“Y’all can be anywhere in the world and the fact that you said yes to this invite, it is no small thing,” said Janelle Monáe, kicking off Grammy week with a private listening session that turned into a full-blown dance party on Tuesday. The star was in the middle of the floor, twirling with the crowd.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart, first and foremost,” she went on inside Harriet’s, the rooftop bar of the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood. “The one thing I wanted to do with this project is honor the present. Honor the present. I’ve missed so many moments by focusing on, ‘What’s next? What’s next?’ But we are in the present. We are here. And this is our life. And this is an experience that we’re going to have together. Without further ado, let’s play the mother f-cking music.”
The stars were out to play for the Grammys, which was back in L.A. after relocating to Las Vegas last year.
Missy Elliott, Wiz Khalifa, Anderson .Paak, Ty Dolla $ign, Chika, Choppa, Saweetie, Nile Rodger, Rico Nasty, Jax, Gayle and Omar Apollo were among those who came out for Warner Music Group’s pre-Grammy bash at the Hollywood Athletic Club on Thursday. It was the same night Stella and Paul McCartney celebrated her latest Adidas collab, and Spotify threw its annual Best New Artist event at the Pacific Design Center. A hot ticket, it featured performances by all the nominees in the category — including popular newcomer Omar Apollo and Brazilian star Anitta.
“We took inspiration from the ’90s, early 2000s, Ralph Lauren-Jean Paul Gaultier vibe,” stylist Ron Hartleben said of her head-to-toe Levi’s ensemble. “I knew I wanted to design an unconventional look for the denim staple to really make it unique.”
The next day, Slick Rick was the man of the hour at a party thrown by MC Lyte and Google Pixel (a sponsor alongside Fiji Water) at The Four Seasons to toast his Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Meanwhile YG was at Fred Segal with Bia, The Kid Laroi, Jeleel and DaniLeigh for the pop-up launch of his lifestyle brand 4Hunnid.
Later that night, the place to be was at Steve Stoute’s UnitedMasters concert at the Hollywood Palladium; Brent Faiyaz, Russ and Tobe Nwigwe performed, bringing out Nas, DJ Khaled, Future, Daniel Kaluuya, Damson Idris, Gayle King, Doug E. Fresh, Koffee, Eric Nam, DDG, Grandmaster Flash and superstar couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
The Roc Nation founder-rapper hosted a private brunch the next morning in Bel Air, as did the Grammys themselves in partnership with Grey Goose at the Grammy Museum to celebrate Jazmine Sullivan.
The music labels dominated the party circuit. And when it came to the after parties, the stars were at Universal Music Group’s post-Grammy blowout at Milk Studios: Megan Fox, Machine Gun Kelly, LL Cool J, Kim Petras, Olivia Rodrigo, Samara Joy, Shania Twain, Stevie Wonder, Adrien Brody, Joe Jonas, Teyana Taylor, Pusha T, Muni Long, Camila Cabello, Paris Jackson and Travis Japan.
The only brand to get in on the action was Tod’s. On Friday night the Italian luxury company hosted a dinner with record executive Steven Victor to honor his Grammy-nominated artists Pusha T and The Dream — both in custom Tod’s looks designed by Walter Chiapponi. Held at chef Nobu’s Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills, the big surprise came when Cher showed up, alongside boyfriend Alexander Edwards. They were joined by Pharrell Williams, Benny Blanco and Jermaine Dupri.
There was also Usher, who hosted his own affair the following night — the return of Flipper’s. It’s the famed roller rink, established in 1975 in Hollywood by British radio producer Ian Ross. It’s been resurrected by his daughter, model Liberty Ross. Reopened in London (with a presence at Rockefeller Center in New York), the L.A. pop-up was a one-night affair — marking its return to L.A. for the first time since 1981, when it shut doors on Halloween night.
“I was 3 years old when Flipper’s closed,” said Ross, dazzling in a Gucci jumpsuit. “I was about 1 month old when my parents decided to move us all — I have four older siblings — from London to Los Angeles to open Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace. I don’t think either of them had ever really spent much time in L.A. My dad had got really inspired by the Empire Rollerdrome in New York, and he felt like the music, the fashion, the culture was just so unbelievably electrifying. He thought rolling skating would save the world. I have to say, I believe the same today. It’s a unifying, joyful, positive sport that really brings people together on a floor of equality.”
She brought in husband Jimmy Iovine of Interscope Records to help put on the affair; the celebration — with Paul McCartney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Busta Rhymes and Teyana Taylor — honored rapper-producer Dr. Dre who received the Grammys’ Global Impact Award.
“I learned from Dre that most hip-hop acts came up through roller-skating rinks,” Ross said. “They couldn’t get access to any other platforms and venues.”
She’s such a lover of roller skating that she turned her garage into a rink during the pandemic, she explained.
“He had come over and seen that,” she said of Usher, her partner in the endeavor. “That’s when we both realized we had the shared passion.”
She was ready to hit the hardwood floor. “I’m going to put my skates on before it gets too crowded.”