Archives For the voice

Melanie Martinez stopped by to chat about her album “Cry Baby” and the single “Pity Party,” which samples the classic “It’s My Party.” Martinez also shed some light on why she recently lost her voice, her butterflies during concerts and the music videos she is planning for every song on her LP.
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PageSix.com Senior Reporter Andrew Nodell phoned in for the latest “Weekend Scoop.” Andrew had news on Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani’s new relationship, plus talked about Busta Rhymes’ day in court and Janet Jackson’s night out in Chicago.
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CeeLo Green spent a little over a year out of the spotlight and hasn’t released new music in almost five (save his 2012 Christmas LP). The last year was controversial at best: Green was sentenced to three years probation following a no contest plea after authorities charged him with supplying ecstasy to a woman. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office brought that case to court after dropping sexual battery charges, citing insufficient evidence.

The last public report on Green’s probation came in May, and it was completely positive. Green, nee Thomas DeCarlo Calloway, complied with all conditions and a judge relieved the singer of having to attend any further court hearings. It seems the experiences of his past year have affected him, but not necessarily changed the former “Voice” coach.

“I’ve endured quite a bit, and I’ve experienced quite a bit,” Green told me as we chatted for a few minutes about his forthcoming album, Heart Blanche, due out November 13. “I’m at the time of my life where, I just felt like more mature music needs to co-exist. It’s definitely from the same signature soul perspective of CeeLo Green and even more introspective and reflective, but still enjoyable and entertaining.”
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I followed up by asking if he is reflecting on the past year in these songs; he confirmed that and elaborated.

“It’s a culmination of that (and) just a desire to kind of get back in and contribute again,” Green responded. “You just feel like you’re being idle.”

But while the “Forget You” artist probably wasn’t moving at the pace he had grown accustomed to, he was far from idle. Green recorded his new LP while fulfilling community service requirements with Volunteers of America, working with homeless veterans. And his therapist said that anytime Green was asked about his upcoming project, he exhibited a “genuine humbleness.”

The same could be said during our chat, which was the second time I have interviewed Green.

“You ever heard the term, ‘carte blanche’?” he asked after I inquired about the new album’s title. “It means, ‘one who has the ability to act as he wishes, behave, create.’ You know what I’m saying?

Heart Blanche; music being a matter of the heart.”

“The Voice” runner-up Jacquie Lee stopped by “Ralphie Tonight” to chat about her EP Broken Ones which features the single, “Tears Fall.”

The 17 year-old also talked about artists that she is a fan of and what she learned from her “Voice” coach Christina Aguilera.

In an interview almost a year ago on “The Ralphie Show,” Adam Levine made it clear that when it came to the music industry, he was a fan of second chances.

“If I had to choose between something to watch, it would be the person that had been knocked down a couple times, where you’d want to see, ‘Oh my God, is this person going to finally do it?’” “The Voice” coach responded after I asked him about Cassadee Pope, the former Hey Monday lead singer who was shooting for higher stars after a first attempt under Columbia Records. “If it’s someone’s first chance, sorry kid, yunno, tough call. Who cares? You’re going to have ten more.”

Pope was happy enough just to receive that second opportunity, and was also pleased to hear Levine’s comments.

“I got a lot of comments when I was on the show about how I already had my chance; I should not be doing a show like that, I already had some success,” the season three winner recalled during an interview with “The Ralphie Show” that aired Thursday. “Hearing him say that means a lot because I felt like I had been through the grind. I had worked really hard, and it didn’t work out, and this was finally a chance to really knock it out of the park.”

In the process, Pope would transform from a pop-rock princess that played rough with the boys on stage to a solo, country artist who felt comfortable performing in front of teenagers and senior citizens alike.

“The only thing that has really stayed the same are my friendships, and my relationship, and my family; we’re still very close,” Pope remarked. She has dated All Time Low drummer Rian Dawson since her days as the front woman for Hey Monday. “But, everything (else) is different.”

Pope was down in the dumps after leaving her band. She packed up and moved to Los Angeles, where a not-so-successful solo EP and acoustic tour would await her. Teaching vocal lessons for extra cash, Pope received a call one day from her former manager. “The Voice” wanted her to sing in a private audition. She shunned the opportunity for season two but then agreed the next time around. As a member of “Team Blake,” Pope became the early favorite to take home the show’s top prize.

