Review Category : Entertainment

New “Bachelorette” Season, with Two New Stars, Premieres Monday Night

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) — A new season of The Bachelorette, featuring a new twist, begins Monday night on ABC.

The show’s 11th season will star not one, but two women searching for love: Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe. Both were contestants on the most recent season of The Bachelor and were ultimately rejected by Chris Soules.

Britt and Kaitlyn won’t be sharing screen time for the entire season. The 25 men who arrive at theBachelorette mansion will get to decide which lady they will all compete for during the competition.

The Bachelorette premiere will air over the course of two nights: Monday from 9-11 p.m. Eastern time and Tuesday from 8-9 p.m. Eastern time.

Here’s a rundown of Britt and Kaitlyn’s suitors:

  • Ben H., 26, a software salesman from Denver, CO
  • Ben Z., 26, a fitness coach from San Jose, CA
  • Bradley, 25, an international auto shipper from Atlanta, GA
  • Brady, 33, a singer-songwriter from Nashville, TN
  • Chris, 28, a dentist from Nashville, TN
  • Clint, 27, an architectural engineer from Chicago, IL
  • Corey, 30, an investment banker from New York, NY
  • Cory, 35, a residential developer from Pearland, TX
  • Daniel, 28, a fashion designer from Nashville, TN
  • David, 28, a real estate agent from Orlando, FL
  • Ian, 28, an executive recruiter from Los Angeles, CA
  • Jared, 26, a restaurant manager from Warwick, RI
  • JJ, 32, a former investment banker from Denver, CO
  • Joe, 28, an insurance agent from Columbia, KY
  • Jonathan, 33, an automotive spokesman, Detroit, MI
  • Josh, 27, a law student and exotic dancer, Chicago, IL
  • Joshua, 31, an industrial welder from Kuna, ID
  • Justin, 28, a fitness trainer from Naperville, IL
  • Kupah, 32, an entrepreneur from Boston, MA
  • Ryan B., 32, a realtor from Wellington, FL
  • Ryan M, 28, a junkyard specialist from Kansas City, MO
  • Shawn B., 28, a personal trainer from Windsor Locks, CT
  • Shawn E., 31, an amateur sex coach from Ontario, Canada
  • Tanner, 28, an auto finance manager from Kansas City, MO
  • Tony, 35, a healer from St. Louis, MO

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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“Dancing with the Stars” Kicks Off Two-Part Season Finale Monday Night

Adam Taylor/ABC(LOS ANGELES) — This week, a new Dancing with the Stars champion will be crowned.

The two-part season finale begins Monday night on ABC. The three remaining couples — Noah Galloway; and Sharna Burgess, Riker Lynch and Allison Holker, and Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy — will reprise a routine from earlier in the season, then perform a supersized freestyle dance.

Lynch says he has something really cool planned for his freestyle. He explains to ABC Radio, “It’s going to be massive, so many things happening, so much stage movement. There’s kind of like two different dynamics of, like, kind of a classical vibe and, then, like, a remix comes in.”

Willis is feeling the strain of the competition entering the finale. She says she and Chmerkovskiy are “definitely at that point where our bodies are trying to yell at us and riot against us a bit.”

Galloway and Burgess aren’t putting too much pressure on themselves to win the Mirrorball trophy. Galloway says it would be “quite alright” if they fall short of first place. Burgess clarifies, “Not that we don’t want to win it, we’ve already had that conversation. But we’re just so honored to be in a final with such incredible talent.”

A new champion will be announced Tuesday night on a special two-hour program.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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“Dancing with the Stars” Kicks Off Two-Part Season Finale Monday Night

Adam Taylor/ABC(LOS ANGELES) — This week, a new Dancing with the Stars champion will be crowned.

The two-part season finale begins Monday night on ABC. The three remaining couples — Noah Galloway; and Sharna Burgess, Riker Lynch and Allison Holker, and Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy — will reprise a routine from earlier in the season, then perform a supersized freestyle dance.

Lynch says he has something really cool planned for his freestyle. He explains to ABC Radio, “It’s going to be massive, so many things happening, so much stage movement. There’s kind of like two different dynamics of, like, kind of a classical vibe and, then, like, a remix comes in.”

