After Whitney Houston's Death, Is Clive Davis' Grammy Party Doomed?

A-list bash has been struck with some terrible, even tragic luck of late, but Recording Academy says event will continue

By Joal Ryan Feb 13, 2012 9:26 PMTags
Clive Davis, Whitney HoustonLarry Busacca/

The Chris Brown-Rihanna assault. Usher's then-wife's medical emergency. And now, Whitney Houston's death.

The incidents all have one thing in common: They occurred within hours of mogul Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party.

Is the exclusive bash doomed?

RELATED: Sharon Osbourne Skips Clive Davis Party: "How Could People Go Knowing Whitney Was Dead?"

Literally and figuratively, the answer is no.

"It's a beautiful event," Recording Academy president and CEO Neil Portnow told us backstage at last night's Grammys. "We will continue the event."

A few years ago, the Grammys partnered with Davis to make the party an official Grammy event, Portnow said.

On the whole, the event dates back some 30 years, to when Davis, the industry titan who launched Houston in 1985, was head of Arista Records.

Until recently, the only headlines the Davis bash made concerned how hard the party was to get into, how important it was to be seen—and heard—at the party, and how it rivaled the Oscar-night soiree once held by Hollywood agent Swifty Lazar.

But then its luck changed for the worse.

The buzz of the 2009 party was Usher, who was forced to cancel a scheduled performance to tend to his family. Later that same night, after leaving the event which they'd attended as a couple, Brown roughed up Rihanna, leading to his arrest and both of their absences from the next day's Grammys telecast.

Then on Saturday: tragedy. 

Houston died at the site of the party, the Beverly Hilton Hotel; her body remained on the premises throughout the event.

Tony Bennett, Alicia Keys, Brandy, Monica and many more attended. (Brandy and Monica, however, nixed their slated performance.) Sharon Osbourne told E! News Monday she took a pass on the gala because it didn't feel right to attend "knowing that Whitney was still in that building dead."

Portnow explained he and other organizers heard a voice in their ear as they contemplated what to do: Houston's.

The late singer would've wanted the Davis event to go on, he said.

"The music had to play on," Portnow said.

And it did. And, apparently, it will.