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The reports on Justin Bieber, and there were plenty of them, said that he was simply hanging with the wrong crowd. That explained the rumors of drug use and parties, the run-ins with the law and the rather reckless behavior.

In an interview that aired Monday on “Ralphie Tonight,” Bieber admitted as much.

“I just had pretty bad people around that were just taking advantage of my generosity and taking advantage of my sweet soul,” a low-key and relaxed Bieber spilled to me while donning a black sweatshirt, hood pulled up above a black baseball cap. “I just thought that that’s how it was supposed to be. They were saying the right things.”

But Bieber, in perhaps one of the many ways that he has changed, stops short of placing all of the blame on others.

“I was young and naïve,” he admitted before adding, “and just trusting people and got my heart broken.

“So then I was just like, f— everybody.”

But now the 21 year-old is surrounded by a group of people he feels is looking out for his best interests. I ask if those people, such as his mother Pattie Mallette and manager Scooter Braun, were always there but simply not paid any attention to until now.

“For sure, but it has to be on your time,” he replied. “They were poking me and poking me saying, ‘Justin! Justin!’ (But) until I really wanted to listen, it wasn’t going to happen.”

But this journey, which he explains involves no longer internalizing what people say but rather reflecting it back out in to the world as a positive light (his words, not mine), is what Bieber attributes in part to scoring his first chart-topper on the Billboard Hot 100. “What Do You Mean?” debuted at number one, with 337,000 downloads sold in its opening week.

“I want it to be all about the music but you want to see people win when they’re genuine and authentic,” he stated. “I was in a place before where I was just trying to figure it out.”

It seems that at least to this point, Bieber has done that, although even he warns that inevitably he will “fall again.” But right now his focus is on a new album, due out this November, which he says is “40% done.”

“Like the album is pretty much complete,” he elaborated. “I just have so much touching up to do, but it’s going good.”

By “touching up,” Bieber means that he’ll go back to some songs after he sits with them for a few weeks and re-cut lines and/or add background vocals. The Canadian-born singer said there will be features on the LP, but would not reveal who. However when I asked him what artists are influencing him positively, one came to mind.

“I really like Ed Sheeran,” he responded. “I think he’s a really good dude too.”

And perhaps that is just an example of Bieber “reflecting” his light of positivity towards others. Ultimately though, he will be judged by his actions and not words. Yet even his harshest detractors might admit that the pop star sounds like someone who has experienced a life-transforming moment or two.

Scooter Braun, an executive producer on The Giver, chatted at its world premiere with “Ralphie Tonight” about Ariana Grande’s big 2014, why he signed Rixton, and if we can expect new music this year from Justin Bieber.

Rixton stopped by “Ralphie Tonight” and chatted about their success in the U.S. and how they document everything with their phones. They also reveal what app they use to keep private photos secure. Plus Rixton recalls a recent “Today Show” performance where the band showed up 15 minutes before going live and opening up for Justin Bieber last year. Rixton will release a full length album this fall.

For those sick of the wildly-viral “Gangnam Style” dance – here’s some good news: we may have seen the last of it in the United States.


“It may be the ending of ‘Gangnam Style,’” Psy told MTV News recently, noting the final performance would be during “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” “What better way to do it? It’s my biggest and most meaningful birthday.”

The South Korean singer turned 35 on December 31 and performed the song in Times Square ala “American Music Awards” style with M.C. Hammer. Last November, he told “The Ralphie Show” about the plans he and manager Scooter Braun had for a second single.

“I’m done with the single-track right now, and it sounds nice,” Psy revealed. “But the thing is, me and Scooter are thinking about the releasing point because ‘Gangnam Style’ in the United States – it has been (out for) a while, but in other countries, it’s an upcoming single right now.”

Psy will travel abroad to those other counties this year to perform the pony-dance – but it looks as if for now, we will be spared in the States.

Scooter Braun has made a name for himself in the music industry with his non-traditional moves, such as signing a 15 year-old Canadian named Justin Bieber after watching the teenager perform on YouTube. The manager works with a handful of other acts – from Usher to Carly Rae Jepsen – and just added Psy to his roster. Psy is the man behind, “Gangham Style,” a Korean pop song in the vein of LMFAO that has amassed over 110 million YouTube views since July. I asked Braun why he took a chance in signing the K-Pop star.

“Because he’s an underdog, and I love underdogs,” Braun responded. I inquired about other acts he’s signed, and he simply said, “They’re all underdogs.”

Certainly Psy would be the first Korean pop star to make it big in the U.S., but I’m not sure 110 million YouTube views screams “underdog.”

“Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen wouldn’t deny that she definitely took note when her song with Owl City, “Good Time” began to climb up the charts. The track has officially relieved her of the “one hit wonder” moniker.

“I think there definitely was a little bit of a ‘pressure-off’ when I saw that ‘Good Time’ was doing really well,” Jepsen explained aboard her tour bus to “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “But, I try never to focus on the success of a song. It’s more just I feel it when I’m writing it and when it’s done and when the product feel ready.”


That “product” is Jepsen’s debut U.S. album, Kiss.

“No one’s heard it yet; it’s not released until September 18 but, I already feel really pumped and really proud and if people like it, that’s bonus.”

