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Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Gladys Knight: 12 Highlights From Clive Davis' Pre-GRAMMY Gala

Jay-Z

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Gladys Knight: 12 Highlights From Clive Davis' Pre-GRAMMY Gala

From the inspired performances to who attended and Jay-Z's joke as he left the stage, find out what happened at Clive Davis' big GRAMMY party blowout

GRAMMYs/Jan 28, 2018 - 09:28 pm

On your average Saturday evening in New York City, there are a lot of hot tickets in town. But no ticket packed more heat than the one that gained entrance to Clive Davis' And The Recording Academy's Pre-GRAMMY Gala.

Hosted at the Sheraton Times Square, the traditional party convened a cornucopia of stars spanning business, music, film, TV, and sports. Where else are you going to see the head of Starbucks, Martha Stewart and Cardi B in the same room? Only at Clive Davis' event and only in New York.

While Davis was the emcee, the night's guest of honor was 21-time GRAMMY winner — and eight-time 60th GRAMMY nominee — Jay-Z, who received the 2018 Salute To Industry Icons award in recognition of his unparalleled career as a rapper, businessman and philanthropist. The evening's performances paid tribute to both Hova and the vitality of the Big Apple. Here are 12 highlights from the program.

Who Was There?

The guest list was off the hook as expected. Some of the luminaries on hand to celebrate the eve of Music's Biggest Night were Quincy Jones, Jerry Seinfeld, Sean "Diddy" Combs, New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, composer Andrew Lloyd Weber, actress Katie Holmes, Cardi B, Mariah Carey, "Today" host Hoda Kotb, Martha Stewart, Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz Starbucks, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Barry Manilow Sparkles For New York

"What better artist to celebrate New York?" said Davis as he introduced the evening's first performer. Donning a sparkly black blazer, Brooklyn's own Barry Manilow dazzled with a two-song medley that doubled as a snapshot of the GRAMMYs' return to New York. He performed "This Is My Town," the title track to his 2017 album championing his home city, as well as an upbeat take of the Big Apple classic Frank Sinatra made famous, "Theme From New York, New York."

Luis Fonsi Spices Up The Night

Breakout Latin pop star Luis Fonsi lit up the room with his performance of "Echame La Culpa," coaxing most of the superstar audience out of their seats to dance to the infectious groove. Fonsi followed up with his biggest hit — and the biggest hit of the past year — "Despacito," proving the song is worthy of its three GRAMMY nominations going into Sunday's ceremonies.

Migos Bring Southern Rap Center Stage

Migos — Quavo, Offset and Takeoff — took command of the stage and dropped some rap in the form of their GRAMMY-nominated viral hit "Bad And Boujee." The Atlanta trio's rhymes were ruthless as the booming low end permeated the ballroom, knocking over a wine glass or two. Migos are also up for Best Rap Album for Culture.

Ben Platt Waves Hello

It's impossible to separate New York City from Broadway, and as one of the Big Apple's oldest traditions, there are few musical platforms with more star-making power. Ben Platt of the cast of GRAMMY-nominated show "Dear Evan Hanson" delivered a rousing rendition of "Waving Through A Window" that gave the crowd a look into not only why his show has been such a success, but also why he's a center-stage talent who is here to stay. The performance also served as a nice warm-up for Platt, who will be taking the GRAMMY stage on Sunday.

More Broadway With Leslie Odom Jr.

The authentic sounds of "Hamilton" were appropriately represented with Leslie Odom Jr. helming "The Room Where It Happens." The hit musical has reinvigorated theater all over the world, and given NYC is "Hamilton"'s backyard, Odom's flare positively electrified the ballroom. "'Hamilton' was a love letter to the inspiration that so many of you have provided us," he said.

Gladys Knight Reigns Supreme

On a night with this many stellar performances, it's impossible to pick just one standout. But perhaps even the stellar performers themselves would agree that Gladys Knight brought the house down. Starting with "Stand By Me," which wowed the crowd to their feet, Knight proved she can still command the stage. At Davis' request, she then performed "Midnight Train To Georgia," sending the room into a frenzy with nostalgia, reverence and excitement that seemed impossible to top.  

