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“Late Night” and “The Tonight Show” have elevated The Roots to a whole new level of fame, but the Philadelphia-born band has been around since 1987. Its influence reaches far beyond television. Look no further than… well, Joel and Benji Madden, the twin brothers that comprised a very popular pop rock band from Baltimore.

“We did a show once in D.C., and the cats from Good Charlotte told me the same thing, and I couldn’t believe it,” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson told me on the red carpet of The Tony Awards earlier this month. I had just informed him that the band’s 1995 release “Do You Want More?!!!??!” inspired my camera man, Dan Mulqueen, to play drums and join a band.

“They’re like, ‘Yo dude, we saw you at the 9:30 Club and then we went home and were like, “Yo, let’s start a band,”’ Quest continued. “I’m like, ‘Wait, you’re trying to tell me, that you guys weren’t a band before seeing The Roots and you saw The Roots one night and then you decided, “We’re gonna start a band called Good Charlotte.”’”

The Madden Brothers (a name which they now also record under as a pop rock duo) confirmed this again to the drummer. While he has a hard time believing it, Quest thinks it’s both cool but a bit weird.

“Hip hop is leery to celebrate age,” he explained. “Hip hop is like the only culture in which it’s youth-obsessed.”

Jay Z is changing this in my opinion, and Quest agreed but noted he is accomplishing this by staying relevant. You could make a similar argument for Thompson, but he believes that in addition to wearing his age (43) proudly, it is his expansion outside of the genre that has afforded him the opportunity to become an elder statesman of sorts that is not looked at necessarily as elder.

“I’m working on three plays right now that will probably wind up on Broadway in 2016,” he revealed. “It’s hip hop’s turn.”

Quest told the story of how he even ended up at The Tony’s: A few weeks prior, award show host Hugh Jackman was on “The Tonight Show.” He pitched Quest on the idea that “The Music Man” was actually a hip hop play. The musician bought in to it, and agreed to help produce the rap that Jackman did during the show along side LL Cool J and T.I.

It is one of Questlove’s many skills that has come to light since Jimmy Fallon’s rise up the rankings of late night TV. And it is a ride that The Roots seem to be enjoying quite a bit.

“This is the coolest job ever,” he said simply of his position with “The Tonight Show.” We’re a bunch of 14 year-olds in the bodies of 40 year-olds.”

But it seems now, that “youth-obsessed” culture is simply looking at that age as just a number.


Life & Style Weekly reports that Katy Perry and Robert Pattinson may have gotten a little cozy at Coachella. Senior News Editor Jordi Lippe also chatted about Jimmy Fallon’s weekend out on the town and reality TV’s richest stars on “Ralphie Tonight.”

The top-selling female artist of all time is heaping some big praise on to the new host of “The Tonight Show.”

“I feel like he’s legendary,” Mariah Carey said of Jimmy Fallon to “The Ralphie Show.” The interview was taped just after Carey filmed her cameo on Fallon’s first night. “He’s just such a good person.”

Fallon’s demeanor probably explains why so many big names were in attendance not just for the inaugural show, but throughout the week.

“After you’ve been interviewed by so many different types of people, different types of shows,” Carey continued. “And I’m sure as someone who interviews celebrities, you have your favorites and you feel a connection with. He’s one of those people. He really does it all.”

Carey is multi-talented herself, although at the moment her main professional focus is on her yet-to-be-titled 14th studio LP. It is due out May 6, and the singer revealed that the track listing is complete.

“I added three new songs,” she said. “I felt like the journey was not yet complete as a songwriter.”

The “We Belong Together” songstress says collaborators include Nas and Wale on the artist side, and Jermiane Dupri, Rodney Jerkins, and Hit-Boy for songwriting and producing credits.

“There’s a lot of up-tempo, fun, happy moments,” she said, “and yet, there are those moments of complete and total misery.”

Carey dealt with a bit of her own misery in the process, thus the album’s delay. In June Carey dislocated her shoulder while shooting a music video. She is feeling better but is still recovering from the injury.

“Well, if we’re pushing the date anyways, I can sing,” Carey explained of her reasoning to add the new tracks a few months ago. With those songs, the artist feels she is now ending the album on a proper note. “Thank goodness I can move my arms now… it’s been rough.”

The singer last released an album prior to the birth of her twins, Moroccan and Monroe. The affectionately titled “Dem Babies” turn three in April, a month in which Carey will also celebrate her five-year wedding anniversary with Nick Cannon.

“I would say it’s very busy yet festive,” she described of this time of year. Carey also celebrates a birthday in March, although she exclusively refers to them as “anniversaries.” “The week of my anniversary, which would be the day that people might celebrate me being born, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Diana Ross…”

All of those singers, along with Celine Dion and Chaka Khan, share a birthday week. Carey didn’t even realize it until she taped the first ever VH1 “Divas” special with Franklin, who said, “Like the sense of humor; typical Aries.”

