Sunday night I'm going to be surrounded by all kinds of great music when I host The Billboard Music Awards starting at 8 p.m. on ABC. But the truth is that music has been around me my whole life. My father was a musician. Growing up in the hood surrounded by a lot of poverty, music was one of the only things that made poor people feel good, so music was in every room of my house.
My first musical memories are of the music my Dad made, and then the R&B that my mom played like The Jacksons, Al Green, The Temptations and even Johnny Mathis which was for my grandmother and grandfather's generation. I loved it all. The O'Jays said it best when they sang, "I LOVE MUSIC." They sang, "music soothes the savage beast," and they were right. That's why we need music and arts for our young people. We've got to put instruments in young people's hands because that's the kind of thing that really touches the soul.
I love The Billboard Music Awards because they're about all kinds of music. You get to see a little of everything. You get Bruno Mars, a rare TV appearance from Prince and Taylor Swift too. I hear Madonna's coming by. I really like that you get to see and hear other genres of music. That's a beautiful thing because people's minds and hearts are open to it. Tune in Sunday night and you might fall in love with something new. I'm the host, so I'm looking forward to seeing everybody.
I love working with Don Mischer who's very sweet for an Executive Producer and all the writers. The whole team here at Billboard is treating me very well in Las Vegas. I don't party much anymore, but I love to be here for the fun, for the atmosphere and for the music. Tune in Sunday night on ABC and you can see and hear for yourselves.