Wiz Khalifa hanging out with BBMA co-executive producer Richard Beckman at the Billboard Music Awards after-party. (Photo: Jem Aswad)
For many decades, Billboard has been known for its sober and succinct analysis of the music business and its related personalities and activities. By that metric, the official 2012 Billboard Music Awards afterparty at 1OAK in the Mirage f---ing raged.
A huge number of the stars who appeared or performed at the show were in the house: Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Chris Brown, Swizz Beatz, Wiz Khalifa, Jordin Sparks, Jason Derulo, Cee Lo, LMFAO's RedFoo, Carly Rae Jepsen, Nelly Furtado, Robin Thicke, Brandy, Ray J, Gavin DeGraw, Eric Benet, show hosts Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell of "Modern Family" and members of Far East Movement, who performed, as did Monica and Wiz, who was followed by a roaring DJ set from Swizz.
Members of Far East Movement pose with Cherrytree Records president Martin Kierszenbaum (left) and Billboard's Bill Werde (center). (Photo: Adrian Van Anz)
Industry revelers in the packed club included Motown founder Berry Gordy (rocking at son RedFoo's table), Primary Violator Management's Chauncey Bell (whose company manages Cee Lo and Benet), Red Light's Will Botwin (with Keys and Swizz), Wiz's manager/ Rostrum Records founder Benjy Grinberg (wearing a sleek suit with a subtle pocketsquare), Jepsen's manager Jonathan Simkin, Cherrytree's Martin Kierszenbaum, Surrender Vegas' Dave Nadkarni, Wynn's Janelle Burdette, dozens of Billboard and Prometheus Global Media staffers elated after the great show, and … um … it'll all come back to us, really.
Carly Rae Jepsen with manager Jonathan Simkin (Photo: Jem Aswad)
Flush with the success of her stunning performance of "I Will Always Love You" during the show's Whitney Houston tribute, Jordin Sparks chatted and graciously posed for pictures with seemingly dozens of fans. She told us that's she'd never sung the song in a professional setting until the day before and shared how nervous she was beforehand (she even tweeted it). We told her that dozens of people in the backstage area watched her performance with rapt attention and exploded into applause when she finished - she thanked us beautifully but the comment must have provoked an emotional look on her face, because we were almost immediately called away by a towering bodyguard and handler demanding our credentials. (They apologized profusely when the situation was clarified; "We had to be sure you weren't some crazy fan.") "What was that all about?" Jordin asked afterward.
Jordin Sparks, still glowing from her show-stealing rendition of "I Will Always Love You," with Jason Derulo and 1OAK managing partner Eli Pacino (photo: Adrian Van Anz)
The house DJ took over after Swizz finished his set, and the dancing kept on. But all good things must come to an end, and after five hours, the party ended at around 1 a.m. with the crowd barely diminished. Here's to next year...
LMFAO parties (with RedFoo's dad, 81-year-old Motown founder Berry Gordy, in there somewhere) at the BBMA afterparty. (Photo: Jem Aswad)
Stevie Wonder poses with Billboard.biz editor Jem Aswad backstage at the Billboard Music Awards. (Photo: Billboard)
Wiz Khalifa performs at the BBMA afterparty. (Photo: Jem Aswad)
Careful there! A few drunk revelers next to the stage during Swizz Beatz's DJ set at the BBMA afterparty. (Photo: Jem Aswad)