good use. I am thankful I was able to share the night with her.

It was a crazy six hours that saw nominees, presenters and performers all stop by our broadcast area as everyone prepared for the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. We chatted with everyone from the show’s co-host Ludacris, performers Jason Derulo, Halsey and Julia Michaels plus presenters Lindsey Stirling, Chris Daughtry and Hailee Steinfeld. Check out more below!







During “The Ralphie Show” Backstage at The GRAMMYs broadcast, Aloe Blacc spoke about the success of his new single, “The Man,” and the U.S. release date for Lift Your Spirit.

Blacc also talked about his hectic schedule and balancing family life with the success he’s currently experiencing in the U.S. after hit singles “Wake Me Up” and “The Man.”

The Denver Broncos will battle the Seattle Seahawks in this year’s Super Bowl. Chris Daughtry wants a good game first-and-foremost. However if Daughtry has to pick a team to root for, it usually isn’t one of the two playing for the championship.

“My dad is a huge Steelers fan, so I typically go that way,” Chris told me on “The Ralphie Show.” “He went from the Redskins to the Steelers.”

Daughtry has no Pittsburgh roots, but did note that his dad began rooting for the black and yellow because he liked Terry Bradshaw. The “Waiting For Superman” singer says that if the band is free the night of February 2, they’ll get together to watch the game. Otherwise, it’s business as usual. Daughtry is in the midst of promoting the aforementioned single from his band’s latest LP, Baptized. UK tour dates are on tap, and a U.S. trek will be announced by the band soon.

Check out the rest of the interview to hear about Chris possibly working with Aloe Blacc and the one snack he always needs come gametime.

Aloe Blacc recorded the acoustic version of “Wake Me Up!” inside Mike Einziger’s home studio with Avicii. The Incubus guitarist and superstar DJ, nee Tim Bergling, mixed it in to one of 2013’s biggest hits.

“I think Avicii is an incredible producer, and he knew at least a little bit of what he wanted to do,” Blacc told “The Ralphie Show” recently. “I went in to record a song written by Mac Davis for Avicii, and that’s when we first met. Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park suggested to Avicii, ‘You should get Aloe to sing this song.’”

Blacc admitted that he and Shinoda were far from great friends; the two know each other through a mutual friend.

The “I Need A Dollar” singer characterized the song he recorded as country-esque. Given the context that Davis was involved, it makes even more sense. But Avicii is mixing both genres and beats with his releases. The second single from the DJ’s album True could be considered even more country: “Hey Brother.”

“To see what Avicii is doing makes perfect sense to me,” Blacc, who cited his indie, multi-genre days as the reason why he understands the producer’s approach. “He’s melding worlds of really good songwriting, and really popular production. He’s going to hit a home run every time.”

Blacc released a Wake Me Up EP this past year. He is preparing his full-length album, Lift Your Spirit. The LP will include production contributions from Pharrell Williams and Rock Mafia.

“The Ralphie Show” was live all weekend from backstage at the 2013 American Music Awards and spoke with celebrities from music and TV.

It has been a whirlwind of a week for the band Daughtry. On Sunday the fellas played a sold-out Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ. The following morning, it was off to NBC’s “Today.”

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“Night shows are always very different than morning shows,” explained Daughtry during an appearance at New York’s 95.5 PLJ. “A lot of times, morning shows aren’t really garnered toward full band set-ups.”

For example: Chris was only backed by a couple of acoustic guitars during Monday morning’s TV appearance. Usually for the late night shows, Daughtry can “hide behind all the noise” of a full band.

“I think singing that early in the morning generally is scary, especially after doing a show the night before,” Daughtry admitted. “You’re normally not ready for that, so you have to get up five hours earlier just so you can kind of ease in to it.”

Things didn’t slow down for the crew after Monday though. On Tuesday, Chris and Elvio Fernandes – a touring member of the band – fulfilled a handful of promotional obligations throughout New York City. Why Elvio and not a proper member of the band? Everyone else was in rehearsal for upcoming tour dates – including this week’s performance in Dubai, which the band left for on Wednesday evening.

No pun intended, but it is no surprise to the band Daughtry that the first two singles off of Leave This Town were co-written by Nickelback front man Chad Kroeger.

“Soon as we made the decision to put those on the record, we looked at it and goes, ‘That’ll probably be the first two singles,’” said lead singer Chris Daughtry, who sat down with me before performing at Wachovia Arena. “They’re great songs and we agree that they fit the bill.”

The group led off the sophomore LP with the single, “No Surprise”, followed by the latest, “Life After You.” Daughtry played the new track at both the American Music Awards and the halftime show of the Cowboys/Raiders game on Thanksgiving.

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Speaking of tracks co-written by the Idol alum – Daughtry also wrote a track for American Idol champ Kris Allen. Although previously reported that it would not make Allen’s final LP, Chris confirmed that the song will be included on the Wal-Mart exclusive version of self-titled album.

“It’s called ‘Send Me All Your Angels’ and it’s a great song,” remarked Daughtry. “At the end of the day, there’s songs on our record that didn’t make it either that we were bummed out about. We had 70 songs to weed through.”