LOS ANGELES — Ludacris had already called it backstage at the Grammys: He has no plans for Monday because Sunday night he planned on partying like — well, a man who won two Grammy Awards.
The multiple winner (see “Timberlake Rocks; Blige Weeps; Chicks, Chilis Clean Up At Grammys” ) set up shop at Social Hollywood for a party sponsored by XM and hosted by Queen Latifah, where there were a few stages to get your party on. You entered through a main room where DJ Felli Fel was spinning and Cirque du Soleil-type dancers hung from the ceiling. Then if you were lucky and persistent enough, you might be able to make your way up a tiny stairwell into a VIP party room.
People were almost fighting for a spot because even if you had the necessary blue VIP wristband, you were greeted with, “We’re filled to capacity. No one else is getting in.”(See photos of Beyoncé, Scarlett Johansson, Gnarls Barkley and others keeping the party going at post-Grammy celebrations.)
One lady simply walked up to the dreaded gate keeper and informed him that he needed to let three of her friends up. Right away he adhered to her demand. When said gatekeeper started getting looks that asked, “What gives?” he told the mob, “Hey, that was Ludacris’ mom. I had to do it.”
Later, Luda and his mom could be seen chilling with Kanye West and his mother upstairs. West was also one of the few stars that was actually dancing. The celebs did do a lot of talking, though. Chris Tucker was kickin’ it with India.Arie, while good friends Quentin Tarentino and the RZA held court with some ladies. Queen Latifah shared a few laughs with Nick Lachey and his girlfriend, Vanessa Minnillo.
Busta Rhymes, Tichina Arnold, Anthony Hamilton, Vida Guerra, Angie Stone, Destiny’s Child (minus Beyoncé), Shemar Moore, John Singleton, video director Little X and even Keisha Knight-Pulliam all flooded the VIP area, while snacks such as chocolate cookies with powdered sugar and a small serving of vegetables with blue-cheese dressing were served downstairs.
Looking around at Latifah’s party you could see former “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” star Corin Nemec by the DJ booth; Mr. Eko himself, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, surveying the dance floor and Sticky Fingaz and some friends sitting off to the side as Kevin Federline and a small entourage walked into the sea of revelers trying to get in the VIP section.
Meanwhile, Tyrese, Twista and Talib Kweli were all having a rough time even getting into the building. Ne-Yo, however, had no problem getting anywhere, and took time out from partying with Luda to promote. When Felli asked him to get on the mic, the singer told everyone his new album comes out April 24, and introduced his new song, “Because of You.” Shortly after the sexually charged ditty was played twice in succession, some of the ladies were handed safe-sex gift bags to take home.
Anyone who knows anything about Los Angeles knows downtown is not where the party’s at, but that all changed Sunday when Warner Bros. Records hosted their annual post-Grammy soirée at a venue actually near the Staples Center. And the term “venue” doesn’t do justice to the Cathedral, a huge and breathtakingly beautiful refurbished church.
Speaking of world leaders, this year’s WB party was so hot Al Gore himself was on hand to witness the global — or at least local — warming. And if you thought Diddy ’s entourage boasted some beefy security, wait until you down free drinks next to the Secret Service.
Warner Bros. certainly had some things to celebrate, but the label’s big winners, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, were fetching their limos well before 11 p.m. Fortunately, multiple-award-getters Gnarls Barkley represented, with Cee-Lo flashing his huge smile to anyone who came near and drummer Chris Vrenna sharing secrets from their Grammy day — I bet you didn’t know actor Dermot Mulroney was one of the cellists in Gnarls band for their Grammy performance (see “Christina Talked Private Parts? Who Was Sick? Grammy Moments You Didn’t See” ).
Next to Gore, the big must-see star at the Warner shindig was fellow non-musician Scarlett Johansson. And for the indie dudes, the beautiful Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley getting down to the DJ spinning some Ludacris was an unforgettable sight.
Grammy parties are all about connecting, though, and there was plenty going on in the smoky haze of the Cathedral. Diddy and T.I. united posses, and Louis XIV singer Jason Hill, Hot Hot Heat frontman Steve Mays and “Rock Star: Supernova” finalist Ryan Star chatted each other up for at least 15 minutes. Where better to make new friends then at church?
The show’s over but there’s plenty of Grammy hotness here on MTVNews.com. Check out photos of the hottest red-carpet and onstage action; join our reporters as they hit all the Grammy week parties; and let us know what you think about the performers, winners and losers. Plus see videos of all the nominees on MTV.com and check out exclusive video footage from the big night right here.