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Melissa Ruggieri

Features reporter

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for Atlanta Music Scene blog on, and she remembers when MTV was awesome. Melissa 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

Tori Amos commanded the stage alone, with only her piano and keyboard as backup.

Concert review: Tori Amos a commanding presence at Atlanta show

Call it art rock. Call it baroque pop. Classify Tori Amos’ music however feels right. Nearly 30 years into a career (counting the Y Kant Tori Read days), Amos’ oddball genius and tremendous piano playing is sturdy as ever on her 14th studio album, the recently released “Unrepentant Geraldines” and ...

Toto's Steve Lukather is loving life as he celebrates the band's 35th anniversary.

Toto's Steve Lukather talks 35th anniversary, touring with Michael McDonald

“If I were any better I’d burst into flames.” And so goes the greeting from Steve Lukather – founding member of Toto, master session guitarist, sometime-member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band and one of the happiest dudes around. Lukather, who is a proud fourth-generation Californian – “But only when I’m ...

Soulja Boy will bring some drama to the new "Love & Hip Hop" series on VH1.

Soulja Boy, Ray J part of new 'Love & Hip Hop' cast

Though it’s based in Hollywood, the latest installment of “Love & Hip Hop” will include at least one cast member with Atlanta ties – Soulja Boy. The rapper who found a moment of mega-fame with 2007’s "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" will be joined by Ray J, Omarion, Lil Fizz and Teairra ...

Taylor Swift gets twerking in "Shake it Off" video.

Taylor Swift dismisses haters in 'Shake if Off' video from upcoming '1989' album

Finally, Taylor Swift is admitting she’s a pop star. With the Monday release of “Shake it Off,” the grabby new single from her upcoming Oct. 27 album, “1989,” Swift acknowledged that her fifth release marks her “first pop album.” Working again with producers Max Martin and Shellback (they teamed for ...

Chicago, posing in Chicago.

Chicago, REO Speedwagon talk joint tour

It’s a lite-rock fan’s dream bill, the pairing of Chicago and REO Speedwagon for the first time in their respective histories. Between them, the bands have sold more than 80 million records and, primarily in the ‘70s and ‘80s, kept the chart trackers busy with a parade of hits, including ...

Motley Crue thrilled a multi-generational crowd during their farewell tour stop in Alpharetta.

Concert review: Motley Crue says goodbye to Atlanta with fiery show

If this really is the end – and, considering the elaborate press conference and “cessation of touring agreement” signed in January by the band, it seems more sincere than the empty words of Kiss and Cher – then Motley Crue wrapped it up right. With a nearly two-hour barrage of ...

Garth Brooks is now playing seven shows at Philips Arena in September.

Garth Brooks sets Philips Arena record, now playing seven shows

Regardless of your thoughts about Garth Brooks, you have to admit: He sets some pretty high standards. The country behemoth broke his own record for tickets sold in Atlanta after two additional shows were put on sale Saturday morning, and then two more – for Sept. 26-27 – were added ...

FGL will keep the party train rolling with "Anything Goes," out in October.

Florida Georgia Line says 'Anything Goes' for new album

The Florida Georgia Line juggernaut will continue this fall when the chart-topping duo releases its next album, “Anything Goes.” Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard (from Monroe) announced details of the release during their Friday morning performance in New York for the “Good Morning America” summer concert series. During their set, ...

Cody Simpson brought his acoustic tour to The Loft earlier this year.

Cody Simpson heading to Mall of Georgia

Aussie pop star Cody Simpson will swing by the Mall of Georgia in Gwinnett County on Saturday as part of Teen Vogue’s “Back-to-school Saturday” initiative. The “ABC’s of Style” event, from 2-4 p.m. at the Village Amphitheatre, will include a fashion show, product giveaways and a performance from Simpson, along ...

Gene Simmons and KISS played Lakewood last month.

Gene Simmons' depression comments provoke outrage from Nikki Sixx, fans

[Update: Friday night, Simmons posted the following clarification/apology about his remarks on his Facebook page: "To the extent my comments reported by the media speak of depression, I was wrong and in the spur of the moment made remarks that in hindsight were made without regard for those who truly ...