Radio Disney Music Awards: 13 Things You Didn't See on TV
With almost a dozen performances (including a surprise appearance from Gwen Stefani) and even more award categories, it can prove challenging to keep up with everything that's happening during the 2016 Radio Disney Music Awards.
Luckily, Billboard was on the scene at Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater on Saturday (April 30) to catch all your favorite artists on the red carpet and backstage to hear all about what is was like preparing for the award show, who they were most excited to see perform and more.
Read below for all the moments you didn't see on TV.
12:57 p.m.: The Radio Disney Music Awards red carpet is officially open, and the first celebrity to arrive is MAX, who was nominated for best song to lip sync to for his song "Gibberish," featuring Hoodie Allen. His favorite song to lip sync to? "I've always been the biggest Prince fan, may he rest in peace... and 'Little Red Corvette' is a song that changed my life for a long time, because the writing in it was always so colorful, but always so real. You felt the energy in his songs every time. It was authentic and it was honest, so that's one of my favorite songs to lip sync to."
1:53 p.m.: Though country gals Maddie & Tae are up for two awards (and won both!), they are most excited for the performances at the award show Saturday, since "we see country shows a lot, but we don't really get to see a lot of pop acts." The country duo also said they're working on their next album, which we can (fingers crossed) expect in spring 2017.
2:00 p.m.: Stephan Moccio has been nominated for a Grammy and an Academy Award, but the composer still made time to catch the Radio Disney Music Awards with Jordan Smith, who he worked with on LP Something Beautiful. Moccio has worked with everyone from The Weeknd to Celine Dion, so how does he ultimately decide who to get in the studio with? "I go for authenticity and just general raw talent," Moccio said. "People who are not wanting to do music to become famous, but to do music to change people's lives. Jordan just sings because he loves singing. You seek those kinds of people."
2:05 p.m.: In just a few months, Jordan Smith has gone from winner of season nine of The Voice to a respected musician in his own right, even earning a spot as a performer at the 2016 Radio Disney Music Awards. "I never imagined I would be in a place like this," Smith said. "It's really special." And just as much as he's excited to perform, Smith also can't wait to see Ariana Grande live. "Ariana Grande is gonna kill it -- I can't get over how great she is."
2:11 p.m.: Daya's latest single, "Sit Still, Look Pretty," is a female-empowering anthem for women everywhere. When we caught up with the young singer on the carpet, she said that the inspiration for the song comes from a hope that women will soon see rights similar to men in all areas of life. "I think it's just growing up and being aware of what's going on in society today," Daya said. "I wanna be equal to my peers, who are men. The base of feminism is just equality, and I really believe in that."
2:14 p.m.: Sabrina Carpenter only has her fans to thank for her nomination at the Radio Disney Music Awards. "The nomination is all because of my fans," Carpenter said. "The fact that they resonated with a song that was so personal to me and one that I love so much is an honor."
2:27 p.m.: RDMA performer Zara Larsson joined Billboard on the carpet to chat about her forthcoming sophomore album and what we can expect from it. "Really good music, of course," the singer joked. "It's hard to tell now, because I have so many songs and we're still working on getting better songs, because you always wanna beat yourself. But I would say that it has a bit of everything in it."
2:33 p.m.: Rachel Platten and Kelsea Ballerini embraced on the carpet, promising to text each other and catch up right after the award show.
3:01 p.m.: Celebrities and press alike are greeted backstage by the famous Jiff, clad in a miniature Radio Disney T-shirt and his signature afro.
3:59 p.m.: Flo Rida's performance at the Radio Disney Music Awards isn't the only noteworthy thing the rapper did this weekend. Appropriately, the music video for Flo Rida and Jason Derulo's song "Hello Friday" premiered on Friday (April 29), which Flo Rida called a "dream collaboration." "We definitely made time for this record. I remember the first time I heard ['Hello Friday'], I was like, 'Yo, this is gonna be a huge summer smash.'" He and Derulo even did a spur-of-the-moment performance of the song in Las Vegas, when both singers happened to be there at the same time. "I didn't know he was out there, he didn't know I was out there, and the fans definitely embraced it."
4:59 p.m.: Alessia Cara is gearing up to head out on tour with Coldplay this month, which the singer says is a huge change from the usual thousand-person venues she plays. "I'm going from 1,000-seaters at my shows to 50,000 and up at their shows, so it's gonna be really, really insane," Cara said. To prepare for the venue change, Cara said she's working with her team to amplify her set for a larger stage. "I think we're gonna ramp it up a little bit more for the big stadiums and just kind of make the songs a lot bigger and cooler and more fit for a stadium setting."
5:26 p.m.: Seeing as Kelsea Ballerini is a country artist, the singer said her mash-up with pop singer Daya at the Radio Disney Music Awards was fun to put together and will hopefully expose viewers to music they didn't previously listen to. "I've always loved collaborations," Ballerini said. "I love when you get artists in different genres and you put them together because it means that country people that are die-hard country fans now are gonna go jam to Daya, and pop fans are gonna be like, who is this country chick?"
5:57 p.m.: Hero award recipient Gwen Stefani surprised audience members with a special performance of "Make Me Like You," as beau Blake Shelton watched on from the audience.