Clive Davis just cannot help himself. He outdoes himself every year at his annual powerhouse packed pre-Grammy party last night at the Beverly Hilton. So revered is esteemed Clive; the attendees and performers pay tribute to him and his love of music with a night that is probably the most coveted ticket of the year. The first act of the night, Bell Biv DeVoe sang their hit, “Poison,” Minority Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi then introduced Clive who pointed out four celebrities who summed up the evening, “Joni Mitchell, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Jane Fonda.” He added that Ringo Starr, Barry Gibb, John Legend, Berry Gordy, Beck and more where present as well. Clive noted, “we honor the genius of Prince,” followed by Maxwell’s amazing rendition of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Chance the Rapper, Best new artist Grammy nominee, had the crowd jumping to his, “Coloring Book.”
But Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s classic jaw dropping rendition of “”Hallelujah,” made the jaded jaws of the room drop. Dressed in angelic white, she simply had the whole powerhouse packed room speechless.
Mary J. Blige then came on to honor BET’s Debra Lee, who was presented with the Industry Icons award. Mary surprised the crowd by opening up about her current status. “Right now in my life, I need strength like yours, because I may look happy, but I’m going through some horrible stuff right now. It’s called divorce.” She then sang her recent single, “Thick of It,” then went into her signature hit, “No More Drama, “ to which she dramatically ended it by falling on the stage.
Grammy President Neil Portnow, said, ‘off script,’ “Mary we all love and support you in this room.” He then introduced Debra Lee who noted, “I would be remiss if I didn’t say, yes I’m proud to be the first woman receiving this award, but I won’t be the last.”
Best new artist Maren Morris played her mega hit, “My Church,” followed by DNCE’s “Cake By The Ocean.” Judy Collins, sounding like she did in the 60’s, paid homage to her friend Joni Mitchell with “Both Sides Now.” “Panic In The Disco,” as well as Mike Posner, who spurred on the crowd more by quipping, “hey I’ve worked hard to get here, make some noise,” then went into his Grammy-nominated song of the year “I Took a Pill in Ibiza.” Clive introduced the final act of the night, Neil Diamond by saying, “he’s an Artist’s artist, a Songwriter’s songwriter.” Neil started with “Love on the Rocks, then did a double version of “Sweet Caroline,” with the whole room joining in. And what a room.
What can you say about an event, that even in the third tier of the Beverly Hilton, the VIPS at those tables were Kathy Griffin seated next to Judy Collins, Cameron Crowe next to Joni Mitchell, (Cameron, a true music fan, was truly flabbergasted to near one of his “all time idols.” Jared Leto with a pull over hat on also claimed his love for Judy.
Kris Jenner stopped by to gush over Judy as well. Her date, daughter Kourtney was palling around with Britney Spears. Kris’s ex, Caitlyn Jenner, was next to Jon Voight at another table, kindred spirit Republicans. Next to them, Apple CEO Tim Cook and his deputy Eddy Cue. Chance the Rapper, went up to Tim Cook and told him, “Besides Clive, you’re my idol here.” Gracious Tim returned the compliment. Where else do you see Stevie Wonder, pranking Motown Founder Berry Gordy by coming up behind him, putting his hands on Berry’s bald head and exclaiming loudly, “Hey, you know who this is?’ Prompting Berry to crack up equally as loudly. Common, Puff Daddy and LL Cool J all huddled together right in front of the stage. Britney Spears, Michael Keaton, Wiz Khalifa, with the smell of pot around him, holding hands with recently single Amber Rose. Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh with their sister wives, Barbara and Majorie, were all together. When Joe and Marjorie were seemingly leaving early, someone said goodbye to them to which Marjorie replied, “you kidding? We’re only going to the bathroom. We’d never leave this early.”
A slimmed down Lena Dunham was there with her rock star boyfriend Jack Antonoff. Lena told us, “I’ve never been on a diet. But I keep losing weight.” She’s shedding “Girls” after six years.
Also spotted: John Legend, Paris Jackson, Taraji P. Henson, Metallica, Rita Ora, Lorde, Paula Abdul, Tori Kelly, Jessie J, Diane Warren, Elle Goulding and so many more.
Lee Daniels came in a bit late, and wrapped his arms around Gordy and stayed with him all night, and both coming to pay homage to legendary producer Richard Perry. Clive’s longtime pals were there in force. The always-luminous Barbara Davis, and her equally lovely philanthropist daughter Nancy Davis with her terrific husband, entrepreneur Ken Rickel. Another indefatigable entrepreneur Nikki Haskell, George Schlatter and his wife Jolene, Barbara Streisand’s longtime manager Marty Erlichman, CBS’s Les Moonves and Julie Chen, and more of Clive’s loyal entourage were there enjoying this truly incredible night.
Another one for the record books. Hard for even the Grammys tonight, to top this one. Rock on Clive!