Steven Tyler continued his tradition of giving pals a way to watch music’s biggest night in style on Sunday (Feb. 10) with his second annual Grammy Awards viewing party in Los Angeles.
The event, which benefited Janie’s Fund — Tyler’s philanthropic initiative that, in partnership with Youth Villages, helps to bring hope and healing to young female assault victims — was a bigger version of last year’s soiree. And the Aerosmith frontman was thrilled to see that be the case.
“That’s what we wanted. It means people are starting to feel it in their heart and they understand our mission!” he told Billboard on site at the event.
This year’s gala attracted such guests as Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Alice Cooper, David Foster, Kelsey Grammer, Caitlyn Jenner, Duff McKagan, Nuno Bettencourt, X Ambassadors, and Jane Lynch, who hosted the night. The Glee actress told Billboard that when Tyler reached out, she was immediately on board. “It’s an amazing organization. Steven is so passionate about it and to hear him talk about it, you want to write a check and get involved,” she said.
Lynch also shared the hilarious way in which her friendship with the rocker began several years back. “I got a knock on my door one day. I look downstairs and say, ‘Who is at my gate?’ and a young man says, ‘I’m with Steven Tyler. He wants to see your house.’ I said, ‘Bring him on up.’ That’s how we met. He liked my house, my roof in particular,” she revealed, laughing.
Inside the gala, guests munched on miso-glazed cod and sipped cocktails, glued to large television screens while rooting for their favorite Grammy nominees and applauding performers like Diana Ross and Dolly Parton. But during the commercial breaks, an array of speakers, including a young woman who has benefited from the work of Youth Villages and Janie’s Fund, took the stage to remind the room of the larger reason they all came out — to raise money for girls who have fallen victim to sexual assault.
Through on site donations, tickets and a live auction — including Tyler’s personal Can-AM 3-wheeler, which was in his garage two days prior to the event (it went for $40,000) and one of Joe Perry’s own guitars (which sold for $80,000) — the event raised a total of $2.8 million.
The master of ceremonies took the mic around 8:45 p.m. to thank his guests for attending his Janie’s Fund Gala, touching on the genesis of the lyric that inspired the work. “Hearing story after story during my own treatment for codependence years ago led to the few simple words to a melody I plucked out on piano. It just sounded so good. I just kept singing the lyric over and what came out was ‘Janie’s Got a Gun,’” said Tyler. He revealed that he didn’t quite realize the power behind the tune until was time to nail down a treatment for the music video to accompany the song. Then the magnitude was felt. “A story was born. A story about a girl and about what happens around the world every 7 minutes,” he explained, sharing the staggering fact that one in five girls are sexually abused before they are 18 and many cases go unreported.
Last year, Tyler performed with his Loving Mary Band. For his sophomore bash, he asked his Aerosmith bandmates to join him on stage to bring the title track of the evening to life. “I’m really proud that they are here tonight,” Tyler told Billboard prior to the performance. “I’m so moved. I’m over the moon!” He also joked that he “might have wet himself a little bit” during the band’s recent rehearsal sessions, reveling in the magic of being back in action with his life-long bandmates.
The Bad Boys of Boston took the stage around 11:00 p.m., kicking things off with “Back in the Saddle” before leading guests through an 11-song set that included everything from “Love in an Elevator” to “One Way Street,” off their 1973 debut studio album. Attendees danced and enthusiastically sang along, Stone even hopping up on stage at one point to bop around with Tyler and try her had at the harmonica.
But when the opening notes of “Janie’s Got a Gun” hit, the room went silent. Following the song, a wild applause broke out. “That’s exactly why we’re doing this!” Tyler proudly proclaimed.
“Back in the Saddle”
“Let The Music Do The Talking”
“Love in an Elevator”
“Stop Messin’ Around”
“One Way Street”
“Janie’s Got a Gun”
“Walk This Way”