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Grammy nominees celebrate at party on eve of awards show

posted 13 Feb 2011, 05:03 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 13 Feb 2011, 05:05 ]

Nominees for the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards hit the red carpet ahead of the annual Clive Davis fete at the Beverly Hilton.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITES STATES (FEBRUARY 12, 2011) REUTERS - Dozens of nominees and guests walked the red carpet ahead of the annual Clive Davis fete thrown in honor of the Grammys Awards at the Beverly Hilton.

On Saturday (February 12, 2011) night, Katy Perry, Whitney Houston, John Mayer and Miley Cyrus were among the music stars to pose for photos and talk to the media before going into the party.

Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, who is nominated for three Grammys this year, talked about his pick for best new artist.

"Esperanza Spalding. I already knew that. You know, she is amazing. And she is very sweet, comes from the heart, and she cares about what she does and not just about what she receives. And she cares about giving. She cares about being excellent in music and performing. And she has the right idea. She cares about something much deeper than what you can get out of her."

Hancock, 70, won the Grammy album of the year in 2008 for "River: The Joni Letters."

Popular R&B singer, Toni Braxton, told reporters why she chose Drake as her favorite for best new artist.

"I love Drake. Okay, he's my cougar crush or my panther crush. I love him. So, I'm partial to him. So yummy."

Braxton has won six Grammy Awards in her career and has sold 40 million records worldwide.

Hip hop artist Taboo, of The Black Eyed Peas, agreed with Braxton, but also added another name to the mix for personal reasons.

"I would have to say Drake. But I would also have to say Justin Bieber, because he's rocking my new shoes, the Taboo Deltas. So, I gotta give it up to the man for doing that."

The Black Eyed Peas have also earned six Grammys.

In addition to Canadians Drake and Justin Bieber, American Esperanza Spalding, the other two contenders for best new artist are the British acts Florence & The Machine, and Mumford & Sons.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga is a favorite to win album of the year for "The Fame Monster."

Kelly Osbourne explained why Gaga is her choice in this prized Grammy category.

"I would have to go with Lady Gaga. Because, that--when you categorize and you think about it, like music nerds would probably go for Arcade Fire. But that is the best-produced pop album I think I have ever heard. So I have to go with Lady Gaga."

R&B artist Keri Hilson agreed Lady Gaga should take home the trophy in this slot.

"She's a perfect blend of image and music. You know what I mean? Her music is just as big as her image is. And her image is big. She's very avant-garde and her music is, too. And I love to see that, you know, symmetry."

Hilson was nominated for best new artist for the 2010 Grammys.

In addition to Lady Gaga with "The Fame Monster," the other nominees for album of the year are Arcade Fire with "The Suburbs," Eminem with "Recovery," Lady Antebellum with "Need You Now," and Katy Perry for "Teenage Dream."

Among the other attendees at the celebrity-laden pre-Grammy party were Jennifer Hudson, Barry Manilow, Lenny Kravitz, Leona Lewis, Nick Lachey, and Randy Jackson.

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from Downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13, 2011.