Carly Rae Jepsen joins Katy Perry on the pink carpet. (Photo: Joseph Llanes)
Katy Perry modified her concert presentation Tuesday on Hollywood Boulevard at the premiere of her Paramount film "Katy Perry: Part of Me," busting out of a popcorn box to open the early evening show and replacing the pinwheels that spin over her top with film reels. As extravaganzas go in recessionary times, this was a whopper of an event by Hollywood standards.
The stretch of Hollywood Boulevard that runs past the home of the Academy Awards -- the recently rechristened Dolby Theatre -- Grauman's Chinese Theater and the El Capitan was shut down for one of the largest, and most public, premieres Hollywood has seen in some time. Perry delivered eight songs in front of crowd that was packed with fans who weathered the heat, plus music and film executives and celebrities who walked the red carpet -- Selena Gomez -- and a notable one who did not -- Justin Bieber.
As Perry whipped her way through her multiple Hot 100 No. 1s at the kickoff of Billboard's Summer Beats program, the singer with current No. 1, Carly Rae Jepsen, shyly made her way through the VIP section agreeing to every photograph request. It was a perfect night for the "Call Me Maybe" singer to attend a Billboard-sponsored event -- she's on the cover of this week's issue.
Selena Gomez arrives on the pink carpet to watch the show. (Photo: Joseph Llanes)
"This is," she said, holding up the current issue and pausing to gather her thoughts, "so amazing. I don't know what to say."
When the subject turned to to Perry and her story, others had plenty to say.
Record Academy president and CEO Neil Portnow praised Perry for her participation in this year's MusiCares salute to Paul McCartney; her rehearsal of "Hey Jude" for the event is seen toward the end of the film.
Katy Perry walking the pink carpet. (Photo: Joseph Llanes)
"This is what, at the Academy, we dream for our industry, which is to have very successful artists who are renaissance in the sense that they do music, they do other things, they do acting, they do film, they do choreography, they write music," Portnow told Billboard.biz. "To have the public so engaged and so interested is healthy for music and that's what we care about."
Portnow watched the performance from a platform that held the red carpet, huddling at one point with AEG Live president and CEO Randy Phillips. AEG Live was one of the seven companies that produced the film, MTV and Imagine being among the others.
Perry with her custom made outfit for the evening. (Photo: Joseph Llanes)
Part documentary, part concert film, many of the people who supply anecdotes in "Part of Me" mingled before the screening. Perry's management team of Bradford Cobb, Steven Jensen and Martin Kirkup from Direct Management were accepting compliments; producer Glen Ballard was among the early arrivals; and Epic Records marketing chief Angelica Baehler-Cob, who helped Perry segue to Capitol from Columbia, was among those tweeting congratulations.
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) President/CEO Neil Portnow attends the premiere of Katy Perry's new film at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. Portnow says that he admires Perry for her talent, but also for being involved with the MusiCares Foundation, which helps musicians around the world. (Photo: Justino Aguila)
The film's composer, Deborah Lurie, was hanging out with ASCAP's Jeff Jernigan, who was looking forward to seeing his cameo in the film. (Yes, he is clearly visible in a backstage scene).
"This is emotional," Jernigan said. "I started working with her nine years ago and to reach this place, it's amazing. She's such a wonderful person."
Katy Perry bursts forth from a box of popcorn to light up the show. (Photo: Joseph Llanes)
That sentiment was echoed by Kathy Griffin, who met Perry when they were entertaining 10,000 soldiers at Miramar Airbase. Perry, a fan of Griffin, agreed to do a sketch with the comedian and Griffin agreed to sing with Perry.
Comedian Kathy Griffin has performed for U.S. troops along with pal Katy Perry and says the pop singer is "the real deal." (Photo: Justino Aguila)
"So I said, 'Okay, walk me through this song. What's it called?' She said, 'Teenage Dream'," Griffin recalled. "And I said, 'Well granny Griffin doesn't know how to sing it.' And she taught me (Kathy begins to sing), 'I'ma get your heart racing in my skin-tight jeans.' And we practiced and we went out there and of course the troops went crazy for her. And she was beautiful and fantastic. I think she's the real deal."
Billboard was well represented at the event with editorial director Bill Werde and publisher Tommy Page flying in from New York for the event.
Katy Perry on stage. (Photo: Joseph Llanes)
Besides Perry's entire family, the film's directors Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz and choreographers Nick Florez and RJ Durel, on hand were ASCAP's assistant VP of marketing Dana Graham and senior VP of communications & media Lauren Lossa, Guild of Music Supervisors president Maureen Crowe, producer Dallas Austin, ShineAmerica music head Daryl Berg, Kraft-Engel Management's Laura Engel, vocal coach Eric Vetro, Angelstone Entertainment president Lupe Rosas and singer/actress Cristina Rosas.
Additional reporting by Justino Aguila and Gail Mitchell
Among the invited guests were (l-r) Nikki Axelrod and husband Ivan Axelrod, COO of Provident Financial Management, and Angelstone Entertainment president Lupe Rosas with singer/actress Cristina Rosas. (Photo: Gail Mitchell)
ASCAP's assistant VP of marketing Dana Graham (left) and senior VP of communications & media Lauren Iossa flank Billboard's director of West Coast sales Aki Kaneko. (Photo: Gail Mitchell)
Vocal coach Eric Vetro (Katy Perry, Rita Wilson) and Billboard's Aki Kaneko. (Photo: Gail Mitchell)