Willis is feeling the strain of the competition entering the finale. She says she and Chmerkovskiy are “definitely at that point where our bodies are trying to yell at us and riot against us a bit.”

Galloway and Burgess aren’t putting too much pressure on themselves to win the Mirrorball trophy. Galloway says it would be “quite alright” if they fall short of first place. Burgess clarifies, “Not that we don’t want to win it, we’ve already had that conversation. But we’re just so honored to be in a final with such incredible talent.”

A new champion will be announced Tuesday night on a special two-hour program.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Taylor Swift Dominates the 2015 Billboard Music Awards

Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABC(LAS VEGAS) — The 2015 Billboard Music Awards was a Taylor Swift affair. The ceremony opened with her much-anticipated futuristic revenge fantasy video for “Bad Blood,” and the night continued to work in her favor. Taylor nabbed eight awards — including Top Artist — and even engaged in some congratulatory PDA with her rumored beau, Calvin Harris.

“This is such a good night!” she gushed more than once.

Van Halen delivered the first performance of the night, a rocking rendition of “Panama.” Frontman David Lee Roth gave a bizarre flirtatious call-out to Nicki Minaj during the song. “I’m gonna reach down between my legs and I’m gonna get Nicki Minaj to help me ease my seat back,” he sang. Nicki performed two songs later in the show, but didn’t acknowledge the mention.

One Direction took home the first televised award of the night, for Top Duo/Group, and they acknowledged departed member Zayn Malik in their acceptance speech. “We share this with our brother Zayn,” Liam Payne said.

Fall Out Boy was joined on stage by rapper Wiz Khalifa to perform their hit “Uma Thurman” in a Pulp Fiction-themed performance complete with Uma lookalike dancers. Wiz later returned to the stage with Charlie Puth to perform their hit from the Furious 7 soundtrack, “See You Again,” with Lindsey Stirling on the violin. The crowd cheered loudly when an image of the late Paul Walker appeared on the screen behind them.

Mariah Carey took the Billboard stage for the first time in 17 years. Mariah, who recently battled bronchitis and had to cancel a Wednesday performance of her Vegas residency show, sang a portion of her first No. 1 hit, “Vision of Love” — which celebrated its 25th anniversary on Friday — before breaking into her latest single, “Infinity.”

Vegas staple Celine Dion presented the Top Male Artist award to Sam Smith, who accepted the prize from New York, where he is recovering from vocal cord surgery. He can’t speak, so instead he held up handwritten cue cards that expressed his gratitude and gave shout-outs to famous pals Taylor and Ed Sheeran. Sam won three awards total, including Top Radio Songs Artist and Top New Artist.

Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea premiered their new song “Pretty Girls” for the first time live. Their performance took place at the AXIS Theater at Planet Hollywood, where Britney has her residency show. In keeping with their space-themed video, they opened with a hologram effect that made it appear as if they were teleported onto the stage.

Britney — clad in a sexy black cutout bodysuit — showed she’s fully recovered from her ankle injury by giving an energetic dance performance. Iggy, who took home three awards including Top Rap Artist, debuted a shorter haircut with pink-colored ends.

The night also paid tribute to two major losses in the music world: blues legend B.B. King, who passed away on Thursday, and soul singer Ben E. King, who died late last month. Imagine Dragons performed a stripped-down version of Ben E. King’s classic, “Stand By Me.”

Kanye West, introduced by his sisters-in-law Kendall and Kylie Jenner, closed out the show with a mostly-bleeped-out performance of “All Day” and his 2013 song “Black Skinhead.” Not only were the majority of the lyrics muted, but the over-the-top pyrotechnics seemed to engulf most of the stage, making Kanye barely visible.

The night’s lineup also included: Nick Jonas, “Jealous;” Meghan Trainor and John Legend, “Like I’m Gonna Lose You;” Ed Sheeran, “Bloodstream;” Pitbull and Chris Brown, “Fun;” Kelly Clarkson, “Invincible;” Hozier, “Take Me to Church;” Little Big Town and Faith Hill, “Girl Crush;” Tori Kelly, “Nobody Love;” Simple Minds, “Don’t You (Forget About Me);” Nicki Minaj and David Guetta, “The Night is Still Young” and “Hey Mama;” and Empire stars Jussie Smollett & Bryshere “Yazz” Gray, and Estelle, “Conqueror” and “You’re So Beautiful.”