When the Canadian singer says “no one,” she of course means the public. But people inside her camp, including manager Scooter Braun and superstar Justin Bieber, have heard the record in its entirety.

“Scooter called me today saying, ‘You should feel really proud; this is fantastic,” Jepsen said. “At the end of the day, if my family, friends, and I dig it then I feel like I’ve won over my main crowd.”

Jepsen is ramping up press and public appearances leading to the release of Kiss. Then it’s off with The Biebs for a 40-plus date trek of North America on the “Believe” tour. During the run, Jepsen will reunite with a former tour-mate from years ago: guitarist and Bieber musical director Dan Kanter.

“He played with a band called Shiloh,” recalled Jepsen, who toured Canada, in a van, with the group. “We got to know him then, and now we’re gonna be doing it stadium-style later on in life. It’s really, really cool.”

The whole experience with “Call Me Maybe” has been cool in itself for Jepsen, culminating with President Barack Obama telling a radio station in New Mexico that he thinks the track is a “cute pop song.”

“I get surprised every day,” Jepsen admits. “There’s a moment where I’m having to pinch myself. You hear {The President’s comments), you hear that the (U.S.) swim team’s done it, you heard that Katy Perry has decided to make a parody of it. It’s really good news and keeps life really interesting and really exciting right now.”

I stopped by WBRE’s “PA Live!” for my weekly segment, “The Ralphie Report.” This week, I chatted about the UK boy band The Wanted, and the group’s American invasion. The boys have already appeared on “Ellen,” “Chelsea Lately,” and my show. Plus, The Wanted signed with Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun. Also covered: Sean Kingston’s alleged tax problems and Hollywood week on “American Idol.”

The Wanted has crossed the pond and made a relatively big splash given the recent track record of “boy-bands” in the United States. The UK-based group performed on “Ellen” and has “Chelsea Lately” on the docket for next week. “Glad You Came” is climbing the American charts and has been well-received on the radio.

But just as their U.S. career is taking off, the fellas are also experiencing other highlights, not related to music. For example, with the British tabloids documenting their every relationship and sighting, Tom Parker notes that their American lifestyle has been a welcome change of pace.

“It’s been good to just walk around the streets with no press or paps, or just not that many people noticing to be honest with you,” Parker told me when The Wanted chatted on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “It does get a bit much, coming from being so normal to just being shot in to this lifestyle. It’s so bewildering sometimes.”


The band feels so comfortable in public that Siva Kaneswaran joked he might walk the streets of New York naked the next time they’re in town. The transition to the States has thus far been successful, including sneaking 18 year-old Nathan Sykes in to bars and clubs. Parker admits the five man group, with their lone underage singer, has already visited a number of alcohol-serving establishments here.

“I’ve done well so far,” Sykes said. “I’ve got a way about me somehow, which is hiding in the group.”

“It don’t cost him a penny!” Max George chimed in. “The other night all he did was stand in the corner going, ‘Uh, Max, can you get me a beer mate?’”

The Wanted already has three number one hits under its belt back in England. With the band’s exclusive announcement on my show that Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun has signed them, it looks as if there will be many more pennies, and possibly even celebratory beverages, to pass around.

It’s official: Justin Bieber’s manager has signed another musical act. In an interview set to air this Monday on “The Ralphie Radio Show,” The Wanted confirmed that the band is now managed by Scooter Braun.

“Def Jam and Scoot got together and were like, ‘We want these boys,’” said The Wanted’s Tom Parker. The group, who are currently in the midst of a small U.S. tour, agreed that Braun’s previous work with Island Def Jam helped in the process.

Rumors first surfaced of the manager’s involvement with the UK-based boy band when reports emerged that it was Braun who landed The Wanted on “Ellen,” the group’s first American TV performance.

“I mean, he’s got a really good relationship with Ellen, and she heard about us in the UK and we were obviously trying to come to the U.S.,” Parker explained, before Nathan Sykes downplayed the notion that they appeared on the show simply because of Braun.

“She did say that she wouldn’t have us on the show unless she actually liked us,” the youngest of the five boys chimed in. “She did say, ‘I want to be the one to break them out here.’”

The Wanted’s current single, “Glad You Came,” is climbing up the charts here in the States. Braun and the band finalized the contract for management on Tuesday. This came on the heels of The Wanted finding out that the group will make their second national TV appearance in Los Angeles next week, although the guys would not divulge which show it will be on.

Justin Bieber’s manager learned the hard way last night that “Bieber Fever” is contagious not just in teenagers, but their mothers.

Scooter Braun is currently overseas with the pop star on the European leg of the “My World Tour.” A fan’s mom not only found out what Manchester hotel he was staying in, but what floor he was staying on.

“Dear mother who showed up on my hotel floor at 230 am last night demanding that I wake up justin for ur kids…ARE YOU F*#KIN KIDDING ME!?! (sic)” Braun tweeted to his almost half-a-million followers. “It is never the kids that are rude and insane…always the moms. I know you love your kids but think about the example you are setting.”

Braun discovered Bieber on YouTube and guided the teenager to international fame. You’d think by this point he would’ve seen it all… then again, you’d think mothers would have a little more common sense.