Carey was in shock and awe. “The Queen of Soul” knew this little girl from Long Island’s birthday. You could say it’s the stuff that legends are made of.

On Thursday night, Neon Trees will be the musical guest on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” The band will perform “Sleeping With A Friend,” its new single from Pop Psychology, out April 22. But the performance will mark the group’s last on the show with Fallon at the helm. The TV host moves to “The Tonight Show” on February 17.

“There’s definitely an energy in the studio right now,” lead singer Tyler Glenn said of Fallon’s digs in 30 Rock. “That’ll be fun to be one of his last [musical guests].”

Neon Trees appeared on Fallon during the band’s first album cycle for Habits. Glenn admits he is a big fan of The Roots, and also likes the music of another guest Thursday night: Drake.

“I love that new single he put out,” Glenn said, presumably referring to “Hold On We’re Going Home.” “I didn’t know he could sing.”

While offering props, the front man stopped short of saying he could see a collaboration between his band and Drake; at least not of the musical variety. When I asked Glenn if he’d try to take anything from Studio 6A as a memento, he joked that the only thing he might grab is a photo with the hip hop star.

Bonus: Glenn talks about touring with Maroon 5. Check back later in the week for more video!

Early Thanksgiving morning, I grabbed my BlackBerry and about 30 layers, walked over to Central Park, and caught up with Gavin DeGraw, the Goo Goo Dolls, Jimmy Fallon, Fall Out Boy, and more at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Early Thursday morning I’m back at my apartment. My usual routine involves sitting at my work station, blogging content from that night’s show and working on new material for the following evening. More times than not I’ll have my TV on in the background. Usually I just let SportsCenter loop over and over, but the other morning I turned on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” I remember years ago sitting in my old studio apartment and watching Fallon’s first episode. It has been really fun to see his evolution as a host, and the “Saturday Night Live” alum is one of my favorite’s to watch on TV now. Anyways, Fallon was interviewing Vanessa Hudgens, of High School Musical fame. He asks the actress what she is currently listening to, and they exchange a few bands before she says this:

I began to laugh because I think “Rack City” is one of those so-bad-it’s-amazing tracks. Plus I find it hilarious that a former Disney star is talking about “throwin hundids” on late night television. However, I was a little shocked that Fallon’s house band, The Roots, didn’t take full advantage of this opportunity to belt in to Tyga’s song. So, Isent a tweet over to drummer Questlove.

What do you know, he responds. And my initial reaction was justified.

Questo is one of those guys that you never hear a bad thing about in media circles. I interviewed him the day “Late Night” premiered, and you can still download that interview here.

If you’re still not convinced that Taylor Swift possesses a pretty good amount of clout these days, look no further than Ryan Follese, the lead singer of Hot Chelle Rae. Ryan used to go by R.K. (his middle name is Keith). Then, Taylor Swift tweeted.

“Taylor Swift called me ‘Ryan’ to her 8 million followers,” Follese explained of the change, while also noting it is easier to search for Ryan Follese on the Internet than R.K. “That many fans rolled over to our fan base and our stuff and it was just easier.”


Swift is far from the only reason though that more people are discovering the Nashville quartet. After scoring a number one hit this year with, “Tonight Tonight,” HCR released its sophomore LP, Whatever. Promoting the new album took the band all across national TV, from “The Tonight Show” to “Live! with Kelly.” Although for guitarist Nash Overstreet, the group’s performance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” stood out from the rest.

“’Fallon’ was the coolest just because of like, the set, and it was later in the day so we’re not waking up and all groggy,” Overstreet said. “He was one of the coolest guys ever, just really friendly, and so it was great to be on that show.”

Certainly it didn’t hurt that the other guests that evening were actor Jeremy Piven and rapper T.I. It also didn’t hurt that Fallon told Hot Chelle Rae he was a big fan of the group’s work.

“He was like, ‘Next time you come back we’re doing (a parody),’” recalled Follese. Fallon spoofed the band’s hit single with The Roots in an earlier episode. “It was really cool to meet somebody in that realm, and do the show, who is also a fan.”

But as cool as “Fallon” was for HCR, perhaps the guys’ biggest TV appearance to date was during the American Music Awards, when the band won the Sprint New Artist of the Year award. The nominees and winner were voted on by the fans.

“We weren’t expecting to make it past the first round,” the lead singer admitted. “But our fans, they mobilized on another level.”

Hot Chelle Rae recently announced dates for the 2012 Beautiful Freaks Tour, which the band headlines across the country. In between those dates, HCR will once again rub elbows with the oh-so-influential Swift, as the band supports her through a tour of Australia.

04.20.09 : Plain White T’s – 1,2,3,4 (I Love You)
Ralphie joins Tom and The Plain White T’s on the road!

Tom chats about being sick on the road, playing Jimmy Fallon, and more!

Download the mp3

The day that “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on WBRE launched, new house band & current Roots drummer ?uestlove called in to The Ralphie Radio Show.

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 12:35a on WBRE/NBC.
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– ?uestlove
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