Jennifer Hudson, as expected, delivered the big finale at Clive Davis’ annual pre- Grammy party Saturday at the Beverly Hilton.
Justin Timberlake unexpectedly fell ill, however, and a couple of pinch-hitters — Black Eyed Peas and Smokey Robinson — found themselves in the evening’s lineup.
Hudson, freshly signed to Arista, one of the BMG labels that Davis oversees, delivered her first public performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” since the release of “Dreamgirls.” Beyond Hudson, Christina Aguilera delivered the evening’s most striking set, complete with a 12-piece band and four dancers. Carrie Underwood and Akon also delivered; Pink sang Kris Kristofferson‘s “Me and Bobby McGee,” emulating Janis Joplin’s version.
Charles Goldstuck, the president and chief operating officer of BMG North America, introduced Motown founder Berry Gordy, who in turn introduced Davis, the chairman-CEO of BMG North America.
Biggest ovations — in terms of standing and audio — were reserved for Davis’ date, Whitney Houston, and former vice president Al Gore.