Yungblud, DJ Mustard, Backstreet Boys & More Remember the First Time They Heard Their Music On the Radio
"I was like 'Mom, my song’s playing on the radio in America,' Yungblud recalled. 'And she was like, 'That’s mental.'"
The iHeartRadio Music Awards took over the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Thursday (Mar. 14), where Billboard stopped on the red carpet to chat with nominees, performers and presenters about their most memorable moments on the radio. More specifically, we asked about their reaction to hearing themselves on the radio for the first time.
As expected, every artist remembered the first surreal moment of hearing their song play on the radio and had a memorable story to share. Check out some of the priceless responses below.
Yungblud - "I Love You, Will You Marry Me?"
Yungblud was one of the first performers of the night, opening the show with a performance of "11 Minutes," with Halsey and Travis Barker. When asked about the first time he heard his song on the radio, Yungblud described it as "utterly bonkers."
"I heard it in the UK and I was freaking out, 'cause my mate knew it was happening and I didn’t. It was my song 'I Love You, Will You Marry Me?' And then I came to America and I heard it on the radio. I was like, 'What is going on?' I called my mom, I was like, 'Mom my song’s playing on the radio in America,' and she was like, 'That’s mental.'"
DJ Mustard - "Rack City"
"'Rack City' came on, and when I heard it I just ran down the street fast as f---. I’m a big dude so running down the street fast as f--- was a lot for me."
DJ Mustard also teased that he has some new music on the way, just in time for summer. He said he's collaborating with other artists like YG, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, and Quavo.
Backstreet Boys - "We've Got It Going On"
"The first time I heard 'We’ve Got It Going On,' our very first official single, I was driving my truck back from rehearsals and I almost wrecked my truck, like drove it off the road," Brian Littrell remembered. "I was like 'Oh my God, we made it to the radio.' But yeah, we almost had a death defying accident."
Bebe Rexha - "Artist Chart"
"I was in Kentucky, I was at a gas station and I was on a tour. The song was playing on the radio and I was buying gum or something, and I started screaming out loud, 'This is me!' And the guy, it was 2 a.m. also, the guy thought I was losing my mind. I was like, 'I swear it’s me!' He didn’t understand the concept of that. He just thought I was psycho, but it’s fine."
MAX - "Lights Down Low"
"I’m from New York so, I was driving down the West Side Highway, and my hometown station was playing ["Lights Down Low"] as I was getting home. It was so surreal. I’ve listened to it every day growing up. I started screaming out the window and yelling. And my family was yelling out the window too. They were like 'This is my son’s song!'
"And then in the grocery store, that’s always a second surreal one because you’re not expecting it," he continued. "It’s not as glamorous but you’re still like 'Oh snap, the grocery store!'"
Lauv - "I Like Me Better"
"I was in Nashville, and I was in an Uber. I'll be honest I’d gotten clued that it might be played that day. So I literally called an Uber Black SUV, and I was like, 'It better come on, it better come on.' Then it came on and I started freaking out. I’ve been playing music my whole life, writing songs since I was 13. To hear my song on the radio for the first time on a major radio station, I just took a bunch of videos, put them on twitter, freaked out, blasted it. The Uber driver was probably like 'What the f--- is going on?' I told him, 'This is my song!' He was like 'okay...'"
"I've had a lot of crazy Uber experiences though," he added. "One time this Uber driver, I got in and he turned my song down and was like, 'I don’t like this song,' and I was like, 'Same.' And that was the only thing we said for the whole drive."
Dylan Scott- "Crazy Over Me"
"It was quite a few years ago, probably six or seven years ago, I was in the middle of nowhere Tennessee, and I was riding down the road with a buddy. We were just talking and it was probably halfway through the song before we realized, 'Wait this is me on the radio.' So it was cool to share that with him. It’s always cool to hear your music, whether it’s the first time or the millionth time. But it was more like, I was quiet and in shock, so we listened to it.
Billie Eilish - "Ocean Eyes"
"Me and my brother, we were in a vegan ice cream place in the middle of nowhere. It came on in the store, nobody was in there. 'Ocean Eyes' came on, and we were like, 'Ooh!' I just started dancing 'cause I was like, 'This is fire.' Then I realized it was me, and I was still like, 'This is fire.'"
Grey - "Starving"
"We were in the studio with Zedd, and he was like 'Do you want to go talk to Jojo on the radio?' And we were like 'What? What do you mean?' and he was like, 'Yea, I’m gonna call him right now.' 30 seconds later, we go in the car and hear "Starving," on the radio for the first time. We have a video of us dancing in the car, it was crazy."
Tank - "Maybe I Deserve"
"In 2000, I was down south driving, doing promo. We were in between cities so I’m not sure where we were. But all of a sudden, 'Maybe I Deserve' starts playing on the radio, and it’s me, all of my background singers, my whole crew, everybody looks at me and I’m just cheesing, I’m just so excited. And it’s like that every time. I never get to used to hearing myself on the radio because I understand radio, I understand the business of it, so I'm blessed that they play my records. I think I did a little shoulder lean, I was in a van so I didn’t have a lot of room."