Archives For vanessa hudgens

Not only is Rita Ora in a good place, it sounds like her peers are as well.

“Everyone’s just being really nice to each other and it feels really good,” the “Your Song” singer said in an interview that aired on my show Monday. “Everyone just shows so much support. It feels like we have a little community going on, which I like.”

The comments were a response to my observation of watching Ora’s interaction with Vanessa Hudgens and Drake backstage at the Billboard Music Awards in May. There were no cameras around as the entertainers exchanged pleasantries.

“I mean I’ve known some people in this industry since I was like 18, so it’s nice to just see people do their ‘thang,’” Ora continued. “My mom always taught me to be nice, to be respectful, and then you’ll get it back.

“And if not, then we can take it outside!” the 26 year-old joked.

With the way in which tabloids cover the London-native across the pond, it’s inevitable that Ora sometimes finds her name linked to stories that aren’t so respectful. That does not seem to have affected her disposition negatively; but she’s clearly cognizant of the coverage. This was evident in Ora’s reaction when I mentioned that she spent last summer filming “America’s Next Top Model” down the street from me.

“So I was annoying you then basically,” she retorted, semi-kidding I think. “There were loads of paparazzi. You must have been so angry at me.”

For the record, I wasn’t inconvenienced at all; however the same can’t be said for the people who lived next door to the models’ townhouse. Regardless of its downfalls, Ora is still thankful that she gets to do what she loves.

“I’m an entertainer, yunno?” she responded when I asked about her venture in to TV hosting. She’s currently the host of ABC’s competition “Boy Band.” “I think every time I’ve done a TV (show) it’s been the right timing; like the opportunity came the same time as my music coming out and I just felt like it was perfect to be visible on multiple platforms.”

Ora’s new single, co-written by Ed Sheeran, is called “Your Song” and is available now. Her new album is slated for a fall release. She revealed that the LP is “kind of done” and is in the mastering and mixing phase.

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.

“So You Think You Can Dance” is returning for season 14 to the 18-30 age group with an old friend of the show’s back in the mix: Mary Murphy.

“We’re putting people on the Hot Tamale Train!” an exuberant Nigel Lythgoe commented on my radio show last Friday. The show’s co-creator and judge called from Los Angeles in what is now seemingly an annual tradition after the competition’s renewal. “I’ve got to say, I’ve supported Mary. I’ve got a great chemistry with Mary that I love. She can beat me up and hurt me and I can be rude to her, and that’s all part of the fun of the show.”

Both Lythgoe and Murphy were in Brooklyn earlier this month for auditions alongside Vanessa Hudgens, the former Disney star who as of late saw herself star both on Broadway and in “Grease: Live”.

“She’s just the triple-threat,” gushed Lythgoe about Hudgens. “They can act, they can sing, they can dance. Therefore for a start, they recognize the amount of work that goes in to being a great performer, and number two the talent that is required.”

The former “American Idol” producer was pleased with the talent he saw in Brooklyn, going as far as to make a rather bold prediction.

“I would suggest, and I’m not going to name names, that one of the kids we saw there is going to be the overall winner,” Lythgoe said. “There was a young man there that was outstanding.”

There have only been two other contestants that made Lythgoe feel that way: Carrie Underwood and Season 11 “Dance” winner Ricky Ubeda. Not a bad group to join.

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.

are you ready for this? the above person is the current version of…
jesse mccartney! but wait, this gets more intriguing. remember when i talked with drake bell, and he told me that the whole “zac efron, vanessa hudgens relationship” was “a front,”? well, what led us to that discussion was drake telling me he chills with jesse all the time…
yeah, are you thinking what i’m thinking?

are you ready for this? the above person is the current version of…
jesse mccartney! but wait, this gets more intriguing. remember when i talked with drake bell, and he told me that the whole “zac efron, vanessa hudgens relationship” was “a front,”? well, what led us to that discussion was drake telling me he chills with jesse all the time…
yeah, are you thinking what i’m thinking?

It seemed like a typical mall appearance by a tween idol — in this case Drake Bell, known mostly to the thousand or so people packed inside the Mall at Steamtown for his Nickelodeon show “Drake & Josh.” After four successful seasons, both actors walked away to pursue other gigs, with Drake set to hit the silver screen in March with “College” and a month later in the spoof flick “Superhero!”

However Drake’s subtle smiles, occasional cheek-kisses and melodic, catchy sounds weren’t the only eye-catchers inside Center Court Saturday.

Before any of the aforementioned, FeFe Dobson caught eyes — or at least mine.

Yes, that FeFe Dobson. “Take Me Away.” “Everything.”

As I stood onstage hosting the event, I noticed her to my left and immediately thought, “Wow, she really looks like FeFe Dobson.”

How awkward would that announcement have been over the PA?

“You look familiar,” I inquisitively stated to her about 20 minutes later, after Drake had finished performing two songs, including the MySpace über-spun “Makes Me Happy,” which is closing in on 1 million plays, and “I Know,” which has almost twice as many listens.

She responded, “Yeah, I think we’ve met.” Which we had, back in at a Buffalo, NY, radio concert in 2003.

“Wait a minute …”

“Yeah, yeah it’s me.”

Dobson flew in from Toronto to see Drake. The Canadian-born singer is currently working on new material in T-Dot, which she assured me I would be listening to early next year.

