(AllHipHop Features) Clive Davis' Pre-Grammy Gala is certainly the premiere event during Grammy Awards week.
This year the Grammy Awards and its illustrious week of events returned to New York this year for the first time in 15 years.
Clive's legendary Pre-Grammy Gala was held at the Sheraton Times Square and included guests such as Diddy, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Jam, Jamie Foxx, Timbaland, Remy Ma, Fabolous, Jadakiss, T.I., Monica, John Legend & Chrissy Teigen, honoree of the evening Jay-Z, his wife, the first lady of music Beyonce, Barry Manilow, Gladys Knight, Jerry Seinfeld, Martha Stewart, Tina Fey, Nick Jonas P, Sting, Pink, Lorde, Cardi B, Khalid, Ludacris, Maxwell, Lil Uzi Vert and many more!
As usual, Clive was such a gracious host as he took time out to recognize all of the A-listers and big names in the room between each break.
Davis even poked fun at Jamie Foxx & Katie Holmes for [still] pretending to not be together by sitting at separate tables.
“If you’re going to sit together what better night than tonight,” said Clive.
The night truly belonged to Jay-Z, who honored with the Recording Academy's Industry Icon award at the gala, and he was nominated for eight Grammy Awards at Sunday's ceremony.
Jay-Z took the stage to accept his award, and while doing so, he reflected on his relationship with the Recording Academy.
Hov explained that there once was a time period where he boycotted the Grammys for six consecutive years starting in 1999 when he felt that DMX and other Hip Hop artists were snubbed.
Jay-Z didn't return until 2004 "when a beautiful young lady whom I love dearly," said Jay-Z was nominated for their collaboration "Crazy In Love".
Jay-Z filled everyone in with the obvious allusion to his wife as he added, "the beautiful Ms. Beyonce,".
Jay-Z revealed that he decided to attend the ceremony again with the belief that he could use his voice and platform to enact change.
"Art is super-subjective and everyone's doing their best. The academy, they're human like we are and voting on things that they like. We can pretend that we don’t care but we really care — we care ’cause we’ve seen the most incredible artists stand on that stage and we’re inspired to be that, so I was like, ’I have to be here. That is the idea for all of us to get involved and to push this thing further no matter what happens at the Grammys, it’s going to be what it is. Bob Marley is going to be Bob Marley, whether he’s nominated for a Grammy or not. Tupac is going to be Tupac, Biggie is going to be Biggie,” said Jay-Z
Hov also noted that The Recording Academy hasn't always elevated Hip Hop and rap or it's artists, but he acknowledged that it does now. He also encouraged those that care about music to get involved to bring about the change they want to see.
Davis also honored Beyonce early on in the ceremony by highlighting her awareness of music and her 62 Grammy nominations. Davis referred to Beyonce as the "first lady of music."
This declaration gained the Queen Bey a standing ovation.
Alicia Keys also took the stage to pay tribute to Jay-Z by running through a piano-accompanied medley of his hits. The set list included a soulful version of fan favorites "Hard Knock Life", "Run This Town", "Encore", and "U Don't Know", and their collaboration, "Empire State Of Mind".
Keys referred to Jay-Z as “one of the greatest that’s ever done it."
Clive always has the perfect mix of music industry newcomers and veterans and legends performing at the gala. This year's gala saw performances from Luis Fonsi, Gladys Knight, The Migos, Barry Manilow, and Jennifer Hudson closed out the evening.
Gladys Knight performed “Stand by Me” and “Midnight Train to Georgia", Khalid performed "Young Dumb And Broke", and Jennifer Hudson closed the evening with a tribute to Aretha Franklin, who happened to hand-pick her to play her in her upcoming biopic.
Check out our interviews with Remy Ma and T.I. (above and below) on the red carpet of the gala as they celebrated Jay-Z as the night's honoree.