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‘Bad planning behind tepid sales’ Cyrus, Martin to perform at Billboard Music Awards

COPENHAGEN, May 7, (Agencies): Despite winning hands down at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Danish singer Emmelie de Forest has struggled to find commercial success in her native Denmark. “I had too much to think about. You have so much to think about when you win Eurovision,” said de Forest, who this year will perform the official Eurovision theme, her latest single “Rainmaker”, at Saturday’s final in Copenhagen. As fans from around the world descend on the Danish capital, the city has converted its main shopping street into a buzzing “Eurovision Fan Mile” and several top hotels have already said they are fully booked for the event.

But 40 years after Swedish disco group Abba used the annual glitz-fest to launch one of the most lucrative careers in the history of pop music, commercial success for the competition’s winners remains the exception rather than the rule. And like many of her predecessors, the elfin 21-year-old singer — set to once again perform barefoot before an audience of 125 million television viewers — has struggled to convert her maximum 12-point score into album sales. While her winning number “Only Teardrops” went on to become a top 20 hit in several European countries, a follow-up single failed to make the charts and last year she had to cancel a tour of Denmark and Germany. Flagging ticket sales “were part of the reason”, she admitted.

“There were some people around me who maybe should have handled things a little bit better, but they didn’t, so I had to cancel,” she said. “Sometimes you have to let other people take over and I can’t manage everything, so I have to trust my manager and my bookers,” she added. One Danish tabloid even said she would stage “a comeback” at this year’s Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, the competition that each year determines the country’s Eurovision entry, begging the question: Where had she been? “I have travelled so much since Eurovision. The three months after were fully booked and I’ve been to 25 different countries over the past year,” she said. Most of that time was spent in Germany and Sweden, where the competition is taken relatively seriously, especially compared with countries like France and Britain, which tend to enter performers who are unknown or past their prime.

“It doesn’t surprise me that she’s been unable to sell tickets. The only song you know by Emmelie is the winning song,” Danish deejay and TV personality Dan Rachlin told tabloid Ekstra-Bladet last year. “She sings really well, but she just hasn’t made any music that came close to the winning track,” he added. Branding her critic “an old washed-up deejay who isn’t particularly successful himself”, de Forest said she doesn’t “listen to what other people say”.

The past year has seen her come of age, she said. “I think I’ve become much better at handling stress, more independent and better at making big decisions about my career,” she said. The chairman of Eurovision fan club OGAE Denmark, Johann Soerensen, said he thought de Forest was a fantastic performer and that he hoped her new single would kickstart her career. Parlaying a Eurovision win into commercial success is difficult because for most contestants, the final is the first time their song is heard by the vast majority of the audience, making it easy to forget.

Get ready for another eyebrow-raising performance from Miley Cyrus. The “Can’t Be Tamed” singer/controversy magnet has joined the performers’ roster for the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, as has Ricky Martin, Dick Clark Productions and Billboard said Tuesday. Cyrus is a finalist in eight Billboard awards categories this year, including Top Artist, Top Female Artist and Top Streaming Artist. Cyrus and Martin join a list of performers that already included 5 Seconds of Summer, Florida Georgia Line, Imagine Dragons, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend and more. This year’s ceremony will air live from the MGM Grand Theater in Las Vegas Sunday May 18 at 8 pm ET on ABC.

LOS ANGELES: NBC has picked up the “iHeartRadio Music Awards” for 2015, following Thursday’s 1.7 rated broadcast of the inaugural awards ceremony. The three-hour broadcast on May 1 drew an average of 5.4 million viewers and increased demo viewership on Thursday night by 55 percent on the average since the Winter Olympics, NBC said in statement. “The ‘iHeartRadio Music Awards’ established some amazing benchmarks in its inaugural year. The feedback from artists, music labels, and most importantly, fans and viewers made it clear that the new approach we took in creating a show truly powered by the fans could deliver results,” Clear Channel President John Sykes said in a statement announcing the pickup. Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Pharrell were among the artists picking up trophies in the inaugural show.

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