The usual flotilla of music stars turned up on stage and off at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy gala at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills Saturday night.
The event – a three-decade tradition hosted by veteran exec Davis, currently chief creative officer at Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide — honored Universal Music Group Worldwide chairman and chief executive officer Doug Morris. For the second year, Davis’ bash was melded with the Recording Academy’s “Grammy Salute to Industry Icons.”
The schmoozey, see-and-be-seen dinner and tribute concert featured performances by a glittering array of Universal and Sony talent. Musical honors for the evening belonged to Mary J. Blige, who moved the crowd to their feet with volcanic perfs of “No More Drama” and “I Can See in Color,” featured in the pic “Precious.” Morris climbed on stage to embrace the singer.
A close second was Jennifer Hudson, who paid homage to Barbra Streisand (attending her first Davis gala) with versions of “People” and “The Way We Were.”
Other acts included Black Eyed Peas (with Fergie backed by guest guitarist Slash on Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine”); Ke$ha (performing her hit “TiK ToK”); Maxwell (featuring material from his Grammy-nominated “BLACKsummer’s Night”); Harry Connick Jr. (dueting with Carrie Underwood on “All the Way”); Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas (reprising their Grammy-winning hit “Smooth”); and Jamie Foxx and T-Pain.
Top Universal execs Jimmy Iovine and Jim Urie were among the label staffers present to salute Morris, who was introduced by previous Icon inductee and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr.
A host of entertainment industry luminaries were spotted mingling at the pre-dinner reception and in the ballroom, including Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Herbie Hancock, Smokey Robinson, Sheryl Crow, Russell Brand, Kelsey Grammer, George Lopez, David Spade, the Beach Boys’ Al Jardine, Kiss’ Paul Stanley, the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift and Rihanna. Davis namechecked dozens more from the stage during the course of the evening. Recording Academy prexy Neil Portnow, seemingly omnipresent during Grammy week, also took the stage.
Quincy Jones, also in attendance, declined to tell reporters the names of artists who will participate in Monday’s recording session to remake “We Are the World.”