Archives For #WWOBackstage

Legendary comedian George Wallace chatted with me earlier this year ahead of his residency at The Westgate in Las Vegas. Wallace, who turned 70 this past July, talked about his Twitter account, his new show and his buddy Jerry Seinfeld – plus he offered up a few opinions on some modern-day phrases and music artists.

I had a chance to chat with Noah Cyrus in Las Vegas before the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. Noah and I talked about her upcoming family vacation, running in to her and her dad backstage at last year’s BBMAs and her new song “Team” which is a collaboration with singer Max. The single’s cover art is very special to Noah, and she explained why at the end of our interview.

The siblings that comprise Echosmith are back with a new jam called “Over My Head.” Sydney, Noah and Graham told me about the song’s meaning and said the band’s sophomore album should be out “in the next few months.”

I had a lot to catch up on with one of the world’s biggest DJs, Martin Garrix. The 22 year-old recently celebrated a birthday and spent his Billboard Music Award weekend in Las Vegas performing at Omnia Nightclub where he has a residency along with headlining Electric Daisy Carnival. In addition to the birthday and touring, Martin and I talked about the success of his past collaborator Dua Lipa and the upcoming single he’s dropping with Khalid.

Kygo, DJ and producer, talked to me about his latest music and tour – plus I asked him if he’d be checking out season two of “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix.

Backstreet’s Back in more than one way. A new song on the radio, a new album on the way and a forthcoming tour to follow are all in the works for Kevin, Nick, A.J., Brian and Howie. The fellas, who are marking their 25th year as a group, stopped by our booth Backstage at The Billboard Music Awards to chat with me about the new projects and their existing residency at Planet Hollywood.

For my sixth consecutive year, I made the trek out west to Sin City on the weekend before Memorial Day to cover the Billboard Music Awards. This year, due to I presume the Vegas Golden Nights’ deep playoff run, the broadcast relocated from the T-Mobile Arena to its original home – the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The BBMAs also switched networks, moving from ABC to NBC. Despite the changes, the Billboard Music Awards held true to its trademark of celebrating the past, present and future of music in both the awards handed out and the performances showcased.

In addition to covering the show and interviewing artists backstage, I also served as the warm-up act for the broadcast. This was the fifth straight year that dick clark productions asked me to join the production in this capacity, and I could not have been more honored to stand on-stage in front of thousands, including many artists I adore, while previewing the big night ahead.

Check our interviews and photos from the event below.




Before his group headlined Mohegan Sun Arena and were introduced by yours truly, I sat down backstage to chat with Chris Daughtry of the band Daughtry. He gave me a tentative timeline for the group’s fifth studio album, talked about his plans for the rest of the year and even reminisced with me about a moment we had backstage at last year’s Billboard Music Awards.

Then a few weeks later, we chatted at… the Billboard Music Awards, where he gave me another update on Daughtry’s next LP.

Back in 2016, I was chatting with David Cook during our broadcast backstage at The 58th GRAMMY Awards. That previous November I saw David headline Gramercy Theater, and hung out backstage with him and the legendary Steven Van Zandt after the show. Just a few months after, we were talking about the performance and Cook described to me why of his top 10 shows, at least half of the list is comprised of New York City dates.

“There’s just no pretense,” he explained. “If you’re bad, they’re going to let you know. And if you hit it, they’re going to let you know. I love that honesty.”

Later in the conversation, we were talking about Cook’s pending return to “American Idol,” the show that catapulted him to stardom. While he was in LA that week, Cook was taping a segment for the competition, which was in its final season on Fox. He mentioned running in to another “Idol” alum, Constantine Maroulis. So off the cuff, I asked Cook if he’d ever consider Broadway.

“They are some of the most grandiose productions, they’re amazing,” the singer said of the shows he attended. “If the opportunity came up and it was the right role, hell yeah I’d do it, for sure.”

About two years later, the opportunity came up and the role was right. Billboard broke the story on Thursday that Cook will make his Broadway debut in “Kinky Boots.” He’ll play the role of Charlie Price, the son of the factory owner who takes over his father’s business.

Cook’s run commences April 3 and goes through May 5. His new EP, “Chromance,” is out today (Friday).

A secret is safe with Long Island’s Hoodie Allen. Just ask his friend, Ed Sheeran.

“I knew for a little bit. I had to keep my mouth shut,” Allen said regarding Sheeran’s recent engagement to longtime girlfriend Cherry Seaborn. “I did a good job too; I think I passed the test of just zipping it up and not letting anyone know.”

There was no pun intended on Hoodie’s zipper comment, nor on his adjective use when describing the couple.

“It wasn’t that much of a shock because they’re perfect together,” the emcee, born Steven Markowitz, said. “I love them both so I was really happy.”

I ran in to Allen on the red carpet of The GRAMMYs outside of Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. The hip-hop artist, who was there alongside girlfriend Sadie Newman, took over Bulova’s Instagram Story for the award show weekend. Bulova is the official timepiece partner of The GRAMMY Awards; it was Allen’s first time attending the event.

“Overwhelming,” he responded when I asked what he thought of spectacle that is a GRAMMYs red carpet. “I don’t know (because) if it’s just cold out or the adrenaline but yeah, this is pretty cool.”

As for what is currently on the artist’s plate, he just wrapped a world tour in December and is currently working on his next mixtape. Allen noted that he’s been bouncing between the road and the studio so there could be both new music and concert dates in store for his fans this year.