Radio Disney and Disney Channel will introduce the “N.B.T.” (Next BIG Thing) season five artists when the popular musical talent competition premieres during the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie Girl Vs. Monster on Friday, October 12 at 8:00 pm ET/PT and throughout the day on Radio Disney. This season’s winner will perform on the hit Disney Channel series “Austin & Ally,” have a new single released by Disney Music Group and be the opening act for popular Radio Disney recording artists at the “N.B.T.” finale concert and winner announcement this December in Los Angeles. In advance of the season premiere, Radio Disney will debut each artist’s first “N.B.T.” single on Monday, September 17, and singles will be available on iTunes Tuesday, September 25.
New to this season, Radio Disney and Disney Channel audiences will get a preview of each artist in their hometowns. The featured artists, ages 12-17, are R&B singers and actresses Chloe and Halle Bailey; acoustic pop singer and actress Katherine Hughes; R&B singer, dancer and actor Damian Otchere; modern rock and pop singer, songwriter and musician Jack Skuller; and pop singer, songwriter and actress Elle Winter. In addition to their own singles, new to this year’s competition, each artist will also perform a popular cover song. Throughout the season, viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look as contestants work with mentors including pop recording artist Cher Lloyd who’s single “Want U Back” hit #1 on Radio Disney’s Top 30 and top 10 on Mediabase’s Top 40, Ross Lynch and Laura Marano of Disney Channel’s hit series “Austin & Ally,” and “N.B.T.” season four winner Shealeigh.
“N.B.T.” season five voting will commence on Friday, October 26 (7:00 p.m., ET/4:00 p.m., PT). This season fans will have more chances to vote for their favorite artist with the addition of Twitter voting, and an expanded 10 votes per day per platform, which also include RadioDisney.com, Radio Disney’s Facebook page, and via texting* “NBT” to DISNEY (347639). Each artist will receive equal play and exposure, and at the end of each round, will face elimination based on listener votes.
Hosted by Radio Disney on-air personality Jake Whetter, “N.B.T.” is a daily multiplatform competition that launched the careers of Hollywood Records recording artist and Disney Channel star Coco Jones (“Let It Shine”), as well as Kicking Daisies, Shealeigh and Allstar Weekend, and puts the spotlight on aspiring young recording artists and provides them with the chance to showcase their music across national broadcast and online platforms.
Disney Friends for Change, a global initiative that inspires kids and families to take action and make a difference in their communities, today announced that Disney Channel stars Debby Ryan (“Jessie”), Bella Thorne and Zendaya (“Shake It Up”), and Ross Lynch and Laura Marano (“Austin & Ally”) will serve as Friends for Change Ambassadors, encouraging kids and families to make a lasting, positive change by helping people, communities, and the planet.
In collaboration with select non-profit organizations, Disney Friends for Change Ambassadors will lead campaigns to engage millions of kids to take action and volunteer. Each nonprofit will receive a Disney Friends for Change grant to further the reach and impact of the themed campaign. In total, $750,000 will be awarded to the following three efforts:
- “Helping Communities – Volunteer,” led by Debby Ryan and in collaboration with Free The Children (from June 29 – August 16)
- “Helping People – Be a Leader,” featuring Bella Thorne and Zendaya, and in collaboration with Free The Children (from August 17 – September 27)
- “Helping the Planet – Green Your Scene,” championed by Ross Lynch and Laura Marano, and in collaboration with TreePeople (from September 28 – November 30)
“We are so excited about the real difference kids are making every day using our action kits and volunteering in their communities,” said Leslie Goodman, senior vice president for Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy at The Walt Disney Company. “Through the leadership and encouragement of our Disney Friends for Change Ambassadors, we hope to inspire millions of more kids to take action and change their worlds.”
Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “The bond our viewers have with our talent is deep and powerful. As ambassadors of Friends for Change, our talent can serve as a megaphone for the importance of pro-active community involvement, motivating kids and their families to discover the many rewarding ways we can all make our world a better place to live.” He continued, “I often talk to my team about extending our value as a company beyond the TV screen, and this initiative does an exemplary job of that – and for this, I could not be prouder.”
As part of the program, Disney Channel will debut a series of interstitial messages, featuring the Disney Friends for Change Ambassadors beginning MONDAY, JUNE 18. Disney Channel, Radio Disney, and Disney.com will chronicle the Ambassadors throughout the summer as they volunteer and inspire kids of all ages to lead. Also part of the interstitial series and debuting FRIDAY, JUNE 29, Debby Ryan will share her personal experience volunteering in India through Disney Friends for Change with Free The Children, where she helped build a new school for a local village. Inspired by the stories and efforts of Disney Friends for Change kids, Debby helped to start the Ambassadors program.
To coincide with the on-air interstitials, Friends for Change will offer tools and resources at www.disney.com/friends where kids and families can discover additional ideas on how to make a difference. Site visitors are able to download action kits, learn more about the Ambassadors’ campaigns, and participate in the new Shout Out Module, an online forum that allows kids and families to motivate each other and exchange tips on actions to help their schools and neighborhoods. Families can also vote online to further support each Ambassador’s campaign and help thousands of more kids as a result.