Thursday night a raft of local Grammy nominees and assorted music industry figures turned out for their annual pre-awards show party at the downtown W.
The turnout included Big Boi, B.o.B., Janelle Monae, Kelly Price, Sean Garrett, Devyne Stevens, Third Day bassist Tai Anderson, Zac Brown Band members Coy Bowles and John Hopkins, Collective Soul’s Will Turpin and Jan Smith, vocal coach to stars such as Usher and Justin Bieber.
Gov. Nathan Deal showed up to lend the affair some gravitas. We asked what was on his iPod.
“I am one of those people who doesn’t even have an iPod,” he said.
So what’s on the CD player/tape deck/ turntable?
“I’m a country fan,” he said. Remember that Luke Bryan was supposed to play the inauguration but it was canceled due to ice.
Here’s a smattering of what we learned on the red carpet.
Akon and Usher may tour together this year, said Devyne Stevens, head of Upfront Megatainment. He also predicts a busy year for Kelly Rowland, T-Pain and Lady Gaga, some of the other artists he works with. On the homefront Stevens said he’ll continue his philanthropic work through his Devyne Intervention Foundation.
Jan Smith, who got a nice mention in the Vanity Fair cover story about Justin Bieber, said she doubts she’ll be back for the next season of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” She’s appeared in the past working valiantly to coax on-key lyrics out of Kim Zolciak, but that partnership is likely done for good.
“Somebody has to have a commitment to work hard before I can help them,” Smith said sweetly.
Third Day is planning a trip to Haiti soon with World Vision, a Christian humanitarian relief agency.
“I think it’s going to break our hearts,” Tai Anderson told us.
Despite winning best new artist Grammy honors last year, Zac Brown Band members John Hopkins and Coy Bowles enjoy playing for small hometown crowds, and like jamming at places like Tin Roof, Atkins Park and the Dixie Tavern.
“There’s something about knowing everybody in the bar personally,” Hopkins said.
“We stay really connected to Atlanta,” Bowles said. ‘Atlanta has one of the best music scenes.”
She always looks polished and poised but Janelle Monae insists she doesn’t spend much time putting her wardrobe together.
“I’m a time traveler,” she said of her unique yet classic look. Her big goal last year, a busy one for her, was to “not get sick,” so she focused on eating healthy. She’d like to collaborate with Stevie Wonder.
And Big Boi? He’s “just trying to find the next groove.”
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org