Last night (Jan. 25), a slew of entertainers attended the shindig in their most snazziest of attire.
*Clive Davis and the Recording Academy has announced that exiting “X Factor” judge and Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid will be honored at next year’s annual pre-Grammy gala.
Reid will get the President’s Merit Award in recognition of his “significant contributions to the music industry and the impact his efforts have had on music and the business of music,” according to a press release. Previous recipients have included Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, Sir Richard Branson, Clive Davis, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Berry Gordy, Doug Morris and Mo Ostin.
The event will be held on the eve of the Grammys, Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Performers or additional VIP guests have yet been announced.
The gala will also mark the one-year anniversary of Whitney Houston’s death. Last year’s gathering turned out to be a somber event, as the iconic singer died in her Beverly Hilton Hotel room less than 24 hours before she was scheduled to attend.
Tuesday’s announcement comes just one week after Reid revealed that he would not be returning as a judge for “The X Factor’s” third season, instead investing renewed energy and vigor into his full-time gig of running the Sony music label. “Of course, I will miss the show,” Reid said in a statement. “In my opinion Simon attracts the best talent but I’m looking forward to getting back to my core business and the responsibility of running Epic Records.”
She of course was referring to the death of Whitney Houston on the same day (Saturday) in the same building (the Beverly Hilton Hotel).
“On the one hand, we’re there to celebrate the music industry, but on the other, we’re filled with such grief to the loss of Whitney Houston. For me, it was an evening of contradictions, but I was still glad we were able to gather.”
Now, however, TMZ is reporting that the party is still on … minus the man himself, Clive Davis.
Our sources say Davis is currently at his home in Los Angeles. We’re told he is surrounded by close friends.
The party is taking place at the Beverly Hilton, where Houston was found dead earlier today. She was scheduled to open the party.
Last year, she treated the crowd to a medley of “Walk On By,” “I Say A Little Prayer For You” and “That’s What Friends Are For.”
See the video below of her performance made on a camera phone by an audience member:
Meanwhile, in the video below, Houston is seen at a rehearsal for Davis’ party sharing words of advice and encouragement to Brandy and Monica, who were scheduled to perform tonight.
As EUR reported earlier, singer Whitney Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. As of this posting, the cause of death has not been revealed. She was 48.
*Ann Powers, LA Times music critic writes …
It was another official Night to Remember. Yet despite a showstopping appearance by Mary J. Blige and other performances of note from Harry Connick, Jr. and Maxwell, the event didn’t hold its audience.
Many famous faces exited just before midnight; by the time Jamie Foxx came out to close the show less than an hour later, the venue was perhaps one-third full.
The rapid loss of heat affected the impact of what was happening onstage. Jennifer Hudson’s heartfelt two-song tribute to Barbra Streisand (who stayed to witness the honor) didn’t bring down the house the way her post-”Dreamgirls” appearance had a few years previous. Rob Thomas and Santana were lively, but the empty seats before them suggested the fading moments of a wedding reception.
Why did this happen? There were other parties to attend, for one thing. The Roots and Ne-Yo both hosted late-starting events; in fact, the R&B crooner was part of that big-name exodus.
Read the rest of Ann Powers’ review HERE.
*The music world celebrated Grammy weekend at tributes, rehearsals, parties and styling suites. Here’s a look:
PRE-PARTY BLOWOUT: Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to Barbra Streisand in song, Mary J. Blige gave a gut-wrenching performance in honor of her musical mentor and Rihanna made more than a fashion statement as the stars aligned for Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy blowout.
Davis’ party is always a must for the music industry’s A-listers, and they were out in force at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for Saturday’s gala: Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, the Black Eyed Peas, Jane Fonda, Usher, Quincy Jones, Wyclef Jean, Akon, Carrie Underwood and more mingled together at the exclusive event.
Rihanna hung out with gal pal Katy Perry and Perry’s new fiance, comedian Russell Brand, for much of the evening. Her appearance was notable because it was after she and then-boyfriend Chris Brown attended the Davis party last year that Brown assaulted her.
This year, she partied with friends like …
(Read MORE of this AP report by Nekesa Mumbi Moody, HERE.)
Also, See photos of Rihanna, Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige and lots more from the event, HERE.