Alicia Keys Stuns With Jay-Z Tribute

Described as the "quintessential Renaissance woman" by Davis, Alicia Keys positively mesmerized the audience — including Jay-Z himself — with an inventive medley of the fellow GRAMMY winner's songs.

"I'm here tonight to do something really special for me, for us," said Keys. "I'm here to honor one of the greatest that's ever done it. I'm also here because before anything else I was a true fan of your music Jay. I still am."

Leading the charge at the piano, Keys then proceeded to play her "favorite joints" from Hova's catalog, taking the audience on a thrill ride through various moods and textures. The packed medley included excerpts from "Feelin' It," "Hard Knock Life," "Holy Grail," "Run This Town," "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)," and "Empire State Of Mind." The once-in-a-lifetime performance seemed almost too good to be true.

"That was like a dream," she said before leaving the stage.

Jay-Z's Speech

Introduced by Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow as the "ultimate music person" — and drawing a "Hova, Hova" chant — Jay-Z was visibly humbled by his recognition when he took the podium. During his Salute To Industry Icons speech, he thanked everyone from his wife Beyoncé to the Academy and Alicia Keys for her tribute.

Jay-Z also commended his fellow peers in the audience, many of them past GRAMMY winners and current nominees, and urged them to keep the path. "It's our duty to make sure that not only are we making the greatest art, that we're upholding and supporting things that are super real," he said.

As he left stage, Jay-Z clutched his new award and remarked, "This s* is super heavy."

Introducing Khalid

It's easy to forget on a night with so many massive names in the music world that Khalid, the teen pop prodigy, as some have called him, is up for a whopping five GRAMMYs this year. The young man from El Paso, Texas, reminded us why as he effortlessly sauntered through his laid-back hit "Young, Dumb & Broke." It is Khalid's ability to be natural that shows why he's had such a breakout year, and by nailing this high-pressure performance plus Davis' endorsement, why he's here to stay.

Khalid And Logic's Poignant Moment

It's been a bright spot in music over the past year and Logic and Khalid's moving "1-800-273-8255" proved to uplift the gala as well. The anthem for suicide prevention is truly about reaching people to let them know that there is help. And fittingly, Logic saluted Jay-Z for his help in being one of his primary inspirations.

Jennifer Hudson Channels  Aretha

Just when the crowd of celebrities and music industry executives thought maybe they'd seen it all, Jennifer Hudson took the stage to honor the great Aretha Franklin with a trio of numbers, starting with "Spirit In The Dark." Hudson demonstrated why she's today's go-to powerhouse singer as her voice climbed up and swooped down on "Oh Me Oh My," giving the gala's guests much more than their money's worth. To close the show, she launched into the Aretha classic, "Think," saying "This one's for me." She brought the house down with her soaring and soulful vocal work, channeling her hero, and enjoying every note.

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Photos: WireImage.com

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

Getting The Latest Music News Just Got Easier. Introducing: GRAMMY Bot. Find it On KIK and Facebook Messenger 

Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs

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Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs

The Hawaiian native takes home Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like" at the 60th GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 08:11 am

Feeling the 24K Magic, Bruno Mars' successful progress through the categories he's been nominated in at the 60th GRAMMY Awards picked up another one at Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like."


Christopher Brody Brown and Philip Lawrence co-write with Mars under the name Shampoo Press & Curl. The other winning songwriters for Mars' hit tonight in this category are James Fauntleroy and production team "The Sterotypes" — Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and  Jonathan Yip.

For additional "Finesse" on stage at the 60th GRAMMY Awards, Mars was joined by Cardi B for a reprise of their 148-million-views hit remix.

The Album Of The Year GRAMMY Award wrapped up the night and wrapped up Bruno Mars' complete rampage through his six nominated categories — now six wins.

