STEVIE WONDER, GLADYS KNIGHT, MARY J BLIGE, LUTHER VANDROSS and WYCLEF JEAN all took to the stage last night (February 20) at one of LOS ANGELES most glittering pre-GRAMMYS parties, NME.COM can reveal.
The stars, who all performed solo sets as before an evening-closing jam, were at former Arista Records boss Clive Davis’ annual get-together in the Beverly Hills Hotel, an event known simply as ‘The Party’.
Gladys Knight took to the stage first, singing ‘Georgia On My Mind’, before Alicia Keyes, a new signing to Davis’ J label, followed.
Sometime Fugee Wyclef Jean was next up. He was joined by Mary J Blige, fresh from an earlier appearance at the ‘Rock the Vote’ fundraiser (Click here for further details), resplendent in leopard catsuit and Purdey blonde bob tipped in red.
A now slender Luther Vandross worked through a mini-hits selection before Stevie Wonder wrapped up the solo sets with a run through some of his classic standards. He was joined round the piano by the others for the grand finale.
“What I want to do is continue a wonderful tradition,” Davis told NME.COM, “to celebrate music, have all my friends and the heads of companies and all the artists. I’ve had it for 25 years. It’s been a wonderful tradition.”
Davis, founder and former head of Arista Records, established J Records in August 2000 in a deal with BMG said to be valued between $150 and $180 million.
He has been responsible for the careers of artists from Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith to Whitney Houston and Eurythmics, and helped mastermind the return of guitarist Carlos Santana.
NME.COM’s reporter has already been out and about at the parties where the Grammy hopefuls and performers have been gearing up for tonight’s action in Los Angeles, and spoke to the stars at the ‘Rock The Vote’ event last night – Click here to read the story.
And we’ll be schmoozing with the groovers post-awards after the last champagne cork has been popped at the Staples Center.
So for the lowdown on the winners, the reports on who went where afterwards and the juiciest LA goss, click back to NME.COM’s glittering Grammys special tomorrow (February 21).