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Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Gala was a who’s who among the music industry.
Epic chairman and CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid was the evening’s special honoree. Guests were treated to performances by Patti Smith, the Lumineers, Usher, Miguel, Emeli Sande and a duet featuring Jennifer Hudson and Gladys Knight.
Academy president and CEO Neil Portnow kicked off the evening with a welcome and a presentation of a video clip featuring Davis being presented with Billboards’s first Musical Visionary Award. Davis was honored at the magazine’s first Power 100 reception on Feb. 7.
Throughout the evening, the talent took to the stage. The one-year anniversary of Whitney Houston’s death was acknowledged with a 1991 video of her performance of “All the Man That I Need” before troops and their families at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Va.
Davis reflected on last year’s soiree and thanked Sean Combs for his speech. Houston’s brother, Gary, and his wife Pat, who was Houston’s manager, sat near the stage, according to USA Today.
Stars were excited to be at the exclusive event. CBS chief Les Moonves said Davis’ gala is “the invitation that everyone wants.”
After the Whitney Houston tribute, Jennifer Hudson sang Gladys Knight’s “Where Peaceful Waters Flow.” Knight joined her for a duet of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” followed by a rousing rendition of “Midnight Train to Georgia.”