After the last Grammy was handed out Sunday, the dash toward one of the night’s countless post-show parties was immediate. It was the last night of partying till the wee hours to celebrate big wins -- or drown those losses with an open-bar cocktail.
As crews worked to dissemble the many moving parts that made up the Grammy stage, hundreds of attendees crammed the Convention Center next door for the official after-party.
A very pregnant Ciara performed a lengthy set, and Boyz II Men repurposed its current Las Vegas show with a set packed with crowd-pleasing covers and hits.
The Convention Center had been transformed into a vaudeville showcase -- there were dancers dressed as gangsters and flappers, acrobats jumping and flipping on a giant trampoline and sexy burlesque dancers. All that was missing were circus animals (although Meek Mill’s party in the Hollywood Hills apparently featured lions and camels).
Across town, events from Universal Music Group, Republic Records, Billboard and Warner Music Group were among the night’s hot tickets.
In the week leading up to Sunday’s big show and parties, afternoons were filled with decedent brunches and late nights with artist showcases.
Here are a few highlights from the week:
On Wednesday, Essence’s Annual Black Women in Music event celebrated British soul singer Emeli Sandé, who was curiously absent from the list of Grammy nominations. The event was held at 1 Oak, where the women’s magazine placed the spotlight on Sandé, who performed from her debut, “Our Version of Events.” The audience was packed with a who’s who of R&B, including Ledisi, Michelle Williams, Leona Lewis, Kelis, Kelly Price, Sevyn Streeter, SWV, Tank and Chrisette Michele.
Miguel capped his recent banner year by anchoring a concert sponsored by Levi’s at the Fonda in Hollywood. He spent the last year opening for Alicia Keys and Drake, and his set was another display of his nimble live presence.
Roc Nation’s annual pre-Grammys brunch was Saturday’s golden ticket. Another gathering of Jay Z’s inner circle of elite power players, the incredibly exclusive affair -- we hear Lorde was among a number of acts that got turned away due to overcrowding -- was set up at the Beverly House, where such movies as “The Godfather” and “The Bodyguard” were filmed.
As guests filed into the back yard of the sprawling estate, copious amounts of Jay’s endorsed cognac, D’Ussé, were passed around, and numerous stations packed with delectable dishes such as truffle mac and cheese, white cheddar grits and customized omelets got repeat visits.
The guest list was a doozy: Rihanna, J. Cole, Wale, Kelly Rowland, Willow and Jaden Smith, Calvin Harris, Rita Ora, Diane Warren, Ne-Yo, Grimes, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Meek Mill, T.I. and Sylvia Rhone could be spotted. Jay spent lots of time chatting with guests including longtime friend Steve Stoute as they enjoyed one of the fresh cigars hand-rolled on-site.
Late Saturday, Ne-Yo’s annual Midnight Brunch packed Lure Nightclub in Hollywood. Will Smith held court in a booth, waving and posing for pictures with partygoers. Paris Hilton was spotted grooving on the dance floor while singer Marsha Ambrosius and friends took shots of the Ne-Yo-endorsed Malibu Red (rum infused with tequila, it’s tasty -- and potent). Akon, Tamar Braxton, MGK, Cassie and Omarion were also spotted taking in the festivities, which featured a spread of late-night eats including chicken and waffles.
If there was an award for Grammy party of the year, the honor would undoubtedly go to Dr. Dre’s and Jimmy Iovine’s launch party for Beats Music.
The line to get into the Belasco Theater stretched down the block more than two hours before Friday’s top-secret show was scheduled to begin.
To drum up excitement for its much-hyped, recently released music-streaming app that’s supposed to be a sturdy competition to Spotify, Dre and Iovine had a single mission: to bring a playlist to life.
The party showcased a ‘90s hip-hop Beats playlist curated by Eminem’s longtime manager, Paul Rosenberg, as performed by the artists themselves. Over a tightly packed hour, some of hip-hop’s most revered acts breezed through the hits that helped define the decade.
The once-in-a-lifetime show was a rap fan’s fantasy come to life. Opening was Ice Cube with his classic “Today Was a Good Day.” Cypress Hill, Geto Boys, Souls of Mischief, Pharcyde, Method Man & Redman, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Nas quickly followed. And then came Dr. Dre, Blackstreet, Diddy and Mase, Busta Rhymes and a surprise medley from Eminem, who closed the show with “My Name Is,” ’'Forgot About Dre” and “Lose Yourself.”
Jazzy Jeff served as the DJ and the iconic Fab Five Freddy hosted the event. J. Cole and Miguel were spotted watching from one balcony, while Pink could be seen dancing along on an adjacent balcony. Paul McCartney held court in the VIP area, sitting between Macklemore and Iovine, and Drake was flanked by an entourage as he headed to a corner to take in the show.