The biz was out in force to cheer Joel Katz as he received the City of Hope’s Spirit of Life award Thursday night (11/10) at a lavish gathering on the Santa Monica pier. Irving Azoff and Sir Lucian Grainge both paid their tributes—the former conducting a veritable mini-roast and claiming to start his run for Governor (“We’ll build a wall around Google”) while the latter hailed the honoree’s creativity and generosity and handed him his award. Warner Bros.Peter Gray was also among the presenters, while Capitol Nashville’s Little Big Town was one of several Katz-indebted acts turning in a spirited performance.

A video tribute featuring Doug Morris, Neil Portnow, Lionel Richie, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Al Sharpton, the CMAs’ Sarah Trahern and others (including several members of the Katz family) noted the Mouth of the South’s menschiness, intelligence and loyalty.

Spotted in the crowd were … well, everybody. Here are a few of them.

Portnow, Katz and Azoff ponder their longtime goal of simultaneously brokering, commissioning and handing out trophies for something. Meanwhile, super-manager/entrepreneur Scooter Braun offers to call Katz an Uber.

Republic chieftain Monte Lipman brings the ethos in this power pose with Katz, shortly before sampling the brisket.

Sir Lucian and Katz suggest a quick yachting expedition in the Pacific to performers Little Big Town and Michael W. Smith.

Among those who were soon freestyling country lyrics after tasting the "Moonshine" house cocktail are (front row): Don Passman, Eric Wasserman, Evan Lamberg, Amanda Marks, Robert Stone, Charles Goldstuck, Azoff; (second Row): David Renzer, Clark Miller, Portnow, Gray, Bruce Resnikoff, Richard Palmese; (back row): Jason Peterson, Zach Horowitz, Gary Stiffelman and Jason Morey.

Photos by Lester Cohen