The Grammy Awards are about to go down on Sunday, but the night before the Grammy Awards is when the artists famously let loose and watch some headline-making performances take place at the pre-Grammy gala hosted every year by longtime Sony-BMG exec and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Clive Davis. In the past, Davis has launched new artists, re-launched careers and generally made a splash at the yearly shindig.
As usual, exactly who will be performing at this year’s show is unconfirmed, but in years prior Whitney Houston relaunched her career at the bash, and the party has served as a kind of debutante ball for current superstars like Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Fantasia and Leona Lewis . This year, everyone from Prince to the Jonas Brothers to Mary J. Blige has been rumored to be sitting in a ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel when the party kicks off on Saturday night. And, it’s rumored that Hudson, Ke$ha, Carrie Underwood and Maxwell may grace the stage.
“Well, you don’t upstage a previous year but you really have the criteria to say, ’Why is it the hottest ticket in town?’ Because every year come up with a few surprises,” Davis told MTV News on Thursday about the party. “Every year we come up with a few duet possibilities, and you see artists perform together that you’ve never seen before and you never will see again. I remember from the past Lou Reed with Rod Stewart, or seeing Aretha [Franklin] with Alicia Keys. Hopefully this year we’ve got a lot of special events and special artists performing and hopefully it will be memorable.” Davis did say that Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas, who scored a huge hit in 2000 with “Smooth,” will team up for a cover of Cream’s classic “Sunshine of Your Love.”
Davis said that a lot of celebs who don’t attend the Grammys still attend the party. “Somehow, people are flying in that don’t go to the Grammys, but they are going to the pre-Grammy gala,” he said. “And that guest list has everyone who’s nominated in a key category is obviously going to be there.
“So whether it’s new artists like Keri Hilson or established artists like Tony Bennett or Sheryl Crow breaking bread, that’s the place to be,” he continued. “And that’s where they will see it in an intimate ballroom and have the chance to see artists celebrate music. So every year Jay-Z is there and Russell Simmons and Puffy, and Lil Wayne this year, and Prince comes back.”
Stick with MTV News all week for our coverage of the 2010 Grammy Awards. We’ll have reports on your favorite nominees, party photos, behind-the-scenes video and much more leading up to and during the big show Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.