The three-hour show, broadcast live on ABC from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, was hosted by Ludacris and Chrissy Teigen.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Taylor Swift Dominates the 2015 Billboard Music Awards

Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABC(LAS VEGAS) — The 2015 Billboard Music Awards was a Taylor Swift affair. The ceremony opened with her much-anticipated futuristic revenge fantasy video for “Bad Blood,” and the night continued to work in her favor. Taylor nabbed eight awards — including Top Artist — and even engaged in some congratulatory PDA with her rumored beau, Calvin Harris.

“This is such a good night!” she gushed more than once.

Van Halen delivered the first performance of the night, a rocking rendition of “Panama.” Frontman David Lee Roth gave a bizarre flirtatious call-out to Nicki Minaj during the song. “I’m gonna reach down between my legs and I’m gonna get Nicki Minaj to help me ease my seat back,” he sang. Nicki performed two songs later in the show, but didn’t acknowledge the mention.

One Direction took home the first televised award of the night, for Top Duo/Group, and they acknowledged departed member Zayn Malik in their acceptance speech. “We share this with our brother Zayn,” Liam Payne said.

Fall Out Boy was joined on stage by rapper Wiz Khalifa to perform their hit “Uma Thurman” in a Pulp Fiction-themed performance complete with Uma lookalike dancers. Wiz later returned to the stage with Charlie Puth to perform their hit from the Furious 7 soundtrack, “See You Again,” with Lindsey Stirling on the violin. The crowd cheered loudly when an image of the late Paul Walker appeared on the screen behind them.

Mariah Carey took the Billboard stage for the first time in 17 years. Mariah, who recently battled bronchitis and had to cancel a Wednesday performance of her Vegas residency show, sang a portion of her first No. 1 hit, “Vision of Love” — which celebrated its 25th anniversary on Friday — before breaking into her latest single, “Infinity.”

Vegas staple Celine Dion presented the Top Male Artist award to Sam Smith, who accepted the prize from New York, where he is recovering from vocal cord surgery. He can’t speak, so instead he held up handwritten cue cards that expressed his gratitude and gave shout-outs to famous pals Taylor and Ed Sheeran. Sam won three awards total, including Top Radio Songs Artist and Top New Artist.

Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea premiered their new song “Pretty Girls” for the first time live. Their performance took place at the AXIS Theater at Planet Hollywood, where Britney has her residency show. In keeping with their space-themed video, they opened with a hologram effect that made it appear as if they were teleported onto the stage.

Britney — clad in a sexy black cutout bodysuit — showed she’s fully recovered from her ankle injury by giving an energetic dance performance. Iggy, who took home three awards including Top Rap Artist, debuted a shorter haircut with pink-colored ends.

The night also paid tribute to two major losses in the music world: blues legend B.B. King, who passed away on Thursday, and soul singer Ben E. King, who died late last month. Imagine Dragons performed a stripped-down version of Ben E. King’s classic, “Stand By Me.”

Kanye West, introduced by his sisters-in-law Kendall and Kylie Jenner, closed out the show with a mostly-bleeped-out performance of “All Day” and his 2013 song “Black Skinhead.” Not only were the majority of the lyrics muted, but the over-the-top pyrotechnics seemed to engulf most of the stage, making Kanye barely visible.

The night’s lineup also included: Nick Jonas, “Jealous;” Meghan Trainor and John Legend, “Like I’m Gonna Lose You;” Ed Sheeran, “Bloodstream;” Pitbull and Chris Brown, “Fun;” Kelly Clarkson, “Invincible;” Hozier, “Take Me to Church;” Little Big Town and Faith Hill, “Girl Crush;” Tori Kelly, “Nobody Love;” Simple Minds, “Don’t You (Forget About Me);” Nicki Minaj and David Guetta, “The Night is Still Young” and “Hey Mama;” and Empire stars Jussie Smollett & Bryshere “Yazz” Gray, and Estelle, “Conqueror” and “You’re So Beautiful.”

The three-hour show, broadcast live on ABC from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, was hosted by Ludacris and Chrissy Teigen.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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New “Bachelorette” Season, with Two New Stars, Premieres Monday Night

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) — A new season of The Bachelorette, featuring a new twist, begins Monday night on ABC.