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Mariah Carey Tells Fans Fire Music Is Coming With New Album 'Caution'

Mariah Carey

Photo: David Crotty/Getty Images

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Mariah Carey Tells Fans Fire Music Is Coming With New Album 'Caution'

The sultry R&B/pop superstar has announced she will release her 15th studio album next month – what will she bring us this time around?

GRAMMYs/Oct 17, 2018 - 05:39 am

Never one to do things quietly, the GRAMMY-winning R&B/pop diva with the angelic voice Mariah Carey came boldly onto the scene in 1990 with her GRAMMY-nominated debut self-titled album. At the 33rd GRAMMY Awards she took home her first two wins: Best New Artist and for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for "Vision Of Love," which she performed on the GRAMMY stage. The song was the album's first single and Carey's first No. 1 song. Since taking center stage at the beginning of the '90s the star hasn't looked back, releasing 13 studio albums and plenty of hits over the years. Four years after the release of her last album, she has announced that her next one is a month away. What will she serve up on her 15th LP?

The star recently shared on Twitter that her latest album is called Caution and will be released on Nov. 16, 2018. We first got a hint of a new album on Sept. 13 when she announced an album was in the works and released the lead single, "GTFO." The album's second single, "With You," followed on Oct. 4.

On "GTFO" she confidently asks a soon-to-be-ex lover "How 'bout you get the f* out?" in breathy vocals over a slow, melodic beat by GRAMMY-winning producer Nineteen85. "With You" feels like a classic Carey R&B love song with her angelic vocals backed by snapping and a melodic slow jam groove produced by hip-hop beat maker DJ Mustard, who lets her voice shine on an uncharacteristically mellow track for him. These songs hint that her latest release will give us songs that not only showcase her incredible vocal range and versatility, but also give us both nostalgia-inducing tracks as well as radio-ready hits.

"GTFO" gives us a taste of some of the new flavor that she is bringing to her new album, singing the song's coy lyrics completely in more-understated breathy vocals without belting any big high notes, not even during the chorus. It's a catchy, playful breakup song, as she confidently sings "get the f* out/how 'bout you take your tings and be on your merry way?/Fly off with the wind, bye bye baby/How 'bout you scusami, Mimi'll call you a valet."

The song was co-written and co-produced by Jeff Jefferies aka Nineteen85, who is half of OVO R&B duo dvsn and is responsible for producing some of Drake's biggest hits, including the GRAMMY-winning mega-hit "Hotline Bling." On the Drake's song "Emotionless" from his latest album, Scorpion, he samples Carey's lyrics from remixed classic hit "Emotions." Hopefully Jefferies has some catchy hits up his sleeve for Carey, and maybe even brings in some OVO artist surprises.

Carey has released some great collabs over the years, a majority with R&B and hip-hop artists, including Boyz II Men on heartfelt slow jam "One Sweet Day" from 1995's Daydream and Jay-Z on the upbeat classic belter "Heartbreaker" from 1999's Rainbow. We can only hope that the new album will offer some new, soon-to-be-classic hits with some of our other favorite artists.

Her most recent album, Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, released in 2014, had more collab tracks than usual for her, which could perhaps point towards some hot features on Caution. The deluxe edition of the 2014 album had six songs with other artists, including rappers Nas, Fabolous, Wale and R. Kelly as well as R&B singers Miguel and Mary J. Blige. The  album's lead single, "Beautiful," has Miguel and Carey singing a soulful, feel-good duet, while "Dedicated" features a bounce-y, electronic-infused hip-hop beat with a verse from Nas. Seeing that she worked with big-time hip-hop producers on the new album's lead singles, we can only hope that they not only offered their production genus to more of the tracks, but perhaps brought some of their friends into the studio as well.

Fans only have to wait a month for the full dose of new music from Carey, but until then we will send our prayers to the music gods that the album will feature all of our dream collabs, perhaps some old and new friends, and offer up some new favorite songs, with some to slow dance to and others to belt out in the shower.

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