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He is a three-time GRAMMY Award winning, multi-platinum producer who has been in the game for 20 years. Yet this past year, RedOne experienced a first: he couldn’t clear vocals for a song that he had already worked on with an artist.

“These things happen in the record industry,” the producer, nee Nadir Khayat, told me recently. The particular instance we were talking about involved rapper Fetty Wap. “I think it was more because (Fetty Wap) was releasing his single, coming up with an album, the label needed to focus on him and not have confusion – so I respect that.”

At least publicly RedOne took the high road and on the outset it’s understandable because when you’ve had as much success as he has, it’s easier to do so.

But the story of the single Fetty Wap was originally on doesn’t end there; RedOne looked at the situation as an opportunity to chance and perhaps improve on the song. The final track also features original artists French Montana and Dinah Jane (Fifth Harmony) but added to the mix is reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee. “Boom Boom” is a more Latin-sounding song than its predecessor. The single ended up taking over a year to create but for RedOne it was well worth it as the video alone has garnered over 95 million YouTube views since its release last October.

The 59th GRAMMYs proved to be an interesting mix of the predictable and the unpredictable.

Heading in to the night, you knew Adele was going to sweep the three major categories. The songstress took home all five gramophones that she was nominated for, including Record, Song and Album Of The Year.

You also probably assumed (correctly) that the singer, nee Adele Adkins, would turn in a rousing performance of her hit “Hello,” proving to open the show on the loveliest of notes.

James Corden? He was exactly what you expected: funny, not unsafe and collaborative. We saw the Carpool Karaoke segment coming from as far away as Justin Bieber or Drake were sitting (neither attended the show).

Actually on the karaoke bit – why didn’t CBS, which broadcasts the Patriots games, pull in Tom Brady or Julian Edelman for that spot? The final product looked more real-life karaoke than of the edited, Carpool variety: some didn’t know the lyrics, others were a little off and I think everyone at one point contributed to the awkwardness.

Then there were the political statements. From the subtle (Katy Perry wore an arm band reading “PERSIST”) to the not-so-subtle (A Tribe Called Quest complete with Busta Rhymes calling America’s Commander-In-Chief “President Agent Orange”). But hey, if you tuned in expecting not to see that then you simply haven’t been paying attention to the past year-and-a-half of our country.

Sunday night’s award show, which rose slightly in the ratings from last year, threw us a few curveballs too. Metallica, who took the stage with Lady Gaga, would say that’s putting things lightly. First Laverne Cox introduces the performance by only mentioning Gaga’s name and then lead singer James Hetfield’s microphone wasn’t working.

You didn’t hear Hetfield (mostly) and something you didn’t see were the stagehands in the commercial break after Beyonce’s performance. They had to use leaf blowers to clean the stage from confetti for the following act.

Another incident you didn’t see: the fact that every vendor inside Staples Center closes for the show, yet there was a rogue McDonald’s dishing burgers and fries to hungry attendees through the stand’s side door in cash-only transactions. From what I witnessed, it appeared that someone from the venue came over and shut down the operation.

Yeah, definitely didn’t expect to see GRAMMY-goers decked out in black ties and gowns while downing Big Macs. I also didn’t expect to see Adele have a performance-snafu… again.

Remember last year? The microphone inside the piano fell over and caused a weird sound throughout the number. This year, the flub occurred while Adele was performing a rearranged version of George Michael’s “Fast Love” in tribute to the fallen star. The 28 year-old accidentally sang an uncensored line and immediately hit the brakes.

“’I know its live TV; I’m sorry I can’t do it again, like last year,” she said. “I’m sorry for swearing. I’m sorry for starting again. Can we please start it again?”

Adele eventually reset and turned in another spectacular performance. Predictably, she stole the show. But no one could have predicted how.

“Britain’s Got Talent” singer Calum Scott stopped by to chat about his breakout single, a cover of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.” Scott also shared his experience singing in front of Simon Cowell, meeting Lady Gaga and working in the HR department of a company overseas.

Chrissi Poland chatted about opening for Lady Gaga, landing a gig in Vegas and writing her debut full length album in the desert before returning to New York to record it.
chrissi

The rumor is that new music from Lady Gaga is coming later this year, and producer RedOne did nothing to quell that speculation.

“Yes, let’s hope,” the GRAMMY Award winning producer responded when I brought up said rumor recently. “Yeah, let’s see what happens. We did eight songs so far and we’ll see what happens, yunno?”

Red, as his friends call him, has also been in the studio with Kaya Stewart and Enrique Iglesias. The latter artist is featured on the producer’s new single, “Don’t You Need Somebody.”

“I sent it to Enrique with two other songs,” he explained of how the track came to feature the singer. “He got the three songs but for some reason, he did not hear (‘Don’t You Need Somebody’).”

It wasn’t until the two linked up for a session in Miami that Iglesias heard the song. And that’s literally all it took for the artist to want to contribute to it. Iglesias immediately asked if he could jump on the song, and of course Red obliged.

Shaggy, who is also featured on the track, became involved in a similar fashion. During a music meeting Red simply played him the song.

“He was like, ‘Red put the mic on right now!’” recalled the producer of how Shaggy reacted after he heard the beat. “’Put the mic on!’”

Serayah and R. City, who of course scored a big hit last year with “Locked Away,” also added their vocals to the final product.

On Saturday, I broadcasted live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas ahead of Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards. Our Westwood One Backstage event included Troye Sivan, Seal, Alesso, Fat Joe, Vegas-staple Carrot Top and more.

Check out photos and videos from the event below!






People Magazine Deputy Style Editor Sharon Clott Kanter called in the day after the Met Gala to chat about some of the big fashions worn by Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Zayn Malik and more.

Photo: twitter.com/kingladygaga

Photo: twitter.com/kingladygaga

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


In the second-to-last edition of Weekend Scoop for 2015, InStyle Magazine Senior Editor Sharon Clott Kanter talked about Jennifer Hudson’s Broadway debut and Lady Gaga’s Golden Globe nomination.

Photo: instagram.com/iamjhud

Photo: instagram.com/iamjhud

Darren Criss knows this has never been done before, so he is well-aware that it may not work. But he’s betting on the passion of theatergoers and Broadway supporters to make his first ever “Elsie Fest” on Sunday a success.

“Basically what I’m trying to do here is sort of a Warped Tour of musical theater, cabaret tunes,” Criss explained to me in between rehearsals. “Just to kind of take everybody out of the concert hall, ditch the dinner jackets and the ties and kind of trade it for a t-shirt, jeans and a beer.”

For this reason, Criss chose outdoor venue JBL Live at Pier 97 as the inaugural setting. The lineup features the former “Glee” star along with Aaron Tveit (“Graceland,” “Catch Me If You Can”), Lea Salonga (“Mulan,” “Miss Saigon”), Laura Osnes (“Greece,” “Cinderella,”), Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton”), Seth Rudetsky and StarKid.

In addition to the announced lineup, Criss teased that a number of surprise guests will be making appearances on stage. The festival is also running opposite Broadway Cares’ Broadway Flea Market (both events benefit the charity). Criss also invited Marie’s Crisis – the historic West Village piano bar – to run the beer garden on site.

The goal, reflecting the spirit of the theater community, is to create an event that everyone feels welcome at. But again, this has never been done before, and its creator is well-aware.

“Well, let’s hope so,” when I noted that there seems to be something at the festival for everyone. “We’re going to find out.”

Criss said at the beginning of our conversation that he was simply trying to keep his head screwed on to his body. In addition to creating and performing at a brand new festival, the actor is currently filming “American Horror Story: Hotel.”

“Not only do you get to be around Kathy Bates and Lady Gaga but it’s also, you walk on set and it’s this crazy looking set with all of these people in crazy looking outfits,” he explained. “You just can’t help but be swept up by the whole thing.”

Surely to fans’ delight, Criss does share scenes with Gaga.

“But not as many as I like,” he added with a laugh. Perhaps he had a hard time keeping his head screwed on after all.