The show’s 11th season will star not one, but two women searching for love: Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe. Both were contestants on the most recent season of The Bachelor and were ultimately rejected by Chris Soules.

Britt and Kaitlyn won’t be sharing screen time for the entire season. The 25 men who arrive at theBachelorette mansion will get to decide which lady they will all compete for during the competition.

The Bachelorette premiere will air over the course of two nights: Monday from 9-11 p.m. Eastern time and Tuesday from 8-9 p.m. Eastern time.

Here’s a rundown of Britt and Kaitlyn’s suitors:

  • Ben H., 26, a software salesman from Denver, CO
  • Ben Z., 26, a fitness coach from San Jose, CA
  • Bradley, 25, an international auto shipper from Atlanta, GA
  • Brady, 33, a singer-songwriter from Nashville, TN
  • Chris, 28, a dentist from Nashville, TN
  • Clint, 27, an architectural engineer from Chicago, IL
  • Corey, 30, an investment banker from New York, NY
  • Cory, 35, a residential developer from Pearland, TX
  • Daniel, 28, a fashion designer from Nashville, TN
  • David, 28, a real estate agent from Orlando, FL
  • Ian, 28, an executive recruiter from Los Angeles, CA
  • Jared, 26, a restaurant manager from Warwick, RI
  • JJ, 32, a former investment banker from Denver, CO
  • Joe, 28, an insurance agent from Columbia, KY
  • Jonathan, 33, an automotive spokesman, Detroit, MI
  • Josh, 27, a law student and exotic dancer, Chicago, IL
  • Joshua, 31, an industrial welder from Kuna, ID
  • Justin, 28, a fitness trainer from Naperville, IL
  • Kupah, 32, an entrepreneur from Boston, MA
  • Ryan B., 32, a realtor from Wellington, FL
  • Ryan M, 28, a junkyard specialist from Kansas City, MO
  • Shawn B., 28, a personal trainer from Windsor Locks, CT
  • Shawn E., 31, an amateur sex coach from Ontario, Canada
  • Tanner, 28, an auto finance manager from Kansas City, MO
  • Tony, 35, a healer from St. Louis, MO

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“Pitch Perfect 2” Beats Expectations at Weekend Box Office

Universal(NEW YORK) — The cast of Pitch Perfect 2 was perfectly in tune to dominate the domestic box office for the film’s opening weekend.

The comedy sequel to the 2012 hit about a female acapella group directed by Elizabeth Banks, shattered expectations and opened to an estimated $70.3 million. The opening is more than the first movie made in the U.S. during its entire run in theaters.

Mad Max: Fury Road
opened to an estimated $44.4 million.

The two highly-anticipated releases bumped Avengers: Age of Ultron down to third place.

Here are the top ten films of the weekend according to boxofficemojo.com:

1. Pitch Perfect 2: $70.3 million
2. Mad Max: Fury Road: $44.4 million
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron: $38.8 million
4. Hot Pursuit: $5.7 million
5. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2: $3.6 million
6. Furious 7: $3.6 million
7. The Age of Adaline: $3.2 million
8. Home: $2.7 million
9. Ex Machina: $2.1 million
10. Far from the Madding Crowd: $1.3 million

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Jennifer Connelly Just Got Her First Computer

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Jennifer Connelly is an analog girl living in a digital world.

“I am Miss Analog. I bought my first computer just yesterday,” the Oscar nominated actress confessed to Town and Country‘s June/July issue.

The 44-year-old star of Aloft became the proud owner of a MacBook Air after she took her iPhone in for repairs and was asked by the Apple technician how she backs up her data.

“In college I wrote on an old typewriter,” Connelly told the magazine.

She also grew up in a low-tech household.

“Anything that we had in our house — which at that point was, like, a CD player — my parents, if it didn’t work, would be like, ‘Can you fix it? Can you make it work?'” Connelly said. “I am loath to be that person, and I am that person in my house now — the one who’s like, ‘Can you please tell me how to print the whatever?'”

Fortunately, Connelly’s husband, British actor Paul Bettany, is not a luddite like she is.

“My husband is on Twitter, but I am not,” she said.

