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WHY WE CLIVE  

The Clive Davis-Recording Academy pre-Grammy gala was held Saturday at the Beverly Hilton. Several aspects make this event truly unique.

First would be the guest list. Artists, celebs, execs, politicians, songwriters and of course industry execs are all in same room, with the music being the tie that binds. During the night you can witness Jon Voight cleaning up a spill on the bar so that a random industry type doesn’t put his sleeve in it; Caitlyn Jenner pushing through to ask Weird Al if he’s going to do a parody song about her; Paul Stanley talking to Halsey; Kris Jenner giving Melanie Griffith advice on her upcoming Grammy party; Doug Davis and Nancy Pelosi trying to avoid talking too much politics; and Wiz Khalifa burning a joint in the men’s room before joining Amber Rose, who was chatting it up with a random industry weasel. And of course Joni Mitchell showing so much grace as she talked to guests and took photos. This was Joni’s first public appearance since she was taken ill.

These kinds of random encounters are all around you at this event. But part of this event’s charm is about random interactions.


Top pic: Clive with the great Joni Mitchell. Above: Clive rocks the vote with Nancy Pelosi and Neil Portnow; Doug Davis gets his ethos on with Monte Lipman; Clive and Neil Diamond wonder if carpool karaoke would work on a jet.

Next are the performances. Unlike most other events, almost no performers are announced in advance. The element of surprise is something that Clive loves. And based on the gala’s history of performances, no one doubts that star power will abound onstage and that the sound will be spot on. This year was no exception. From the cold open of Bell Biv Devoe and “Poison” to Neil Diamond closing with “Love on the Rocks” into a massive sing-along of “Sweet Caroline,”celebrating past and current music remained the theme. This list includes Chance the Rapper, Mary J. Blige, Maren Morris, Panic! At the Disco, Maxwell (singing “Nothing  Compares 2 U”), Mike Posner, DNCE, Jennifer Hudson (singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”) and a very moving tribute to Joni Mitchell by Judy Collins.

And finally, there’s Clive. As MC, he’s the glue that brings this all together. The speeches and the anecdotes about the biggest names in the room are much of the reason why this event is different.

It has heart. It has passion.

While most everyone has heard variations of the speeches before and can anticipate the shout-outs, there is no denying his love and enthusiasm for music, the business of music and those who create it.

And remember Clive is 84 years old. Think about that next time you begin to whine about how tired you are during Grammy weekend.

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