Thursday, May 23, 2024

Grammy Update: McCartney Mesmerizes, Katy Perry Donates


Showbiz411 readers: we are still posting here all the time. But Showbiz411 has also sort of overnight hooked up with Forbes magazine’s The stories are there, but it’s  like we’ve moved into a house before all the construction has finished. But keep checking on a regular basis as Grammy weekend proceeds.

And basically, I’m just back from the first of three marathon nights of music: the Paul McCartney MusiCares Person of the Year dinner. I was backstage after the show with the survivors–the show was long, and the most complex I’ve ever seen in the football field sized LA Convention Center. Besides McCartney, who played a lot, peformers included Alicia Keys, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall and James Taylor, Coldplay, Allison Krauss, Neil Young with Crazy Horse (Paul and Neil are currently BFFs), Norah Jones, Katy Perry, Elvis Costello narrated a video, the Foo Fighters.

Eddie Izzard was the host–and this was funny–he was seated waaaay at the back of the room at my table. We were cracking up. And he was brilliant on stage. McCartney imported performers from the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show “Love”– acrobats and actors and trapeze artists were all over the room and even used a big rotating circular stage.

Katy Perry was so excited about singing “Hey Jude” that she pledged $250,000 from royalties from her latest single to MusiCares. I thought Neil Portnow was going to explode from happiness.

The food was vegetarian–I’m sorry, it was indigestible. Many people rejected it and just ate dessert and bread. I have to give credit to Paul McCartney–every event he’s featured it is vegan. No fish even! This is why he looks so great. But he doesn’t he sneak an In-and-Out Burger sometimes? Tony Bennett’s daughter mentioned she’d gone to Pink’s earlier in the day for a hot dog. It was cruel.

In the audience: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Carole King, Jack Nicholson, Piers Morgan, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Jackson, Smokey Robinson and–yes–Yoko Ono at the main table. For a while she just sat and chatted with Paul’s son James.


Meanwhile, Clive Davis prepares for his big event tonight at the Beverly Hilton. He has Ray Davies and Diana Ross and tons more stars. How will he top this? Who knows: Maybe Barack Obama will duet with Al Green. Another long night of great music. When are those Grammy Awards anyway?

PS Thanks to John and Lee Eastman, and to producer Tommy LiPuma. They’re the guys behind the Wizard’s curtain.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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