Beats Music welcomed its new streaming service with a splashy launch concert at the Belasco Theatre where guests like Eminem, Diddy, Mase, Busta Rhymes, Nas, Ice Cube, Bone Thugz N Harmony and Beats co-founder Dr. Dre himself all played their hits as part of a “live playlist.” But, if you stayed to catch Carole King’s all-star finale of “I Feel The Earth Move” around 11:30 p.m at the MusiCares gala a few blocks away at the Los Angeles Convention Center, you probably missed it.
Souls of Mischief and CEO of Beats Music Ian Rogers (center) at the Belasco Theatre. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/WireImage)
The hot-ticket party reached the over-capacity mark somewhere around the 11:00 hour, which left luminaries like Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino and Queen Latifah waiting behind the velvet rope for longer than just the normal beat before being waved in by Beats principals, and dozens of others left shut out entirely. Beats Music president Ian Rogers was seen escorting a few guests inside, as was Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, whose power of the guest list seemed indeterminate beyond the fact that he’s arguably the most recognizable producer in town – if not still one of its most influential. Other music execs included Sony Music chairman/CEO Doug Morris with Epic chairman/ceo Antonio "L.A." Reid along with Beats co-founder and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine and Beats president Luke Wood.
They Got In (from left): Epic's Antonio LA Reid, Beats' Luke Wood and Sony Music's Doug Morris. (Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage)
Beats is spending heavily to promote its new service, placing television ads during the NFL playoffs and has another scheduled to run during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 at a cost of $4 million for each 30-second slot.
Guests who were able to venture inside reported great star sightings (Paul McCartney, Pink, Drake) and even better star smellings (Paris Hilton was spotted in VIP blazing something that did not appear to be tobacco.) And though the line-up was impressively star-studded and an impressive reunion of some of the late 90s’ greatest hip-hop collabs (Diddy and Mase doing “Feels So Good” and “All About The Benjamins!” Dre and Blackstreet, together again on “No Diggity!”), the technical aspects of the event left a bit to be desired. “For a headphones company, the sound was terrible!” one party-goer told Billboard afterward.
Eminem was the night's not-so-surprising surprise guest and finished out the night with a grand finale featuring Dr. Dre duetting on "My Name Is," ''Forgot About Dre" and "Lose Yourself." Dre thanked the night’s performers adding that he personally loved the music that was played throughout the night and “hopes you do to.”
At half past midnight, the three-and-a-half-hour party had wrapped, and execs like Beats creative officer Trent Reznor, Interscope’s Steve Berman, WME’s Marc Geiger, Atlantic’s Julie Greenwald, Glassnote’s Daniel Glass , Coke’s Joe Belliotti and many others began spilling out. But those who got in certainly left with a lasting impression of the show itself – even if the music service being promoted became almost an afterthought. “That’s going to be hard to top,” Geiger was heard saying to a friend on his way out.