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Melissa Ruggieri

Features reporter

Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment and maintains the Atlanta Music Scene blog on accessAtlanta. She started at the AJC in September 2010 writing features and entertainment stories and covering Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Florida International University and a master's in English from Virginia Commonwealth University. She previously worked as the pop music critic at the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 1996-2010 and at the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida from 1992-1996. She lives in Atlanta with her husband.

Latest from Melissa Ruggieri

The marquee for “Holler If Ya Hear Me” at the Palace Theatre, located in the heart of Times Square at the corner of Broadway and 47th Street. The theater most recently housed “Annie” and is well-known as the site of “Liza’s at the Palace,” the 2008-09 Liza Minnelli concert special. MELISSA RUGGIERI / MRUGGIERI@AJC.COM

Kenny Leon’s ‘revolution’: Ensuring Tupac’s ‘Holler’ is heard on Broadway

NEW YORK — Kenny Leon is leaning toward the crowd, microphone in hand as if he’s about to burst into a rhyme.In his sporty uniform of the day — black Adidas tracksuit, snowball-white baseball cap and plum-colored sneakers — Leon looks like any of the thousands of tourists swarming Times ...

Atlanta hard-rock band Mastodon will celebrate the release of its new album, “Once More ’Round the Sun,” with a listening party at the planetarium at Fernbank Science Center. (Travis Shinn)

Atlanta rockers Mastodon to celebrate new album at planetarium

Atlanta hard-rockers Mastodon will release “Once More ’Round the Sun” Tuesday, and the night before they’ll hold a hometown listening party at the Jim Cherry Memorial Planetarium at Fernbank Science Center.Fans who pre-order the new album at Criminal Records in Little Five Points will receive a pass to attend the ...

Katy Perry’s stop at Philips Arena June 28 will include an opening set from Capital Cities. (Christie Goodwin)

Summer nights: What concerts will move you this season

If school’s out for summer, it must mean Alice Cooper is nearby. He is. Or, at least, he will be later in the season when he opens for Motley Crue on their Final Tour. But if eyeliner and shrieking guitars don’t thrill you, there are dozens of other musical styles ...

Future chills at Triangle Studios in Atlanta. MELISSA RUGGIERI / MRUGGIERI @AJC.COM

Atlanta rapper Future aims for honesty

Future plops his lanky frame into a chair, shades on and a tangle of two-toned dreadlocks tucked under a knit cap. “Let’s talk,” he drawls, as a cloud of smoke swirls in the studio lights above his head. The 30-year-old Atlanta rapper is feeling a bit sluggish on this late ...

CounterPoint 2014

Relocated CounterPoint marks Outkast's return

When the stage lights illuminated the frames of Andre 3000 and Big Boi as they stepped onto the Coachella stage a couple of weeks ago, any Outkast fan, whether in the massive crowd in California or watching the historic moment live on streaming video, felt a little zing of something. ...

Weezer performs on Day 2 of Music Midtown 2013 at Piedmont Park in Atlanta on Saturday, September 21, 2013. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Post-Braves game concert acts announced

Veteran R&B-funk party band Kool & the Gang, teen heartthrob Austin Mahone and classic power-pop-rockers Weezer will entertain Braves fans after a trio of games this season. All concerts are free with a paid ticket to the game. Kool & The Gang, now in its 35th year, will bring its ...

Atlanta’s Janelle Monae performed during the 2012 Songs for Kids event. Photo: Jessica Lewis

500 Songs for Kids concerts to benefit ill children

It’s the epitome of random – and that’s what makes it so cool. Every year since the creation of the Songs for Kids Foundation in 2007, the organization has staged 500 Songs for Kids, a series of live performances held around town to benefit the Atlanta-based non-profit. Some years, local ...

Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. Photo: Joseph Llanes

Lady Antebellum stays golden

On a rare day off from Lady Antebellum’s “Take Me Downtown” tour, Dave Haywood was hanging out at the Nashville home he shares with wife Kelli and their dog, Spinee, engaging in typical country music star behavior: catching up on laundry. The tour is in support of the band’s fifth ...

Fans dance to Yves V at the main stage during the TomorrowWorld electronic music festival in Chattahoochee Hills, South of Atlanta, on Saturday September 28th, 2013. The event has been the world's most popular electronic music festival in Europe for years. It is in the United States for the first time on the nearly 500 acre Bouchaert Farm.

Study: TomorrowWorld had $85m impact

Last fall, when marquee electronic dance music acts commandeered Bouckaert Farm in south Fulton County for a three-day weekend festival, no one really knew what to expect. Seven months after TomorrowWorld brought pounding beats, 300 DJs, massive stages and enough confetti to cover the 500 acres of farmland, the financial ...

The Goo Goo Dolls are (l-r) Robby Takac (bass), John Rzeznik (vocals) and Mike Malinin (Drums). Photo: Asia Geiger.

Goo Goo Dolls, Boyz II Men, Rick Springfield highlight 2014 Delta Classic Chastain series

The Delta Classic Chastain series presented by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will bring some classic rock, a little “Motownphilly” and smooth jazz to Chastain Park Amphitheatre this summer.Here is this year’s lineup.The Friday night concerts:June 27: The Temptations and the Four TopsJuly 11: Goo Goo Dolls and Daughtry with special ...