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Radio Disney Music Awards Discover Homegrown Acts

The Radio Disney Music Awards are back for round two. In addition to the live show on April 26, this year’s RDMAs will be televised, with an hourlong TV special airing April 27. Winners are determined by listeners’ votes. The show also will include performances by Radio Disney artists Becky G, Fifth Harmony and R5. Radio Disney VP of programming and general manager Phil Guerini talked to Variety about how the Mouse House’s musical arm landed some of its most recent artists.

The Vamps: Radio Disney discovered the British pop rock band — Brad Simpson, James McVey, Connor Ball and Tristan Evans — after listening to the BBC. “The music sounded appropriate, we tested (it), and the rest, as they say, is history,” Guerini says.

Fifth Harmony: After finishing third during season two of Fox’s “The X Factor,” the five girls were the first artists featured on the reformatted version of Radio Disney’s “The Next Big Thing” in July 2013; their promotional single “Me & My Girls” was released on the station.

Becky G (Rebecca Marie Gomez): The Mexican hip-hop singer-songwriter, rapper and dancer was introduced to the station by RCA Kemosabe records at a time when she was predominantly known only in Southern California. “(Her music) wasn’t ready for mainstream, and she was very, very young,” Guerini says, noting the singer’s progress since then. “We’ve had a great relationship with Becky for a number of years now, and it’s really just coming to fruition.”

Selena Gomez: The breakout star of Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” is now a successful recording artist, but Radio Disney was the first to back her singing career. “Selena wasn’t certain that she wanted to be a music artist,” says Guerini. “She nurtured it. She developed it. She surrounded herself with the right people.”

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