The audience at Clive Davis's pre-Grammy gala included legends from the music world, such as Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell and Barbra Streisand, as well as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who got the most requests to take a selfie.
Nancy Pelosi and Barbra Streisand at the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Clarence Avant at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 9, 2019 in Beverly Hills.
Pelosi's sarcastic handclap and smirk to U.S. President Donald Trump at his State of the Union address last week went viral, launching hundreds of memes.
At the top of the event and as she tried to exit, people asked to take selfies, nearly creating a line as Pelosi smiled through them all.
The night closed with a rousing tribute to Franklin, who died in August.
First, R&B diva Jazmine Sullivan was joined by Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas (whose "Smooth" was key in rebooting Carlos Santana's career with 2000's Clive Davis-helmed eight-time Grammy-winning Supernatural album), for a spirited remake of Franklin's duet with George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me". But the best was saved for last, when Beyoncé-protégé sister act and Best New Artist Grammy nominees Chloe x Halle, fresh off their magnificent "America the Beautiful" performance at last weekend's Super Bowl LIII, delivered a fierce rendition of Franklin and Annie Lennox's "Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves" empowerment anthem - with Brandi Carlile, Valerie Simpson (of Ashford & Simpson fame), and The Greatest Showman star Keala Settle jumping onstage for the surprise big finish.
Rapper Travis Scott, nominated for three Grammys, kicked off the night with the hit Goosebumps.
"Don't be scared to stand up now", Scott's DJ said. Known as the "Godfather of Black Music", the label exec and manager has been working in the music industry for more than 50 years.
The 61st annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET.