Above, Warner/Chappell Chairman/CEO Cameron Strang; Jack Antonoff, Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost (of the band fun.); Access Industries chairman Len Blavatnik (Wise/PictureGroup)
LOS ANGELES — As always, L.A. was hopping in the hours after the 55th Grammy Awards on Sunday night, and one of the hottest spots was the Warner Music party at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. The guest list was tight and the talent – both music and business and both — was A-list. Warner and Atlantic Records rocked with stars like fun., Skrillex, Bruno Mars, Sting, Ed Sheeran, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Katy Perry, John Mayer, Dr. John, Flo Rida, David Guetta, Hunter Hayes, Janelle Monae, Kimbra, Sean Paul, Jermaine Dupri and more, and many said it had been “the best Grammys in years.” Execs in the house included but certainly were not limited to Atlantic’s Julie Greenwald, WMG’s Mike Caren, Nonesuch’s Bob Hurwitz and Dave Bither (celebrating the label’s seven Grammys), along with Warner UK CEO Christian Tattersfield, Atlantic UK’s Max Lousada, Warner Nashville’s John Esposito, Warner/Chappell’s Jon Platt, Elektra’s Jeff Castelaz and many more. Performances by Icona Pop and Santigold rocked the event.
Warner Bros. chairman Rob Cavallo arrived at the party straight from the Grammys. “I really loved Kelly Clarkson. Maroon 5, and Alicia Keys were really cool and Mumford & Sons killed it tonight,” he told Billboard in the Chateau Marmont courtyard. “Ed Sheeran and Elton John was really fun too. I love that fun. won a lot of things.” Cavallo also mentioned how excited he was that Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys won “Producer of The Year.” “I won that one year myself and I thought, ‘That’s really great.’ For Black Keys, which is our band, that’s the ultimate win.
Sting arrived on site, following his Bob Marley performance, telling Billboard that it was wonderful to be a part of the tribute, “We all love Bob Marley. It was nice to be there with his sons and it was a lovely occasion.”
David Guetta, Flo Rida, WMG’s Mike Caren, Freezy (Flo Rida’s manager) (Wise/PictureGroup)
Regina Spektor told reporters that she is currently in Los Angeles staying with friends working on music and art. “We didn’t get to watch the Grammys yet because it hadn’t aired when we had to leave for the party. We’ll get up tomorrow in our pajamas and watch them,” she said.
L-R: Atlantic’s Julie Greenwald, Hunter Hayes, Warner Nashville’s John Esposito (Wise/PictureGroup)
Flo Rida, who was sporting a suit jacket and tie, showed Billboard his outfit and joked, “I didn’t watch the Grammys, the Grammys watched me. Do you see my outfit? I loved it from the red carpet to watching the performances. This is an event where if you’re a performer, you want to have the best of everything and tonight everyone put on a good show.” Flo also revealed that he’s 80% done with his new album and that it’s going to be “some next level music – big and better.”
“The spirit of the Grammys is about being with a community of artists,” said Dr. John, who performed on the Grammy telecast with the Black Keys. “These connections and friendships go beyond winning awards.”
Warner/Chappell writer Katy Perry with “Girls” co-star Allison Williams (Wise/PictureGroup)
Fitz and the Tantrums, who recently signed with Elektra, were on site hanging out with new label president Jeff Castelaz. The trio was discussing the new Fitz record, which comes out May 7th and is called More Than Just a Dream. “I got to see fun., which is a great record. I love those guys. They are total sweethearts. I was just amazed that it was pouring rain during their performance. How they were able to perform in the rain and not get electrocuted was very impressive,” said singer Michael Fitzpatrick.
Castelaz said, “I thought this was the best Grammy ceremony in years. The show was excellent, and it was great to hear so many winners comment on the fact that they are real artists who tour and play instruments. That was a refreshing common thread of the show — starting with Ed Sheeran who is 21, tours solo with only an acoustic guitar, and no backing band—and is getting young girls to go nuts for him!” he exclaimed.
Dwight Yoakam said of the show, “I loved the rigging of the set tonight. They’ve moved out of theaters, doing the broadcast of the Grammys but having said that, Ken and all the guys I thought did a great job tonight in bringing a major arena into a more intimate feel on TV. I really enjoyed it. Black Keys are my favorite performance. Guitar music!”
Halestorm, who took home a pre-broadcast Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, told Billboard that they didn’t even think they had a shot at a nomination and they were shocked when their name was called to accept the award. “You’re watching all these other people go up and then we were like, ‘Maybe we should just think about it a little.’ And then we bombed the speech anyway,” joked Joe Hottinger. “We were up against our heroes and guys that inspired us to play: Anthrax, Megadeth, freakin’ Marilyn Manson, Iron Maiden!” added Lzzy Hale. “Somebody screwed up and gave us a Grammy, but it’s so wonderful. It was such a great night!”
Icona Pop perform (Wise/PictureGroup)
Inside the party, Interscope’s Dennis Dennehy was having drinks with fun., as well as Atlantic’s David Saslow and Island Def Jam’s Gabe Tesoriero.
“The show was pretty f—ing great,” Dennehy said. “I think that Ken [Ehrlich, producer] and those guys did a really good job of making it feel intimate and making it feel like a rock show. The audience felt engaged.”
Fitz & the Tantrums’ Noelle Scaggs and Michael Fitzpatrick with Elektra’s Jeff Castelaz
“fun. killed it!” added Saslow. “If you were from another planet and you landed, you’d think music is in a great place right now!”
Kimbra, who accompanied Gotye on stage for his win for Record of The Year for “Somebody That I Used to Know,” said “It’s a huge honor to be rewarded for all my hard work the last two years. It was great to reflect on how much the song means to me and to be in a room with my idols.”