Grammy honorees find love

Hollywood

It was supposed to be all about the gals at the second annual Essence Black Women in Music celebration Feb. 9, as Grammy week festivities kicked off with a bang. But all eyes at the Playhouse Hollywood’s multi-level club remained glued to two of the music industry’s most powerful men.

The excited rumble began as Sean Combs swept in, looking more like a businessman suited up for work than a hip-hop mogul, then reached a crescendo as Prince snuck in through the back door, surrounded by a phalanx of massive bodyguards decked out in diamond bling.

Both men showed up to celebrate the rise of Janelle Monae, the night’s honoree and featured performer. The tiny tuxedoed woman with the big hair and huge voice who was discovered in Atlanta by Combs is on tour with Prince, and nominated for two Grammy Awards. Monae accepted her Essence honor with a demure “I’m just a girl from Kansas, really.” Then shouting to the balcony, she added, “Yay, Mom, we’re in Hollywood now!” – — Jenny Peters

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