Steven Tyler’s Grammy Awards viewing party returned on Sunday after the annual event took a hiatus in 2021 due to the pandemic.
Set for dinner and a show at the Hollywood Palladium, the event historically benefits Tyler’s charity organization Janie’s Fund, a philanthropic initiative to raise awareness for young girls who have survived abuse and neglect. In partnership with nonprofit Youth Villages, the name of the fund is inspired by Aerosmith’s 1989 hit “Janie’s Got a Gun,” which tells the story of a young girl who was a victim of domestic abuse.
At the start of the evening, the Aerosmith frontman toasted the crowd, kicking off the Grammy’s livestream. Following the three-course dinner and awards telecast, the rockstar made his first public performance in two years, performing a piano rendition of Aerosmith’s “Dream On.”
In an emotional speech, Tyler spoke to the crowd about how child victims of neglect and abuse “paid dearly” as a result of the pandemic, referencing Janie and Gabriel Fernandez, the 8-year old boy who was a victim of abuse and, ultimately, murder — a story that was chronicled in Netflix’s The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez.
“The world stood still,” Tyler said of the start of the pandemic. “Instantly, 2020 became a devastating F5 tornado — a worst case scenario for children in this country. Schools shut down, stay at home orders were put in place, meaning personal and economic stress and substance abuse would run rampant. Children paid dearly. It makes me cringe to think of the Janie’s and Gabriel’s of 2020.”
Jessie J took to the Palladium stage later that night, replacing original performer Miley Cyrus who could no longer attend due to testing positive for COVID-19.
“Give it up for the mind blowing talent Jessie J. Thank you for stepping in big for us, and for Miley,” Tyler addressed the crowd. “As you all heard by now, Miley couldn’t be here with us tonight. We send her our vibes and our hopes she’ll feel better soon. Thank you also to Miley’s incredible band who are still going to kill it with us tonight.”
Cyrus tweeted about the news Saturday night, apologizing to Janie’s Fund and Tyler for her absence. The pop star wrote, “Traveling around the world, playin for a 100,000 people a night and meeting hundreds of fans a day the chances of getting Covid are pretty high. I have Covid now but it was definitely worth it.” She followed up with a second tweet stating that she’s “feeling fine.”
Throughout the night, several big ticket items were auctioned off, including Aerosmith’s touring “Dream On” piano, signed by Tyler, at $700,000, a portrait by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts for $100,000 and an original Mick Rock photo of Tyler performing live with Aerosmith in 1976. The event raised a record-breaking $4.6 million for Janie’s Fund.
Other attendees included Ashlee Simpson Ross and Evan Ross, Caitlyn Jenner, Melissa Joan Hart, Ashley Benson, Matt Sorum and Kat Graham.
This article originally appeared in THR.com.