It’s all girls and grub for Charlie Puth, 24, in the lead-up to his debut, Nine Track Mind, which hit No. 6 on the Feb. 20 Billboard 200.
Puth flies to Atlanta after playing The Voice of Holland in Amsterdam; he’s sorry to leave (“There were beautiful women all over”). He heads to his hotel and orders room service: “The lady almost dropped the tray when she saw me.” He throws an in-suite party for “a bunch of girls.”
A day off. He gets picked up by a college buddy. “We drove around the suburbs in his Honda Element. He likes death metal; I don’t. But we vibe.” Then, as he says with a sigh, “Back to Charlie life.”
Puth hits four radio stations and plays an event at a Mexican cantina, where a server charms him. “I love how Southern waitresses talk: ‘You wanna side a whatevah with that, honey?'” That night, he hops a plane to his native New Jersey.
Puth crams in three radio stops and some phone interviews before visiting his brother Stephen, 22, at Gettysburg College. “He has a studio in his dorm,” says Puth. “I helped him with ideas.” He pretends he doesn’t see the students Snapchatting him but admits he loves it.
At a meet-and-greet in Philadelphia, a fan gives him a box of chocolates. “I didn’t eat it. You have to be safe.” Dinner is chicken fingers with a “tub of mustard I chugged like a soccer player chugs Gatorade.” His stomach hurts on the drive to New York.
After a SiriusXM stop, he debuts his Selena Gomez duet, “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” live at the iHeartRadio Theater, then invites old pals — “again, mostly girls” — to his hotel to swap “gross college stories.”
Album day! Puth wakes up “at four-ass o’clock in the morning” for NBC’s Today, but it was worth it: “Al Roker and I took selfies.” Atlantic fetes him with a double-platinum plaque for “Marvin Gaye.” There’s more promo, then his dad drives him to his childhood home in Rumson: “We dipped the hell out, straight to Jersey, and I got into bed.”
This story originally appeared in the Feb. 27 issue of Billboard.