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Grammy parties dial it down a notch

The economy made for more intimate affairs, but celebs manage to keep it fun.

February 10, 2009|Jenny Sundel

This year's Grammys parties, downsized because of the economy, made for more intimate affairs -- and tighter guest lists. So tight that Ne-Yo got turned away at his own midnight breakfast get-together Saturday at the Kress club in Hollywood. As one bouncer put it: "Right now, the fire marshal is God!" The R&B star, who would go on to win two awards, returned later to make a brief cameo at the event, where a mobile McDonald's served up waffles, grits and vanilla iced coffee.

Meanwhile, at the Cash Money Records toast to Lil Wayne, the Montage Beverly Hills hotel declared the party beyond its 400-person capacity hours before the future four-time winner made his entrance with Flavor Flav and a marching jazz band in tow.

Times may be tough, but VIPs still got swagged big time Friday at the Blackberry/Verizon party at Boulevard 3, where Chris Brown watched Rihanna and Timbaland perform. (It was the night before the alleged incident that put Brown and Rihanna in the news Sunday.) VIPs like Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jay-Z, the Jonas Brothers, Kanye West and guest DJ left with red velvet cupcakes and Blackberry Storms.

There was no shortage of do-gooding either, which took center stage -- along with the Black Eyed Peas, Nikka Costa and Solange Knowles -- at the Peapod Foundation's Adobe Youth Voices concert Thursday at the Conga Room. Fergie rocked out with Slash on "Sweet Child o' Mine," but the real crowd-pleaser: the macaroons circulating on trays. On Friday, the annual Friends and Family shindig raised funds for Children of Peace International. Pete Rock, Talib Kweli and DJ AM kept the schmooze-fest pumping as music moguls mingled with Lil Jon, Katharine McPhee, Eve and Jill Scott on the Paramount Studios lot.

The merriment continued after Sunday's telecast. Robin Thicke sang some soul inside the Woodstock-themed official Grammy celebration at the L.A. Convention Center. As some performers ate fire, guests had the option to feast on the far more appetizing Shanghai lobster at the Wolfgang Puck-catered hippie haven. And over at the chef's Beverly Hills steakhouse, host L.A. Reid's House of Hype/Island Def Jam soiree brought out Mariah Carey, Duffy, Lionel Richie, Grammy-winning collaborators Estelle and (blink-and-you'd-miss-him) West.

For those still itching to keep the good times rolling, Prince obliged with an after-hours concert at his pad. The catch? You had to make the hush-hush, teeny-tiny list.

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