He’s also more comfortable working a room than she is.

“I’m not the most gregarious person in the room, for sure. I think by coupling with Paul, that kind of works,” she said about Bettany, whom she met on the set of A Beautiful Mind in 2001 and married in 2003. “I’m more reserved. I can be kind of shy in a group. I mean, I manage it pretty well, but he’s much more outgoing than I am.”

But once Connelly is comfortable with a person, she said, “I’m a compulsive confessor.”

As for getting comfortable with social media, she said, “I’ll probably at some point get involved in Instagram and things like that because I feel it’s reality and it’s the way people communicate.”

She paused. “I don’t know,” she said. “Possibly.”

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Former Creed Frontman Scott Stapp Says Prescription Drug Abuse Led to Psychotic Episodes

Seni Tienabeso/ABC(NEW YORK) — Scott Stapp, the former frontman for Creed, one of the biggest rock bands of the late 90s and early 2000s, was once known for multi-platinum hits like “My Sacrifice,” “With Arms Wide Open” and “Higher.”

Then Stapp became infamous for a very public meltdown that went on for months last year, in which the rocker posted cryptic video messages online about being “penniless” and that the CIA was watching him. He said he placed maniacal calls to 911, the White House and his son’s school, and fired off jarring emails and text messages to family and friends. Meanwhile, Stapp said his bizarre behavior fueled Internet rumors that he was on a drug-fueled downward spiral.

Now, in an exclusive interview on the cover of People magazine and with ABC News, Stapp is revealing for the first time that during a hellish span of about six months he said he suffered manic psychosis from overdosing on prescription drugs.

“I was so out of my mind, delusional, turned on everyone that I loved, made wild and crazy accusations about my wife. I thought I was being followed by the government, I mean, it was a manic paranoid, psychotic episode,” Stapp told ABC News. “I was driving around with … a 12-gauge shotgun in my lap. And I thought that people were trying to kill me.”

“I would have like, maybe a 45-second interval of, ‘What’s going on,’ and then I’d be right back into the psychosis,” he added.

Stapp said his psychosis was so intense that he thought he had been programmed by the CIA — a real-life Jason Bourne — and he would prowl airports looking for suspicious cars.

During his music career, Stapp said he had abused alcohol and harder drugs that landed him in trouble with the law, and said that his years of substance abuse was his attempt to self-medicate to battle an undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

Stapp said he first began to “feel different” in 1998. At the time, Creed’s “Proof of Life” album had just dropped, but Stapp said he was starting to feel down.

“In 1998, I was on top of the world,” Stapp said. “I had four No. 1 singles. My career was taking off. And then all of a sudden, a depression came over me, a debilitating, physical depression.”

“And at that point in time, I went into a walk-in clinic while I was on tour, sought a doctor and got a prescription antidepressant, and that’s really where this journey begins,” he added.

Stapp said he began to battle a cycle of ups and downs, from promoting a new album to feeling depressed and “not focused.” In his 2012 book, Sinner’s Creed, Stapp admitted that addiction and depression nearly tore his life apart, leading to a much-publicized 2006 suicide attempt and the disbandment of the band, Creed. The book was supposed to herald his renewed faith and sobriety.

However, Stapp, who said he was still battling underlying pains at the time and had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) years ago, said he “relapsed” and lied to a doctor in 2014 about his past substance abuse to get Adderall.

“I didn’t want to return to street drugs, and so I deceived myself and knowingly went in to see a doctor,” he said. “Having the previous diagnosis, it made it easy for him to prescribe me Adderall, and I began taking that medication, not knowing the consequences that were getting ready to happen.”

When he began taking the Adderall, at first “things were fine,” Stapp continued.

“It worked temporarily on the problem that I was having,” he said. “It did what it was supposed to do. But then it didn’t. And so I increased the dosage and I started taking more. And then it stopped working again. And so I started taking more. And I got up to taking double the legal dosage for that medication, 120 milligrams. And that led me right into a full-blown psychotic episode.”

Stapp said he also kept going to the doctor for the Adderall prescription a secret from his wife, Jaclyn Stapp, whom he married in 2006.

“I hid it from her,” he said. “It was a full-blown relapse, man, and I can make no excuses about that. … [I] thought that I could manage it this time.”

