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Sharing the stage at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre on Saturday, April 27: Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Mindless Behavior, Ryan Seacrest, Demi Lovato, Denise Richards, Cher Lloyd, Jason Derulo, Jessica Sanchez and many more stars of music and beyond who will gather for the Radio Disney Music Awards.
The star power of its presenters and nominees is testament to the venerable brand that is Mickey Mouse Inc. but also to its commitment to music. When it comes to kid- and teen-friendly fare, Radio Disney, with its reach of 29 million-plus listeners, is the place to be.
And so the broadcast of the kudos-fest fittingly tapped an MTV alum for its maiden voyage: executive producer Salli Frattini, who cut her teeth on many a VMAs. Of course, with categories like So FANtastic (Fiercest Fans), in which Beliebers, Mahomies, Selenators, Simpsonizers and Directioners are doing battle, and Bestest-Song of the Year (the odds-on favorite: Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat”), it’s not quite the same thing.
The TV veteran spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her plans and hopes for the show.
The Hollywood Reporter: Having worked on the Video Music Awards, will this show have similar over-the-top production for the performances?
Salli Frattini: Because it’s radio, it’s going to have more of a concert feel with a really young, excited audience. We’re running it more like an event, and since we’re not live, we’re really paying attention to the fans and what’s going on in the house. It’s also a different script process, for sure — we’re not writing comedy shtick, we’re keeping it very pure and very fun. It’s a little different for me to take a step back and focus on the performers and the script and the fans, not the crazy moments I’ve done in the past with MTV.
THR: Since the audience is so young, is it likely the RDMAs will be their first concert experience?
Frattini: Yes, and we’re being very creative about making it feel more like a concert experience versus just an over-the-top pyro show.
THR: Will there be a host?
Frattini: There’s not. [This is not a traditional broadcast awards model rather a performance-based event punctuated by award presentations. So the decision was made that a traditional host would not be additive.]
THR: It’s been a big couple years for a new generation of boy bands, like One Direction. Why now?
Frattini: I think with the growth of what’s going on in digital and on the web, kids ravish for it and discover acts on their own. If you look at someone like Cody Simpson or Austin Mahone, they really came out of the Internet. They all grew up on the Internet and posted videos on their own. Look at how Radio Disney has helped their music careers. … Pop lives on.
THR: Any sneak peeks you can give us?
Frattini: You’re going to be entertained. Coco Jones and Mindless Behavior are going to be great together. Cher Lloyd has a cool moment in the show; and, of course, Selena is going to be Selena. We’re also honoring kids with our Heroes for Change award. That’s something I love in doing shows like this — it’s not all about celebrity; it’s also about kids who’ve done amazing work in their communities and giving them that moment to talk onstage and be recognized as well.
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