Light Mode

2000 BMG Post-Grammy Party

HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 23, 2000 — When all 98 winners had been announced and host Rosie O’Donnell said her farewells, Grammy attendees filed out with one thing on their minds — other than their sore butts, that is.

It was the after-parties, in which one can schmooze and socialize, or as rocker Meredith Brooks put it, “one night a year you can really count on catching up with everybody.” The biggest of these was thrown by recording giant BMG at Quixote Studios in Hollywood. The production complex was spinning with lights, deejays, and multiple screens. Stars such as Courtney Love, Howard Stern, Melissa Etheridge with Julie Cypher, Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche, Arista chief Clive Davis, tennis pros Venus and Serena Williams and others feted the soiree.

Outside, execs for BMG — which owns RCA and Arista, among other labels — gloated over the company’s 25 wins, thanks largely to Santana’s eight-Grammy sweep.

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“We swept the awards, so it doesn’t get any better than this,” said Strauss Zelnick, CEO and president of BMG, whose roster included winners TLC, Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston. Aguilera, who won Best New Artist, arrived late in the evening wearing a Grammy-gold ensemble, a change from the silver dress she sported during the awards. Shivering in the cold, she said “it took me a couple seconds to get my bearings, I was not prepared whatsoever so I was a bit overwhelmed.”

Other stars baring the same amount of skin arrived in the chilly night ready to party, buzzing about everything from Santana’s victory to Jennifer Lopez’s dress (or lack thereof).

“Oh my God. It went down like this and then it opened up,” proclaimed one member of the girl group Nobody’s Angel, gesturing in the air. “It was very sexy, a lot of skin. She had the body to wear it.”

“Kid Rock’s performance was the hippest, raddest thing that’s ever been on CBS,” MTV veejay Carson Daly proclaimed. “He had a bunch of strippers onstage dressed in American flag bikinis.”

Newer acts such as Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony and Diana Krall gave all in their performances, which impressed some of music’s veterans. Crooner Barry Manilow, for instance, said he liked Will Smith’s opening number while Faith Hill “knocked me out tonight. Not only is she beautiful but she sang so beautifully.”

Jazz legend George Benson, who performed onstage with Diana Krall and Erykah Badu, said, “I liked Britney Spears’ performance, it was good. And those young kids that were on; that was wonderful to see that kind of musicianship coming out of kids like that.”

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The evening was meaningful for the Backstreet Boys, who came up empty-handed but were still thrilled with their nominations.

“That means a lot to us. We’re constantly striving to get our music accepted out there by everybody,” said Backstreeter Howie Dorough. “To not be a ‘boy band.’ We like to be considered more a vocal harmony group, like Boyz II Men and all these other groups out there. … And to be looked in the industry now as a credible group that hopefully won’t be around like a flash in a pan means a lot to us.”

But the Grammys themselves didn’t escape a couple potshots, and we’re not talking about the ones O’Donnell took at Puff Daddy and Whitney Houston. Driving up in his own car and dressed down for comfort, Daly let slip his true opinion of the recording industry’s biggest night.

“It’s lame,” he said bluntly. “It’s a real egotistical night, to be honest with you. It’s nice to see people get awarded for their hard work and all that appreciative stuff. I’m sure everyone can agree with that. You work hard and somebody recognizes it, but by and large, it’s a very surreal night. There’s so many limos, it’s a little obnoxious.”

Echoed electronica artist Moby, who presented an award, “I was in a zoo of sleazy pop stars … [but] I should probably keep my opinions to myself on who’s the sleaziest because I don’t want to get shot in a drive-by.”

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