Pope’s debut album, Frame By Frame, comes out October 8.

The “hardest working man in showbiz” moniker is tossed around quite a bit these days, but Cee Lo Green is one who may actually be quite deserving of the title. His current mid-week stretch is one to marvel at.

“It was even later than the red-eye, because it was delayed due to whatever weather was going on here,” Green said of the flight he took in to New York Wednesday morning. “The Voice” coach performed live in Los Angeles with Kermit the Frog as a part of the TV show’s Tuesday night episode. Then, Green linked up with The Muppets and sang at the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony in Manhattan. “Yeah man, I’m right out of here in the morning, going back to do ‘The Voice’ tomorrow.”

The “Forget You” singer, who squeezed in an exclusive studio visit to 95.5 PLJ’s “The Ralphie Show” after the tree lighting, doesn’t take his hectic schedule too seriously.

“Don’t give me too much credit man, I just don’t have a choice,” he said before letting out a laugh. “I’m doing what I love man, so it seems a lot less than work. I really enjoy what I’m doing.”

Green just released, Cee Lo’s Magic Moment, a holiday album that features covers of classics and collaborations with A-listers, from his fellow “Voice” coach Christina Aguilera to the aforementioned Muppets.

“Almost everyone grew up with the Muppets, and I’m just a big fan,” he said of the song, “All I Need Is Love.” “I’m really just gracious that they would just honor me with their presence and allow me to collaborate with them.”

Cee Lo also took on Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas.” He received Mariah’s blessing through her husband.

“Me and Nick (Cannon) have been friends for years,” Green said. He saw Carey, who also performed at Rockefeller Center, on Wednesday night.

Usher Raymond is another one of Green’s friends; the two grew up together in Atlanta. Raymond will replace Cee Lo next season on “The Voice.” At first, Green admitted he didn’t know how Usher would fare.

“It takes an awful lot of personality and quick wittiness at times, but he is very accomplished,” he said. “I know him very well and if I was to share the seat with anybody, it would be him.”

Green will be taking season four of the singing competition off to take part in a plethora of projects – from a Las Vegas residency and a solo album to an autobiography and a new Goodie Mob release.

“We’re well in to that,” Green updated on the Goodie Mob project. “Looking forward to releasing that at the top of the year.”

Apparently Green hasn’t forgotten about you Gnarls Barkley fans, either.

“I just talked to Danger Mouse recently, and we’re going to try to squeeze it in,” Cee Lo revealed. “Just knowing him and our chemistry, things kind of flow pretty quickly. So, I don’t really know what new page he’s on production-wise, but I’d be really, really excited to hear what he’s working on new, and I’ll dial right in.”

At this pace, Green would have to take two seasons off of “The Voice” to complete everything… thankfully, he clearly has no issues with running a full schedule.

Justin Bieber’s mentor, superstar singer Usher, thought some good came from the teenage heartthrob’s recent on-stage mishaps.

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“We all have those things that happen, whether it’s falling on stage or having those moments,” said the artist, born Usher Raymond, in a phone interview on “The Ralphie Show.” “But you know what’s cool? That makes you human.”

Usher said there were times during his career where he ate something bad before taking the stage. Of course, the big difference now is that there are 20,000 people in the crowd who are all armed with Internet-ready cameras.

“That’s the craziest thing, ever,” he noted. “It’s weird, really. It’s like, ‘Did you come to the show to film it?’”

The performer is no stranger to cameras either – and he’ll be willingly in front of them next season as a coach on NBC’s “The Voice.” Despite reports to the contrary, Usher says his involvement thus far has been, “a really great fit.”

“We’ve actually been able to meet, greet, have a good time out in Los Angeles and the show’s gonna be incredible man,” he said of his vibe with fellow coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. “It’s a respectful place, a respectful vibe. I came in and had a good time. It’s been pleasant man.”

Usher is especially looking forward to coaching, mentoring, and showing America a different side to his personality.

“I think what they’ve done with the talent that they’ve coached… they go through the process of finding people who are at least at a place where they can either take constructive criticism or they be a part of the show and we really help make them the artist that they can be.”