Taking more Adderall than was prescribed, Stapp said, led to his suffering from “delusions, hallucinations, paranoia,” and eventually he turned on Jaclyn. He claims he was unaware that one of the side effects of overdosing on Adderall can include hallucinations.

“I thought my own wife was trying to poison me. I made crazy accusations that she had done things to me that she’s never done,” Stapp said. “My wife was trying to save me. She was trying to help me. And her efforts to help me in my delusional state, I interpreted as part of the grand conspiracy to harm me.”

Sitting by her husband’s side during the ABC News interview, Jaclyn said she started noticing “little red flags” about his behavior a few weeks after he came back from touring last year. She said it wasn’t until she called Scott’s pharmacy that she found out he had a prescription for Adderall. When she learned he was abusing prescription drugs, she said she was hurt and asked him to leave because she didn’t want him around their three children. She said she told him to go into a detox program, but instead Scott tried to quit cold turkey on his own, which they both said made things worse.

“That’s when I checked into the Holiday Inn and I abruptly stopped the medication, and basically that was like throwing fuel on a fire,” Scott Stapp said.

It was during this time that Stapp posted a 15-minute video on his Facebook page — the post has since been removed — in which he told fans that he was “penniless” after people had “stolen money” from him, so he was living in a hotel and was as “sober as can be.”

Now, Stapp said his online video had “no basis in reality.” He wasn’t penniless or being robbed, he said he was battling a manic psychosis.

“I was in severe pain,” he said. “Everything that I thought, I believed in the bottom of my heart… Your delusion has told you that you have no money, you have no home, you have no family and everyone that you love has been trying to harm you, and you believe it.”

During his mania, Stapp would stuff his wallet with cash and fill the flatbed of his truck with his gun collection and sports memorabilia, which he said he started giving away with reckless abandon. Stapp said he would pick a homeless person at random, “get him a hotel room, give him $20 and then take off.” He said he also gave away some of his prized possessions — three Salvador Dali sketches — to a Catholic church in Mississippi on a random manic drive through the South.

He says he was so manic, he doesn’t even know the name of the town where he left the Dali sketches.

Jaclyn filed for divorce in November 2014. In the divorce papers, Jaclyn said her husband was “doing so much amphetamines, crystal meth and steroids that he has become a paranoid shell who has threatened to kill himself and harm his family.”

At one point during his mania, Scott said he called the White House “two or three times” and he believed the government had programmed him to harm the president. His accusations became serious enough that the Secret Service showed up at the Los Angeles home he was staying in and at his family’s home in Florida.

“I had told [the Secret Service] that he had a terrible relapse and we’re trying to get him help, and that he was not, you know, a threat, he just needs help,” Jaclyn said. “I knew Scott was very sick.”

It was around this time that Stapp said his psychosis started to wear off and Jaclyn flew to L.A. to have him seek treatment. Throughout the months-long ordeal, Stapp had been texting with Jaclyn and she with him, hoping it would pull him back.

“I was beginning to have days where I was coming to my senses,” Scott Stapp said. “Almost like walking up out of a blackout, going, ‘Oh my God, what have I done? What has happened here? Oh my God.’ And it was so overwhelming. It was hard to even process. And I felt so remorseful, so shameful, so sad.”

Now, eight months later, Stapp said he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and he is finally getting the right treatment. He and Jaclyn are now opening up about Stapp’s diagnosis, including in a spread in People magazine. He said he is sober and just recently moved back home to Florida, where he and his wife are trying to move forward together.

“There is hope,” Stapp said. “When I’m with this woman, I feel like there’s always hope, and she’s teaching me what real love it and I’m just very thankful for that.”

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Billboard Music Awards: What to Expect From the Star-Studded Show

ABC/ Lou Rocco(LAS VEGAS) — The competition is stiff for the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, airing this weekend on ABC, live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Taylor Swift is the leading nominee, with 14 entries in 13 categories. Her pal Sam Smith — who’ll be missing the show due to vocal cord surgery — is nominated for 13 awards in 13 categories. They’re both competing for Top Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, and Top Digital Songs Artist.

Other top nominees include rapper Iggy Azalea, a finalist with 12 nominations in 11 categories, and Meghan Trainor, with nominations in nine different categories.

