BEVERLY HILLS, California — At Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party Tuesday night, one man managed to surprise an A-list audience with two of music's biggest stars, reunite a legendary R&B group, spontaneously re-create one of hip-hop's greatest tracks and find the fantasy in Fantasia ... all in about 45 minutes.
And no, it wasn't Clive Davis.
The famed music mogul's name was on the invitation, but the night clearly belonged to Jamie Foxx, whose one-of-a-kind set had more surprise twists than an episode of "24."
The actor-turned-surprisingly-successful-singer took the Beverly Hilton ballroom's stage shortly before midnight, crooning the "Slow Jamz" hook into a diamond-studded microphone, ad-libbing lyrics and breaking into verses from some of R&B's greats.
After seamlessly segueing into "Unpredictable" and bringing out Ludacris for his verse, Foxx paused behind his piano to address the room of megastars (Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Diana Ross, to name a few) and bigwigs (Quincy Jones, L.A. Reid, Russell Simmons ... you get the point).
"Some say hip-hop killed the R&B star," he said. Then, before finishing his thought, he broke into "Warm Bed," leaving the piano and pacing the stage, sharing dirty thoughts of what he wanted to do to his girl. Suddenly, he looked out in the star-studded crowd and wondered aloud what a woman would do back. He slowly walked off the stage and eventually came to Fantasia, who was quick to play along, sitting Foxx down and seductively dancing around him. "I'm a young girl," she belted back. "And I will do young girl things."
"I'm a grown man and you don't even know your body yet," Foxx sang back. "I'll make the back of your knees wet." He stopped himself just short of leaving her his hotel-room key, then asked for a reaction from a younger singer. "Mario, show us that sweet voice," he said, welcoming the young singer for another impromptu collaboration.
Then, just when you thought it was over, Foxx said he wanted to hear from some older men. "Ladies and gentlemen, Jodeci," he sang as the group sprinted onstage, singing Foxx's "Do What He Do." A few dozen vocal runs later, Foxx finally finished his thought: "R&B is back."
With that out of the way, Foxx moved on to a little hip-hop, and pulled some more tricks from up his sleeve. He launched into Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman," now known as the sample for "Gold Digger," so who better to make a surprise appearance than Kanye West himself?
"Get down girl, go ahead get down," West rapped, announcing between lines that he actually wants the crowd to get up. "It's reverse psychology," he deadpanned.
As Kanye finished the final verse, a glowing Foxx started pointing to the crowd, and within seconds Doug E. Fresh was on the mic, beat-boxing along to "Gold Digger." As Fresh transitioned into his most famous track, "La Di Da Di," Foxx corralled Snoop Dogg to join him, taking on Slick Rick's verses like they were his own.
"Where's Jay-Z?" Foxx yelled at one point as Kanye danced behind him. (Jigga had unfortunately already busted out.) "Sometimes your words just hypnotize me," he sang along with Snoop, summing up his performance.
"It's an honor to work with Clive Davis," Foxx said before the show, praising the man he would later imitate onstage. "From Barbra Streisand all the way to 50 Cent, he knows music."
Davis also knows how to throw a party, probably because he's been doing it for 30 years. And like every other year, Tuesday's event was a celebrity extravaganza, beginning with a red-carpet traffic jam where Ashlee Simpson trailed Kiss' Paul Stanley, Maroon 5 bumped into the Neptunes, and Carrie Underwood gushed over the Foo Fighters.
Davis' event is also known as a coming out party for some of his hottest young acts (Alicia Keys was introduced at his Grammy party a few years ago) and Tuesday night was no different.
After a hits set from Rod Stewart, Davis proudly welcomed Chris Brown, the 16-year-old Usher-in-training who danced and sang through the one-two punch of "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" and "Run It." On his heels, Davis also introduced R&B singer Heather Headley, comparing her to a young Anita Baker and Whitney Houston.
Kelly Clarkson followed, wailing "Since U Been Gone" and slowing down for an acoustic take on "Because of You," easily the night's most vocally perfect number.
"It's an honor to perform in front of some of my favorites," she told the crowd. "I mean Mary J. Blige!"
Blige was scheduled to close the show herself, but with performances running late, she was forced to miss her set so she could rehearse for Wednesday's Grammys (see "Jamie Foxx And Kanye Go For The 'Gold,' U2 And Mary J. Team Up At Grammys").
Fantasia — who performed a Luther Vandross tribute with Anthony Hamilton after Foxx — stepped in, singing Vandross's "Power of Love" to close the night.
Celebrating 30 years of Arista, Santana and Rob Thomas also performed the label's biggest hit, "Smooth," earlier in the night, and the label's first artist, Barry Manilow, sang a medley of hits. Davis also used the event to announce some label news, stating that his J Records just signed Pearl Jam.
So perhaps Foxx can work Eddie Vedder into his show next year.
The show's over, but there's still plenty of Grammy goodness right here on MTVNews.com. Check out photos of the hottest green-carpet and onstage moments, find out what went down at the celeb-packed parties, and share your thoughts on the performers, winners and losers.