While Grammy Week is traditionally loaded with parties and showcases and every stripe of event, many veterans agreed that 2019 might be the most event-filled one to date. The week started off with events like Bebe Rexha’s Women in Harmony brunch, a BMG party headlined by Margo Price, a listening session for Def Jam’s forthcoming “Undisputed” compilation and many others, and segued into the weekend on Thursday night with a pair of A-list throwdowns: The Spotify Best New Artist jam at the Hammer Museum in Brentwood and the Warner Music party at the Nomad downtown. (This article will be updated with more events throughout the weekend.)
As it did last year, the Spotify jam featured performances from the Best New Artist nominees, but this year the Grammys have expanded the nominations for the big awards from five to eight. So six of the eight nominees performed short, 3-4-song sets: Dua Lipa (pictured above), Chloe X Halle, Jorja Smith, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha (pictured, top) and H.E.R. While the sound tended to get lost in the Hammer Museum’s soaring ceiling, the insanely packed event ran smoothly. Dua Lipa — who did double duty, performing at both the Spotify and Warner parties — kicked off with her hit “Electricity,” accompanied by energetic dancers. Sister duo Chloe X Halle, who became exponentially more well known last weekend by performing “America the Beautiful” at the Super Bowl, played an elaborate setup with a large, all-female backing band; Smith delivered her sultry Winehouse-esque R&B; Margo Price brought country flair; and Rexha, fired up from her Women in Harmony event that afternoon, grew annoyed with the schmoozing crowd and actually stopped her hit with Florida Georgia Line, “Meant to Be,” in an (ahem) outspoken effort to get people to focus. H.E.R. wound down the event with her sultry R&B.
Before the show, Price said of her presence on the bill, “I am really excited. I feel like I’m very different than a lot of the artists. I’m incredibly happy to be here and represent roots music. I’m playing my own instruments and writing my own songs. I know there’s one other artist that’s on an independent label — most of the artists here are on major labels. I’m really thrilled to be representing the other side of the coin.”
Roc Nation hosted its annual pre-Grammy brunch at a private estate in Bel Air. The theme, #BlackExcellence, was hailed by attendees like Jay Z, Nipsey Hussle, Meek Mill, Swizz Beatz and Didd, the invite-only event was presented by PUMA, American Express and Barclays Center. A highlight included an impromptu — and inspiring — toast by Kevin Hart. Said Hart as Jay-Z and Meek Mill cheered on: “I’ll tell you what. If you around these group of people and you’re not motivated by what you see — you’re a loser. Losers like to lose, winners win. Winners win because they surround themselves with winners. I’ll be damned if I’m not around a bunch of f—ing winners. Be inspired, be motivated, and ask yourself, ‘do you want it?’ Because if you do, you get in rooms like this.”
Later on Saturday night, LVRN took over the entire courtyard of Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood for a party to celebrate 6lack’s Grammy nomination for best rap/sung performance. Those who were lucky enough to get inside were met with an open bar, DJ Osh Kosh on the turntables, heat lamps, and a large outdoor tent to shield the rain. 6lack was in attendance with his girlfriend QUIN, as were Quavo, Lil Dicky, Rich The Kid, and Soulja Boy — who later got on the mic to perform timeless hits such as “Crank That” and “Shootout.” The evening also served as a birthday celebration for Interscope A&R executive Tim Glover and Amber Grimes, SVP of Global Creative at Capitol Records.