Inside the Clive Davis 2023 Pre-Grammys Gala

On the eve of the Grammy Awards, the stars of the music industry rejoiced to be able to resume the tradition of coming together for a night of honors, reputation and breathtaking talent. Here are a few things we learned from Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala on Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

  • The Swiss Beatz makes a funny impression on Davis
  • According to Cardi B, Atlantic Records’ Julie Greenwald is a “bad ass bitch.”
  • Elvis Costello considers Nick Lowe “his hero”.
  • Joni Mitchell really likes the sound of Latto’s “Big Energy”.
  • It’s always great fun to sing with Frankie Valli, especially when he’s backed by four Italian rockers who have something to brag about.
  • Atlantic Records’ Craig Kallman spent his childhood poring over the fine print of album credits, looking for “legendary” names like Ahmet Ertegun, Mo Ostin and, of course, Clive Davis.

“It’s been an overwhelming experience for me,” Kallman told the crowd as he and Greenwald received the industry icon award, acknowledging their success as leaders of Atlantic Records and their respective long accomplishments in the business. field of music.

Greenwald, who was presented by Cardi B with Bronx flair, also brought an aw-shucks attitude as she accepted the praise.

“Not bad for a Jewish girl from the Catskills,” Greenwald said, recalling her early years working for Lyor Cohen at Rush Management and Def Jam Records.

“We were against the world and we brought rap into the mainstream,” she said.

Greenwald has also used her platform to urge space to fight the growing cases of prosecutors using rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials. (California passed a law banning the practice last fall.)

“It’s unimaginable, but I assure you it’s happening,” Greenwald said, calling it a “threat to free speech.”

Greenwald and Kallman were celebrated as part of Atlantic Records’ biggest 75th anniversary celebrations. Singer Lauren Daigle stunned with a fiery rendition of Dusty Springfield’s 1968 Atlantic hit, “Son of a Preacher Man.”

The evening began with a surprise performance from Kevin Costner, who discussed his experiences working with Whitney Houston and Davis in the 1992 film The Bodyguard. Despite the jubilant mood in the Hilton’s International Ballroom, the specter of Houston’s death in February 2012 lingered throughout the hotel, hours before Davis’ party started that year.

“Your fingerprints on your life are clean, my friend,” Costner told Davis from the stage. “You were a miracle in his life. Thank you for being his bodyguard.

Jennifer Hudson also paid tribute to Houston with a rousing performance of Greatest Love of All.

The first performance slot went to Måneskin, one of this year’s Grammy nominees for Best New Artist. The Roman rock band took the stage with “I Wanna Be Your Slave,” followed by “Beggin’,” a cover of the 1967 Four Seasons hit. Davis then called Four Seasons frontman Valli onto the stage playing his first solo hit “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” in 1967.

Davis has presided over the gathering, which Costner has dubbed “the party of parties” since 1976. As usual, he narrated the evening from the stage between performances by Lizzo, Sheryl Crow (who paid tribute to Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie ) and Elvis Costello, who was joined by Juanes for several tracks, including a catchy Rendition of Lowe’s (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.

Swiss Beatz took the stage to remind the crowd that hip-hop “started out as a rebellious act” that is now making a lot of money for the executives in the room. He also gently teased Davis with an impression of his deep, serious voice.

Rappers Lil Wayne and Lil Baby then turned up the volume as the night ended. Myles Frost, star of Michael Jackson’s Broadway musical “MJ”, closed the evening.

Many attendees and performers spoke of the joy of being able to reunite in person after two years of pandemic conditions. But no one captured that excitement quite like Latto, who shone in a bodysuit as she strutted onstage with her hit “Big Energy.”

“I can’t believe I’m here,” she told the crowd with a big smile.


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