HOLLYWOOD — The stars are no different from anybody else who watched the Grammy Awards. Herbie Hancock winning Album of the Year, Amy Winehouse's speech and Kanye West's performance were all hot topics as Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Nas, Kelis, Jermaine Dupri, Janet Jackson and several other heavyweights filled the Hollywood restaurant STK for the Entertainment Weekly Grammy afterparty.
(Flip through photos from all of the 2008 Grammy parties here.)
"I told Kanye the same thing happened to me," Usher laughed in the wee hours of the morning, comparing his Album of the Year loss to Ray Charles a few years ago to West's stunning loss to Herbie Hancock this year in the same category.
"I think Amy Winehouse should have won," media personality Perez Hilton was overheard saying.
While Grammy night's big winner, Winehouse, was a globe-trot away, Kanye was at the party and was really only interested in the reception he got while debuting his long-awaited video for "Flashing Lights."
"I feel like a brand-new artist that just signed yesterday," West said before playing his video on a large wall via projector. West, who co-directed the clip with Spike Jonze, said that "every piece of the video is me, what I represent now."
The video is a hodgepodge of sex appeal, brashness, grace and humorous storytelling. Basically, the short revolves around a lady taking out her frustrations on a bound-and-gagged West in the harshest way.
Let's just say that in the part where Kanye raps about his girl saying, "Where are you, Yeezy?," he apparently didn't have a good enough answer.
"The video is f---ing incredible!" Nas said. "Nobody wants to be different. Everybody wants to be the same, and Kanye always comes with some other sh--. He's not afraid to be different."
In the stars' VIP section, Nas and Kelis' space was next to Chris Brown's and Rihanna's. Across from them were Jay, Beyoncé and Michelle Williams next to L.A. Reid's and Usher's tables. Owen Wilson sat at his table drinking water. Quincy Jones and the Time were also in the house. Funny enough, it seemed like the entire party filed in from various parts of the club to the spacious VIP area. As you can imagine, things got tight.
"I think DJ Cassidy DJs just for me," L.A. Reid said of the night's planned spinners, Cassidy and Jermaine Dupri. "He plays everything I wanna hear. JD better keep up."
Dupri never did make it to the ones and twos — he was too busy partying with Janet. You could see JD dancing in a circle when Cassidy threw on newcomer O'Neal McKnight's "Check Your Coat."
"Hey, haaaaaay!" Dupri yelled with a smile.
Chris Brown had his sights set on dancing as well.
"If I see Janet or Beyoncé, any of them, I'mma get all up on 'em," he joked before he went into the party doing some exaggerated gyrations.
Brown also told MTV News that, although he didn't win a Grammy this year, he might have to jack a certain presidential candidate's award. "Let me get that Grammy, homie," he said, addressing Senator Barack Obama, who wasn't at the party, but won a trophy for his audio book. " 'Fo I send some people to come see you."
There was some good old-fashioned shoulder-rubbing, as the celebs continued to roll in throughout the night, and old-school records from Bobby Brown, Guy and Bell Biv Devoe played in the background.
Usher talked to Jay-Z, manager Benny Medina escorted Oprah's friend Gayle King, and Beyoncé greeted Star Jones with a hug and kiss.
"Hey, mama," Ashanti, holding Nelly's hand, said to Michelle Williams. The Destiny's Child member gave her a hug and a smile.
Busta Rhymes embraced "Girlfriends" star Golden Brooks, then started talking to DJ Felli Fel. Meanwhile, Mario popped up, holding down the table that was previously set aside for Nas and Kelis.
As the night went on, some stars left while more streamed in from other parties. Jay and Beyoncé slid out, and when Chris Brown and Rihanna were leaving, Usher stopped C. Breezy.
"Hey, man. Where are you going?" Ush said with a smile. The two joked for a while before giving each other a farewell handshake. Mariah Carey came in shortly after.
Across town, Chris Brown, Mark Ronson, John Legend, the Black Eyed Peas' Tabu, Janet Jackson, Jermaine Dupri, Jay-Z and Beyoncé were also among the guests who hit up the Sony BMG party at the swanky Beverly Hills Hotel.
The mood was slightly different at this bash, where the stars didn't seem to want to talk about the burgeoning Vince Gill/ Kanye West feud or Winehouse's big wins. They just wanted to get down to the real business at hand.
"I don't want to talk about that," a decked-out Natasha Bedingfield told us. "I want to party."
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