Meanwhile for the Atlanta-based singer, he is continuing to diversify and build off a recording career that has spanned over 20 years and 65 million records sold worldwide. But while he is getting in to television and wouldn’t rule out a possible return to Broadway or off-Broadway, Usher is also trying to enjoy himself a little. He recently celebrated his 34th birthday in London.

“I had to get out a little bit, and had some friends and family at a club or something like that, and then on to the after spot,” he recalled. “We just had a good time.”

Usher would eventually elaborate a little more – noting that after a big birthday dinner, he linked up with Tom Cruise and a few other people for the night cap. But to put it in his context – the “major joint” would be the celebration for birthday number 35.

Adam Levine seems pleased with Maroon 5’s journey – from breaking out with 2002’s Songs About Jane to gaining more momentum in 2007’s It Won’t Be Soon Before Long and then almost losing it all on the 2010 release of Hands All Over. Certainly thanks to the success of “Moves Like Jagger” and this year’s Overexposed, it is easier for Levine to look back fondly on the ride.

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“Listen man, it’s a long, weird road being in a band,” Levine explained on “The Ralphie Show.” “We kept treading a line between were we a pop group or were we trying to be a regular alt-rock band? Yunno, we just didn’t know what we wanted for a minute.”

To Maroon 5’s credit – the band figured it out. Not to mention, Levine’s overall involvement with NBC’s “The Voice” hasn’t hurt the cause. The aforementioned “Moves” collaboration with his fellow coach Christina Aguilera proved to revive the group’s popularity. Aguilera will depart after this third season to focus more on her music career. If anything, Levine won’t miss the media-manifested drama between the two.

“I never liked that sh-t,” Levine stated rather bluntly. “I’ll be the first person to say that we had our share of issues in the beginning but I love that girl. Yunno, we’ve been through a lot. We came out the other end as friends and I’ve always got nothing but love for Christina.”

Levine went on to describe what was reported about the two as, “petty, despicable bullsh-t” in publications he called, “god awful.”

The lead singer was just as candid about which candidate he is backing in this year’s presidential election. The last time Levine called in to “The Ralphie Show” was in 2008 on behalf of President Barack Obama.

“I’m gonna do whatever the hell I can (to help President Obama) because if he doesn’t get elected I’m f-cking moving,” Levine claimed. “I’d rather you be president that f-cking Mitt Romney, and I barely know you.”

Levine might be better suited for the position – if you believe those “god awful” publications, he certainly has “binders full of women.”

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Life & Style Weekly reports that Madonna and her once-estranged brother have made up. Senior Reporter Laura Lane also talked about the new coaches named for season four of “The Voice” and Britney Spears’ gig on “The X-Factor.”

“The Voice” season one contestant Raquel Castro doesn’t care what the media says about Christina Aguilera.

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“To me, Christina was a very good role model because she taught us about her mistakes,” the 17 year-old singer said in a Skype interview that aired Tuesday on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “She told us to learn from them, and if something like this happens, just don’t worry about it, don’t stress about it.”

Aguilera picked Castro on first season of the NBC competition to join her team, and the teenager found the superstar’s knowledge priceless.

“She’s experienced things that some people haven’t yet, so she can kind of guide you in a way, so you don’t make those same mistakes yourself,” Castro said. “I think that makes a great role model.”

Castro has experienced quite a bit herself for only being 17. The Long Island native received her big break in showbiz at age 9, co-starring with Ben Affleck in the movie, “Jersey Girl.” Since, she’s appeared in a number of film and TV shows – and was even cast for Ludacris’ “Runaway Love” music video.

The artist now finds herself working on her own music video. Castro filmed the piece for her new single, “Diary” last Saturday, and expects to release it within a month. The song is about a relationship, although the New Yorker says that she kept a private journal while growing up.

“I had like three different diaries,” recalls Castro, even remembering the cover of a specific diary. “My first one was a Britney Spears diary I got in first grade.”

Ironic given that while she was writing daily happenings and private crushes in a book with Spears on the cover, she would eventually come to work with and learn about how to obtain her dreams firsthand from the woman compared to and with Britney the most.