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Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan is quite simply one of the most influential, well-regarded, and well-known names in Hollywood. He is the quintessential Hollywood insider who...Full Bio


Ava Max Gets Emotional Recalling Trying to Make It: ‘There Was No Plan B’

Ava Max’s rise to the top didn’t come overnight. The Heaven & Hell songstress joined Ryan Seacrest on-air on Wednesday, December 2, and recalled trying to make it as a teen after moving across several states to pursue her career.

Ava, whose debut album Heaven & Hell features top hits including “Sweet but Psycho” and “Kings & Queens,” shared she first came to Los Angeles when she was just 14 after being encouraged by her equally talented songstress of a mother. She then returned again when she was 17, this time solo along with her brother who served as her manager. 

“At 17 I came out alone with my brother and it was scary,” Ava admitted. “I had no friends. I was a little bit depressed, anxious, like all the emotions running through. Like, ‘What am I doing here?’” She added. “… My brother was managing me at the time. It was so strange! … But, I think definitely we made it work somehow.”

With her debut album on the rise and making the Forbes "30 Under 30" list among other accolades, Ava still has that pinch-me moment.

“I get emotional because you know I had been trying at this dream and these goals for so long with my entire family," Ava added. "Seeing them come to America with nothing and then seeing them make it and then seeing them losing it all to help me make it and now me supporting them, it all comes full circle. I get super emotional thinking about it. … I think, ‘Oh my God, 15 years of trying and trying and here we are.’ … There was never a plan B.”

On the heels of the release of Heaven & Hell, Ava’s also blessed fans with a new holiday track, “Christmas Without You.”

Credit: OAWRS Zoom

So how will she spend the holidays this year?

“A lot of baklava,” she teased. “A lot of spanakopita pizza. We have a thing called baklava belly and it doesn’t go away until mid-February,” she joked of indulging in the rich, sweet dessert.

Watch back the full Zoom interview with Ava above for more.

What are you hoping for this holiday season? On Air With Ryan Seacrest has teamed up with Macy’s to help build the perfect holiday wish list. Check out to build your own wish list for all your gifting needs. Once you make your wish list, go to because for every letter submitted to Santa online or dropped off safely in-store, Macy’s donates a dollar to the Make-A-Wish foundation, up to one million, as part of Macy’s annual Believe campaign.