Clive Davis's annual pre-Grammy party in Los Angeles, which dates back 40 years, is known for flashy celebrity guests, intimate performances, and the aroma of exclusivity. The 2017 version of the event featured appearances from Lorde, John Legend, Lena Dunham, Neil Diamond, Jennifer Hudson, Nancy Pelosi, Gene Simmons, Jon Voight, and Diplo. If you want random famous people in the same room -- please, pause and imagine a conversation between Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi and KISS frontman Gene Simmons -- get Clive Davis on the phone. His rolodex is endless and eclectic.
One has to assume that was part of the logic that led to the selection of Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, a new documentary about the career of the 85 year old record executive, as the opening night film of this year's Tribeca Film Festival. On Wednesday night, Radio City Music Hall welcomed a range of powerful names from the world of film, television, and even politics: Governor Andrew Cuomo, festival co-founder Robert De Niro, and host Whoopi Goldberg all took the stage to speak at various points in the evening.
But, fittingly, the event was about the music, which was provided by Davis-approved acts like Barry Manilow, Jennifer Hudson, Earth Wind and Fire, Kenny G, Dionne Warwick, Carly Simon, and, most impressive of all, Aretha Franklin. Fitting his image as a behind-the-scenes string-puller, Davis remained out of the spotlight at his own tribute.