“I love the Billboard Awards,” gushed Swift in a clip from Countdown to the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. “I always have a great time and I love the fact that the awards are, are based on what the fans have actually decided to invest in and buy.”

While Swift isn’t performing this year, she’ll make a huge impression on the telecast: It’ll start with her star-studded video for “Bad Blood,” which features the likes of Lena Dunham, Jessica Alba, rapper Kendrick Lamar, Ellen Pompeo, Mariska Hargitay, Hailee Steinfeld, Karlie Kloss, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Ellie Goulding and more, all playing characters with names like “Luna,” “Justice,” “Knockout,” “Destructa X” and “Dilemma.” Swift herself is portraying someone named “Catastrophe,” and all we know is that there will be fighting involved.

In Countdown to the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, Swift explained the thinking behind the video’s concept.

“Let’s have them play assassins in a music video,” she said. “They are metaphorically killing it. They are also playing killers.”

Swift, Azalea and Trainor are all up for the only fan-voted category: the Billboard Chart Achievement Award presented by Samsung, recognizing each woman’s huge chart success in the past year.

As far as who is performing on the telecast, the list includes Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Imagine Dragons, Hozier, Nick Jonas, Tori Kelly, Ed Sheeran, Van Halen, Kanye West, the stars of Empire, Fall Out Boy featuring Wiz Khalifa, Nicki Minaj and David Guetta, Kanye West, Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea, Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend, Pitbull and Chris Brown, Fifth Harmony and Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth and Lindsey Stirling. In addition, legendary ’80s band Simple Minds will salute the 30th anniversary of their song from the movie The Breakfast Club, “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”

The BBMAs will be hosted by rapper/actor Ludacris and model and host Chrissy Teigen. Ludacris told ABC News that of all this year’s nominees, he was most impressed by the success of one particular singer.

“I think every year we have someone who is just like a standout person in music and I think Sam Smith takes that cake for this year,” he said. “I think he said it best when he won his Grammy. He was like, once he just started being completely honest and pouring his heart out, then everyone started gravitating toward his music and it shined. And I’m extremely happy for him.”

The rapper and Furious 7 star also noted what makes the Billboard Awards different from all the other awards shows out there: They reward the artists and the music that have been most successful on the Billboard charts by measuring actual data: album and digital songs sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social interactions.

“It’s based off the charts and it’s not like you can say you don’t know how someone won or certain things like that. So it is based off the people,” he explained.

The 2015 Billboard Music Awards air Sunday night, May 17, live on ABC, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Here are the nominations:

Top Artist
•Ariana Grande
•One Direction
•Katy Perry
•Sam Smith
•Taylor Swift

Top Billboard 200 Album
•Maroon 5, V
•Pentatonix, That’s Christmas to Me
•Ed Sheeran, X
•Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
•Taylor Swift, 1989

Top Male Artist
•Drake
•Pharrell Williams
•Ed Sheeran
•Sam Smith
•Justin Timberlake

Top Female Artist
•Iggy Azalea
•Ariana Grande
•Katy Perry
•Taylor Swift
•Meghan Trainor

Top Hot 100 Song
•Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
•John Legend, “All of Me”
•Sam Smith, “Stay with Me”
•Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
•Meghan Trainor, “All About that Bass”

Top New Artist

•Iggy Azalea
•5 Seconds of Summer
•Hozier
•Sam Smith
•Meghan Trainor

Top Duo/Group
•5 Seconds of Summer
•Florida Georgia Line
•MAGIC!
•Maroon 5
•One Direction

Top Billboard 200 Artist
•One Direction
•Pentatonix
•Ed Sheeran
•Sam Smith
•Taylor Swift

Top Radio Songs
•John Legend
•Maroon 5
•Ed Sheeran
•Sam Smith
•Taylor Swift

Top Touring Artist
•Lady Gaga
•Rolling Stones
•One Direction
•Katy Perry
•Justin Timberlake

Top Social Artist
•Justin Bieber
•Miley Cyrus
•Ariana Grande
•Taylor Swift
•Selena Gomez

Top Streaming Artist
•Ariana Grande
•Nicki Minaj
•Iggy Azalea
•Taylor Swift
•Meghan Trainor

