BEVERLY HILLS, California (AP) - Clive Davis isn’t letting national politics affect his famed pre-Grammys party.
The veteran music executive says his annual event will be at capacity again this year despite moves elsewhere in Hollywood to scale back awards season soirees.
Celebrities have used acceptance speeches and red carpet appearances at recent awards shows to voice their concerns about President Donald Trump. The more serious mood prompted talent agency UTA this week to replace its big traditional pre-Oscars party with a political rally.
But speaking Thursday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel alongside soul singer Maxwell, Davis said “there is no impact whatsoever” on Saturday’s gathering of business and tech leaders, actors, musicians and other celebrities. (Trump himself attended the event years ago when it was held in New York.)
“There was a hunger for this night,” the 84-year-old music mogul said. “The audience is totally glittering and special. You can’t wait to see all of these cultural-influencing forces be in one room, one night.”
Performers will include Chicago’s Chance the Rapper and Maxwell, who performed last month at the Women’s March on Washington at the invitation of Harry Belafonte, who was an honorary co-chair of the event. Davis said he expected a rising level of political engagement by fellow musicians, well past Grammy weekend.
“It’s like the ‘60s and the ‘70s again, isn’t it. A great time for art. A great time to be able to say something that needs to be heard,” he said. “I just hope that in this time, people start using their voices.”
Davis, meanwhile, says he used his voice to make sure there was a focus on music as producers crafted a documentary about his life, “Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of our Lives.” The movie was selected to kick off the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
“That’s more than cool. I’m from New York. I’m from Brooklyn,” he said, “and to open at Radio City Music Hall, which is the first theater I ever visited in Manhattan when I was 13 years old - that night of April 19 will be very special.”
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