“By the way, can you give this to him?”

Yes, I even passed a note to Drake from FeFe. Lined paper, folded in fours, written with blue ballpoint pen. Feeling like I had re-entered high school, I obliged and brought the message to Drake. FeFe took off for her flight immediately after I walked away. Drake opened the note, looked it over with an exasperated expression across his face — folded the note and placed it under a stack of promo photos.

Drake’s day began at the crack of dawn on the West Coast, where he’s finishing up production for “Superhero!” in Hollywood. After landing in Scranton around 8 a.m., he headed to his hotel, where about 100 adoring fans were treated to a special breakfast with Bell. Conveniently enough, the renaissance man brought his guitar, and at the request of a few kids, performed a song right in the banquet room. Parents eagerly snapped photos and assisted their children in snagging an autograph or three from their child’s Nickelodeon hero. And the breakfast food itself didn’t disappoint either.

From the hotel, Drake, along with his entourage of none and mall officials, drove down the street and inside the mall. Fast forward through two-hours of meeting and greeting, another four songs, and a special half-hour question-and-answer session, and almost every screaming 12-year old and their exhausted parent headed back on the Scranton Expressway and I-81 satisfied, to say the least.

During our impromptu Q&A, which came about only because Bell greeted hundreds in a seemingly record time, I asked Drake who was the most famous person in his cell phone — an iPhone no less. After he responded with Jesse McCartney (to the cringing of most), I asked if there are any other celebrities he chums up with.

“Yeah, Zac Efron sometimes.”

“Does he bring Vanessa (Hudgens) around?”

“Nooooo, that’s just a front.”

A moment of awkwardness later, and Bell quickly retracted, backtracked, sidestepped, and changed topics.

Drake Bell — actor with two movies coming out early next year, musician with a new album slated for April, and as we found out at the end of his appearance Saturday, an accomplished dancer.

(everyone at 97 bht would like to thank the mall at steamtown, the scranton police and fire department, and everyone who showed up saturday and made this such a great success!)











It seemed like a typical mall appearance by a tween idol — in this case Drake Bell, known mostly to the thousand or so people packed inside the Mall at Steamtown for his Nickelodeon show “Drake & Josh.” After four successful seasons, both actors walked away to pursue other gigs, with Drake set to hit the silver screen in March with “College” and a month later in the spoof flick “Superhero!”

However Drake’s subtle smiles, occasional cheek-kisses and melodic, catchy sounds weren’t the only eye-catchers inside Center Court Saturday.

Before any of the aforementioned, FeFe Dobson caught eyes — or at least mine.

Yes, that FeFe Dobson. “Take Me Away.” “Everything.”

As I stood onstage hosting the event, I noticed her to my left and immediately thought, “Wow, she really looks like FeFe Dobson.”

How awkward would that announcement have been over the PA?

“You look familiar,” I inquisitively stated to her about 20 minutes later, after Drake had finished performing two songs, including the MySpace über-spun “Makes Me Happy,” which is closing in on 1 million plays, and “I Know,” which has almost twice as many listens.

She responded, “Yeah, I think we’ve met.” Which we had, back in at a Buffalo, NY, radio concert in 2003.

“Wait a minute …”

“Yeah, yeah it’s me.”

Dobson flew in from Toronto to see Drake. The Canadian-born singer is currently working on new material in T-Dot, which she assured me I would be listening to early next year.

“By the way, can you give this to him?”

Yes, I even passed a note to Drake from FeFe. Lined paper, folded in fours, written with blue ballpoint pen. Feeling like I had re-entered high school, I obliged and brought the message to Drake. FeFe took off for her flight immediately after I walked away. Drake opened the note, looked it over with an exasperated expression across his face — folded the note and placed it under a stack of promo photos.

Drake’s day began at the crack of dawn on the West Coast, where he’s finishing up production for “Superhero!” in Hollywood. After landing in Scranton around 8 a.m., he headed to his hotel, where about 100 adoring fans were treated to a special breakfast with Bell. Conveniently enough, the renaissance man brought his guitar, and at the request of a few kids, performed a song right in the banquet room. Parents eagerly snapped photos and assisted their children in snagging an autograph or three from their child’s Nickelodeon hero. And the breakfast food itself didn’t disappoint either.

From the hotel, Drake, along with his entourage of none and mall officials, drove down the street and inside the mall. Fast forward through two-hours of meeting and greeting, another four songs, and a special half-hour question-and-answer session, and almost every screaming 12-year old and their exhausted parent headed back on the Scranton Expressway and I-81 satisfied, to say the least.

During our impromptu Q&A, which came about only because Bell greeted hundreds in a seemingly record time, I asked Drake who was the most famous person in his cell phone — an iPhone no less. After he responded with Jesse McCartney (to the cringing of most), I asked if there are any other celebrities he chums up with.

“Yeah, Zac Efron sometimes.”

“Does he bring Vanessa (Hudgens) around?”

“Nooooo, that’s just a front.”

A moment of awkwardness later, and Bell quickly retracted, backtracked, sidestepped, and changed topics.

Drake Bell — actor with two movies coming out early next year, musician with a new album slated for April, and as we found out at the end of his appearance Saturday, an accomplished dancer.

(everyone at 97 bht would like to thank the mall at steamtown, the scranton police and fire department, and everyone who showed up saturday and made this such a great success!)