Pre-Grammy Gala to fete Clive Davis

Rechristened event will salute industry icon

It’s still a Clive Davis party. But don’t call it the Clive Davis party.

The Recording Academy this year has taken over the legendary fete at which Davis’ new discoveries and music giants perform to a crowd of industry chieftains and celebs.

Rechristened the Pre-Grammy Gala, the Feb. 7 event will incorporate the Salute to Industry Icons ceremony traditionally held immediately after the Grammy Awards. And this year’s honoree is … Davis himself.

“This is a transitional year,” Recording Academy president/CEO — and former Davis employee at Arista Records —Neil Portnow tells Variety. “We’ll preserve what’s great about Clive’s event.

“Everyone feels Clive is a great statesman for the industry, and Clive understands and welcomes going beyond what had been a label-centric event next year. We’ll determine who we want to honor and we’ll produce the event in a way that allows us to honor the individual musically.”

Talks about making an official Grammy event of the Davis party — which has had an increasing number of sponsors over the last few years — began long before the economic crisis hit, Portnow says.

This year’s gala will again take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where it has been ensconced since fire marshals clamped down on the event at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

But next year, Portnow notes, a larger ballroom will be open at L.A. Live, the complex adjacent to Staples Center and the L.A. Convention Center where the main Grammy events are held.

“It provides an opportunity to do things on a different scale,” he says.

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