Over the weekend in Los Angeles, the Radio Disney Music Awards celebrated today’s hottest young stars and honored those who’ve made a difference over the years. Hosted by Kelsea Ballerini, Sofia Carson, Jordan Fisher, Alex Aiono and Jenna Ortega, the event drew in a massive crowd of both fans and artists alike.
All in all, there were some pretty incredible moments during this year’s show. Musical performances included Alessia Cara, Hailee Steinfeld, Kelsea Ballerini, Noah Cyrus, Julia Michaels, Sofia Carson, Sabrina Carpenter, Auli'i Cravalho, Fitz and The Tantrums, Erin Bowman, Grace VanderWaal, Train, Lindsey Stirling, Jordan Fisher and Tally. "ARDYs" were handed out in multiple categories after a record number of votes had been cast. And both Nick Jonas and Britney Spears received honorary awards.
There was a lot of excitement heading into the evening and AXS was there to talk to the artists as they arrived. Two of country music’s biggest up-and-coming acts: 13-year-old country singer Tegan Marie who was presenting, and powerhouse trio Temecula Road who was nominated for “The Freshest - Radio Disney Country Best New Artist,” had a lot to be enthusiastic about; both with the awards show and as they each were getting ready to make their Stagecoach debut over the weekend. Temecula Road shared with AXS that getting the news of their RDMA nomination was “surreal.” Both acts are about to release new singles and you can expect to see a lot more from them in the future.
Another artist getting ready to release new music is Jorge Blanco. His single comes out this month. “It’s going to be featured on Major League Baseball and ESPN for the summer so I’m pretty excited about that,” he shared with AXS.
Indiana Massara, who’s about to release her first single with Radio Disney, told AXS that she’s going to give it her best shot to change the world of music. “I’m excited for people to see the musical side of me,” she said. “Because that’s what I’ve been doing all my life.”
Singer Erin Bowman, who performed at the RDMA this year, talked about what the evening meant to her. “This is my first time here at the Radio Disney Music Awards. It’s so inspiring; all these people. I’m so excited to see all of the presenters and all of the performances.”
Yes, with all the buzz happening on the red carpet, we wanted to know what the artists thought the most exhilarating trends of the year were and what they’d like to see more of. Recording artists like Aja9, whose new single with EDM producer Gazzo called “Heart Won’t Beat,” currently has the #1 spot on Radio Disney. She’s continuing with a trend that singers such as Symon can get behind. “I love this whole thing going on with a lot of incredible DJs who are producers that are taking some Top 40 pop artist and mixing it with their music,” Symon said. “It’s crossing over dance music into Top 40 radio and it’s bringing a different element to it.”
Riele Downs and her sister Reiya also spoke about another unique element they see trending in music now. “I love R&B and hip-hop. I see a lot of innovation going on there,” Riele said. “I think we could use even more abnormal time signatures. Yesterday I heard ‘Money’ by Pink Floyd and it was so cool. I’d like to see more of that in music.”
And, what were the artists’ top picks for performer of the year? Sofia Wylie, who stars on the Disney series "Andi Mack," told AXS, “Ed Sheeran is amazing. His vocals are on fleek. I’ve always loved his music.” Ethan Wacker from “Bizaardvark” picks DNCE. And Nikki Hahn from Disney’s “Adventures in Babysitting” casts her vote for twenty one pilots.
But, the big winner of night - was Britney Spears. The pop star was being honored with the inaugural RDMA “Icon” Award and everyone on the carpet could not be more delighted about it all. Cerina Vincent from “Stuck in the Middle” was of course there to support her TV daughter, Jenna Ortega, but said, “I’m also looking forward to Britney Spears. She inspires me.”
“I’m excited to meet Britney Spears,” Alli Simpson told AXS. “100 percent.” Simpson loves to create what she calls, “vibey-pop you can dance to” and says although Spears' “Unusual You” is her personal favorite song, she really is a fan of all of the pop star's music.
The beauty of Spears and perhaps a big part of why she received the award is because of the positive impact she’s had on generations. Constance Marie, who starred in the movie, “Selena,” was there with her daughter and shared with AXS that they were both equally excited to see the pop star get the “Icon” Award. Constance said, “Artists like Britney and newer artists like Daya, they are these strong women singers. I think it’s wonderful to grow up with that. These girls are empowering and I think they’re great role models. Britney, she’s a survivor. I really respect that.”