Top R&B Artist
•Beyoncé
•Chris Brown
•John Legend
•Trey Songz
•Pharrell

Top Digital Songs Artist
•Iggy Azalea
•Ed Sheeran
•Sam Smith
•Taylor Swift
•Meghan Trainor

Top Rap Artist
•Iggy Azalea
•J. Cole
•Drake
•Nicki Minaj
•Rae Sremmurd

Top Country Artist
•Jason Aldean
•Luke Bryan
•Florida Georgia Line
•Brantley Gilbert
•Blake Shelton

Top Rock Artist
•Bastille
•Coldplay
•Fall Out Boy
•Hozier
•Lorde

Top Latin Artist
•J Balvin
•Juan Gabriel
•Enrique Iglesias
•Prince Royce
•Romeo Santos

Top Dance/Electronic Artist
•Avicii
•Clean Bandit
•Disclosure
•Calvin Harris
•Lindsey Stirling

Top Soundtrack
The Fault in Our Stars
Fifty Shades of Grey
Frozen
Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1
Into the Woods

Top R&B Album
•Beyoncé, Beyoncé
•Chris Brown, X
•Michael Jackson, Xscape
•John Legend, Love in the Future
•Pharrell Williams, G I R L

Top Rap Album
•J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive
•Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
•Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint
•Iggy Azalea, The New Classic
•Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Top Country Album
•Jason Aldean, Old Boots, New Dirt
•Garth Brooks, Man Against Machine
•Luke Bryan, Crash My Party
•Brantley Gilbert, Just As I Am
•Miranda Lambert, Platinum

Top Rock Album
•AC/DC, Rock or Bust
•The Black Keys, Turn Blue
•Coldplay, Ghost Stories
•Hozier, Hozier
•Lorde, Pure Heroine

Top Latin Album

•Juan Gabriel, Los Dúo
•Enrique Iglesias, Sex and Love
•Romeo Santos, Formula Vol. 2
•Santana, Corazon
•Marc Anthony, 3.0

Top Dance/Electronic Album
•Avicii, True
•Disclosure, Settle
•Calvin Harris, Motion
•Skrillex, Recess
•Lindsey Stirling, Shatter Me

Top Digital Song
•Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk!”
•Sam Smith, “Stay with Me”
•Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
•Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”
•Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

Top Radio Song

•John Legend, “All of Me”
•MAGIC!, “Rude”
•Nico & Vinz, “Am I Wrong”
•Sam Smith, “Stay with Me”
•Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

Top Streaming Song (Audio)
•Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
•Hozier, “Take Me to Church”
•John Legend, “All of Me”
•Sam Smith, “Stay with Me”
•Tove Lo, “Habits (Stay High)”

Top Streaming Song (Video)
•Idina Menzel, “Let It Go”
•Bobby Shmurda, “Hot Boy”
•Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”
•Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
•Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”

Top R&B Song

•Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne, French Montana, Too $hort & Tyga, “Loyal”
•Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz, “Talk Dirty”
•Jeremih feat. YG, “Don’t Tell ‘Em”
•John Legend, “All of Me”
•Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

Top Rap Song
•Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
•Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora, “Black Widow”
•Big Sean feat. E-40, “I Don’t F**k with You”
•Nicki Minaj, “Anaconda”
•Bobby Shmurda, “Hot Boy”

Top Country Song
•Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
•Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”
•Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”
•Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan, “This Is How We Roll”
•Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”

Top Rock Song

•Bastille, “Pompeii”
•Coldplay, “A Sky Full of Stars”
•Fall Out Boy, “Centuries”
•Hozier, “Take Me to Church”
•Paramore, “Ain’t It Fun”

Top Latin Song
•J Balvin feat. Farruko, “6 AM”
•Enrique Iglesias feat. Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona, “Bailando”
•Romeo Santos, “Eres Mía”
•Romeo Santos feat. Drake, “Odio”
•Romeo Santos, “Propuesta Indecente”

Top Dance/Electronic Song

•Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, “Rather Be”
•Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, “Latch”
•DJ Snake & Lil Jon, “Turn Down for What”
•Ariana Grande feat. Zedd, “Break Free”
•Calvin Harris, “Summer”

FAN VOTED AWARD
Billboard Chart Achievement Award presented by Samsung

•Iggy Azalea
•Taylor Swift
•Meghan Trainor

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