The air in Los Angeles may be unseasonably cold, but that didn’t stop partygoers from reveling in the Grammy weekend festivities — which included Warner Music Group’s pre-Grammy party on Thursday night. From industry veterans to regular folks who wanted to get a sneak peek at their favorite artists, the event — held at downtown LA’s NoMad Hotel — was filled to the brim with effervescent energy.
A successful party always has the drinks flowing, and guests were provided with Belvedere-based cocktails that were fittingly named after three of WMG’s beloved female artists: the tropical “Dua Daydream” (for Dua Lipa), the tangy “Django Jasmine” (for Janelle Monaé) and the refreshing “Invasion of Privacy” (for Cardi B). The libations gave the cue to begin mingling among the violet-hued lights, as DJs like the legendary Clark Kent spun tunes including Big Sean’s “Moves,” Drake and DJ Khaled’s “For Free,” Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money,” Lil Wayne’s “Uproar” and Bruno Mars’ “Finesse.”
Some notable guests in attendance included artists like Lizzo, Tayla Parx, Kodak Black and Ty Dolla $ign, as well as Billboard’s own editorial director Hannah Karp and industry deputy director Rob Levine. As everyone enjoyed yummy treats like tuna tartare, mushroom tartes and macarons, the lights glimmered as Atlantic Records chairman/COO Julie Greenwald stepped onto the stage to introduce the night’s first performer: the suited-up Nipsey Hussle. The Los Angeles-born rapper, who’s up for best rap album for his debut album Victory Lap at Sunday’s Grammys, was the night’s rugged hometown hero. He brought authentic California flavor with songs like “Last Time That I Checc’d” and “Rap N—as,” while the crowd bumped to every word.
Toward the final hour, Tom Corson (the co-chairman and COO of Warner Bros. Records) arrived onstage to introduce the evening’s special surprise performer: the label’s own Dua Lipa. The pop star took the thrills of earning her first-ever Grammy nominations — best new artist and best dance recording for “Electricity” alongside Silk City (Diplo and Mark Ronson) — and channeled it onto the stage for her brief-but-alluring performance. Donning an all-black outfit adorned with sparkly silver tassels, Lipa and her background dancers ran through three songs: the aforementioned “Electricity,” as well as two chart favorites from her debut self-titled album, “IDGAF” and “New Rules.”
Following her performance, the singer was whisked away by her close-knit team (which included boyfriend Isaac Carew and father Dukagjin Lipa) while the rest of the partygoers continued to dance the night away.