Clive Davis speaks at the pre-Grammy Gala and unveils the evening’s final cast member

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The Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala — better known as “the Clive Party” — is a celebration like no other, a place where you can see Bey and Jay at one table and Barbra Streisand and Nancy Pelosi up close. You totally see one. -one-of-a-kind performances from some of the world’s biggest stars: Highlights over the years include Brandi Carlile singing Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’, Beck singing ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ with the surviving members. of Nirvana and Lionel Richie blasted the roof off the Beverly Hilton with a double take of “All Night Long” and “Dancing on the Ceiling”.

The party, a pre-Grammy tradition that has been held the night before awards shows since 1976, has been on a pandemic-related hiatus for three years, having practically been held in 2021 and skipping the last year. But that weekend is here again, and Thursday afternoon Variety headed to the Hilton for another pre-Grammy tradition, an interview with the man himself two days before the party. In the short chat below, he reveals the closing act of this weekend’s party and more.

How is the party developing this year?

The party is going great – the enthusiasm, the anticipation, the vibe, the RSVP list, the show, everything. You know, people used to compare the party to Swifty Lazar’s [legendary pre-Oscar party], but that party was cocktails and dinner and then I went to the Oscars. All that and the show! And it’s also a great opportunity during cocktails and dinners to see people you’d like to see and maybe you’ve never met. I remember Tim Cook being excited to meet Joni Mitchell and then going to talk to David Hockney who became my friend. I need to set up a special smoking area when he is here, he is a militant smoker.

Do you have any Hockneys?

I do! where is my phone This year, along with Serena and Venus Williams, I became Dr. Fauci and others at the National Portrait Gallery, and they ask you to choose an artist to paint you for the museum. And it was the biggest shot by a long shot, but David and I became friends and I called

I personally told him, “Look, if this is somehow inappropriate, I apologize. But I want to ask you because you would be my favorite artist to paint me if you could. He said: “Yes, but you know, I’m in Normandy, France, I’m not in LA, and I don’t make pictures from pictures. So you must come to Normandy for at least three full days. And that’s what came out of it.

(He holds up the photo.)

It’s a big thrill. And David probably came to three or four Grammy parties, when he was in LA I introduced him to Joni Mitchell, I put her on the same table. They became lifelong friends. I brought Brandi Carlile with them over the next year so people could meet their special hero.

This will be Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul’s 23rd Grammy party coming up.


Yes, there will be. [Apple chief] Tim Cook is coming. There are many first time visitors who are very satisfied and seem to have heard the legend and want to come.

Last summer, Brandi headlined Joni’s big comeback concert in Newport. Can you remember any other great collaborations like this that came out of it?

After Alicia’s debut [Keys’] album, and she had won Grammys and gone multi-platinum, I approached her afterwards and I said, What will your next dream be? And she thought for a few minutes and said, ‘You know, I’d like to work at your party with Aretha. Can you arrange a performance for me?” And of course I did. It was very special.

I think this year the guest list is better than ever?

I would say that somehow some of the biggest movie stars come from the movie star perspective.

Is there a theme to the musical performances or is there something celebrated or observed or something?

Yes, I don’t want to give away tonight, but there are certain things that are celebrated. Sorry I can’t be more specific.

I try to get at least one actor out of you every time we do this interview. I saw an executive in the lobby leading me to believe that Lauren Daigle is doing – is there anyone else you can tell?

OK, without trying to be stoned or reject the idea, I’m doing it because he will be the last performer of the night. As you know, the show can last a few hours, so one day early I say, ‘If you leave before the end, leave at your own risk because you will miss the last artist of the night. The producers of Michael Jackson’s Broadway musical have seen the impact of the party over the years and have agreed to have their incredibly talented star, Myles Frost, fly here for the weekend and play the final.

do you do michael jackson songs?


The party is known for their duets, apart from Aretha and Alicia, what are some of your favourites?

Oh…Whitney and Natalie Cole. Rod Stewart, Lou Reed and Slash [from Guns N’ Roses]. Barry Manilow and Jennifer Hudson sing “A Weekend in New England”. This year there will be a duet at the party. I mentioned it at the Billboard Power of Women event yesterday – where I unexpectedly followed Bad Bunny! (Laughter) I said a big rock star would duet a big Latin star. I did not recognize the name.

Will Bad Bunny perform?

Now we’ll see!


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