Radio Disney Music Awards 2017: Backstage Selfies, Photos and Highlights

Disney Channel/Image Group LA
Kelsea Ballerini, Sofia Carson, Jamie Lynn Spears and Hailee Steinfeld during the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards.

With more than 16 performances during the two-hour show, the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards were anything but boring. Everyone from Alex Aiono to Train and Fitz and the Tantrums were there, and the excitement from the audience was through the roof.

Billboard was on the scene at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and got the scoop from all your favorite artists on what they’ve been up to and who they’re excited to see. Some even stopped backstage to take selfies.

Read below for some of the best moments from the 2017 RDMAs.

Jamie Lynn Spears Surprises Crowd During Britney Tribute

In honor of Britney Spears receiving the first-ever Icon Award at the RDMAs, some of music’s biggest names collaborated for the Spears tribute fans of all ages have been waiting for. Kelsea Ballerini opened the performance in a red body suit, singing a guitar version of “Oops!... I Did It Again.” The camera then flashed to Hailee Steinfeld, a true ringleader, for a rendition of “Circus.” Sofia Carson went full schoolgirl for Spears’ first single, “…Hit Me Baby One More Time.”

Then, in a moment not even Britney knew about, sister Jamie Lynn Spears took the stage to sing “Till The World Ends.” Britney couldn’t contain her smile as she welled up over the superstar collaboration featuring her younger sister. The crowd continued to chant “Britney! Britney! Britney!” as the pop icon took the stage to retrieve her well-deserved award.

Alessia Cara and Auli’i Cravalho Perform First-Ever Moana Collaboration

The soundtrack of the newest hit Disney film features some major music names, who came together to perform a mashup of the movie’s tunes. The performance kicked off with a fun version of “You’re Welcome,” complete with fog and backup dancers, courtesy of host Jordan Fisher. Cara, who won breakout artist of the year, then joined forces with 16-year old Cravalho, who plays the title character in the Disney film, to sing their hit single, “How Far I’ll Go.”

Fisher and Cravalho, who are friends in real life, even stopped backstage to take a photo together. 

Camila Cabello Wins First Award of the Night

“I love Radio Disney!” Cabello squealed on acceptance of her best collaboration award for “Bad Things.” The excitement continued backstage, as the songstress took plenty of selfies with her trophy.

Noah Cyrus Performs a Fun Dance Arrangement of  'Make Me (Cry)'

The latest star of the Cyrus clan took the stage — in theme, wearing a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt — to perform a new arrangement of her debut single, “Make Me (Cry).” At the iHeartRadio Music Awards in March, the singer performed the song alongside Labrinth, but took the stage alone this time. The original tune transformed into the Marshmello remix at the second chorus, turning the song into a dance party anthem. Cyrus even joined in on the audience's energy by shooting confetti out of a cannon. On what it is that makes her songs so addictive, Cyrus told Billboard, “I think there are tons of different sounds in every song, which is what I think makes it unique.”


#mellogang @ronankyle @marshmellomusic

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Grace VanderWaal Wins Best New Artist

The 2016 winner of America’s Got Talent proved to the audience at the Microsoft Theater that she is definitely one to watch in the future. After winning best new artist, the 13-year old performed a lovely performance of “I Don’t Know My Name,” showcasing her ukulele skills.  

Sabrina Carpenter Takes a Subway Ride

Carpenter transformed the RDMA stage into a subway to perform “Thumbs,” just hours before she embarked on her U.K. tour. Once she wraps that tour up, she will immediately head out on her just announced North American DE-TOUR. What’s new for the upcoming bout of shows? “It’s bigger and better,” she told Billboard. “I wish I could leak everything, but I can’t!”

Countless stars on the red carpet, from Julia Michaels to Alli Simpson, said they were most excited to watch the Disney singer’s performance, and she was adorably shocked. “Is this something people are paying you to say?” Carpenter joked. 


spot the hidden Mickey #rdma

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Julia Michaels Performs 'Issues'

Michaels took the stage to perform her single “Issues” for the first time on an award show stage. While she has written for major names like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez in the past, Michaels’ impressive vocals, in combination with her superior songwriter skills, equate to a no-brainer solo career. It’s about time, anyway. As for a potential full-length album, Michaels says it’s in the works, and that lyrics are her primary focus. “Lyrics are my sound, and production is a nice added texture to tell the story.” 

Jack Black Presents Nick Jonas With Hero For Change Award

The singer has been outspoken about his battle with diabetes since his Jonas Brothers days, and has since founded Beyond Type 1, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research, education and advocacy for the illness. Jonas was joined onstage for his acceptance speech by a group of children also diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and ended his appearance by donating $15,000 to the organization. “What I saw as the biggest challenge of my life really did become my biggest opportunity to bring some encouragement to these amazing kids,” Jonas told the crowd.