Save for Madonna‘s opening act, the general consensus in Hollywood was that the 48th Annual Grammy Awards were a snooze, though the pre- and post-parties were another story. The fetes started Monday night with a free outdoor Verizon Wireless-sponsored Fugees concert, where Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix chose to rock out with 8,000 other Angelenos at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine.

Afterward, a select crowd corralled to nearby club Avalon, where Rolling Stone hosted a party for Kanye West, which attracted Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, Tom Cruise (who is working on a “Mission Impossible III” song with West), the single Simpson sisters and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, among others.

The next night, at Clive Davis‘ classy party at the Beverly Hilton, old school met new school as Diana Ross and Sharon Stone rubbed elbows with Ludacris and Pharrell Williams. “I think that it’s just a nice dinner,” shrugged Ashlee Simpson in a Roland Mouret dress. “To go kind of classy-chic is always good.” But she was the only one with a blasé attitude. Jamie Foxx, decked out in Burberry, described the party as “All the hot stars, all the top-tier women, all the cash, a lot of gated homes, a lot of land, a lot of horses — it’s that kind of crowd.” He then turned away to shake hands with ZZ Top. Dave Grohl, duded up in Dolce & Gabbana, said he normally hates fashion, but, ironically, had he not been invited to Davis’, “I would be at home watching ‘Project Runway.'”

Post-show on Wednesday, a svelte Courtney Love couldn’t wait to show off her cleaned-up look, being one of the first to arrive at Warner Music Group’s party at Pacific Design Center. “I know, a little early,” she cracked to her friends. While her old rival, Madonna, failed to show up at her own label’s event, the crowd included her publicist, her friend Guy Oseary and her ex-gal pal Ingrid Casares. New mother Michelle Branch admitted she was just excited to get a night out. “I have a six-month-old at home,” she explained. Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without a Paris and Stavros sighting, who met up with her parents inside, where guests dined on a Wolfgang Puck feast of lamb chops with mint cilantro vinaigrette and tortellini with black truffles.

This story first appeared in the February 10, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

At the William Morris party, held at a private mansion known as The Summit, people arrived in bad moods as there was a long line of limos on both sides of Mulholland Drive, and the Brent Bolthouse bouncers who gave attitude were no help. Those who made it in were Taryn Manning, Chris Isaak, Donovan Leitch, The Killers and, randomly, Charo and her son, who wasted no time hitting the dance floor. The party went until 3 a.m., when the goodbye gift was a two-doughnut-to-go box from Krispy Kreme.

Over at Entertainment Weekly’s Kanye West-CommonJohn Legend-hosted event at The Lot studios in Hollywood, partygoers were also in it for the long haul. “I’m just getting started,” said Christina Milian, who showed up a little after 11 p.m. Other latecomers included Joss Stone, who snuck inside a little before midnight, as did Alicia Keys, who quickly slipped past photographers wearing a comfy purple sweater and beige slacks, not the plunging Armani Privé gown she donned at the Grammys. Keys was smart to dress down: Tracee Ellis Ross was dancing when her dress suddenly burst open at the back, but she laughed it off.

At the Sony-BMG fete at the Roosevelt hotel, Amerie, Rose McGowan, Mischa Barton and Cisco Adler partied with a younger crowd, including Fiona Apple, who was overwhelmed with the star quotient of the evening. “It’s kind of one of those things that you grasp tomorrow.”

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