Behind the scense at the AMAs

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First Posted: 12/2/2014

Some news and notes from backstage at The American Music Awards…

– Members of Imagine Dragons tell “Ralphie Tonight” that the band is “91% done with its new album, the follow-up to the 2012, multi-platinum “Night Visions.”

“Oh yeah,” replied bassist Ben McKee when I asked the band if they have been spending time back home in their native Las Vegas. “We’ve been working on finishing up the album which should be coming out relatively soon.”

The quartet wouldn’t elaborate past that, and no title for the new LP has been revealed to the public yet. Imagine Dragons took home the AMA for Favorite Alternative Artist – the band’s second straight year receiving the award. The Sin City rockers also performed “I Bet My Life” at the show, which is the lead single from the forthcoming album.

– Ne-Yo also performed at the AMAs, taking the stage alongside Pitbull to perform their new single, “Time Of Our Lives.” Afterwards, the singer heaped nothing but praise upon the Miami emcee to “Ralphie Tonight.”

“He is the epitome of the renaissance man,” said Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Smith. “I really don’t feel like there’s anything Pit can’t do. I’m waiting on Pit’s R&B album to come out.”

Speaking of R&B releases, the singer/songwriter is prepping for the release of his sixth studio LP, due out this January.

“I reached out to my fans via social media and asked them questions about relationships and all of that,” he explained of the process behind creating “Non Fiction.” “And the stories that really stuck with me, I wrote songs about.”

Ne-Yo estimates that about half of the album was created with true stories from fans; the remainder comprised of occurrences in his personal life.

– It is a cause that hits home personally for Wyclef Jean that is benefitting from his new single with one of the world’s biggest DJs. “Divine Sorrow” is the first track from Jean’s forthcoming LP with Tim “Avicii” Bergling.

“Through the (RED) campaign, with the Global Fund, 100 percent of the (proceeds)… when you buy it online, you download it, goes straight towards eradicating HIV and helping people. So that’s what we about right now.”

Wyclef teamed up with MAGIC! to perform the latter band’s global smash “Rude,” and then received a text message from a very important person: his daughter.

“She was like, ‘Daddy you did an incredible job. But I gotta go because Iggy (Azalea) is gonna win an award now!’”

– Another award winner was Juicy J, who took home Single Of The Year for his contributions to Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse.” The night of the AMAs, it was revealed that Katy Perry would be the Super Bowl Halftime Show performer this year.

“You never know man,” Juicy J replied when I asked if he would be joining Perry on stage in Arizona. “Katy Perry is a genius. She makes surprises for everybody. So we’ll see man. I’m praying on it!”