For the fourth consecutive year, Clive Davis and The Recording Academy® presentd the annual Pre-GRAMMY®Gala on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., the evening before the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards (ww.grammy.com). Sponsored by Harman, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyundai, and MasterCard Worldwide, this exclusive, star-studded celebration featured special musical performances and was attended by the world's most renowned artists and top industry VIPs in music, film, television and new media.
Check out photos fromt he star-sudded event below!
Sir Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group. Born in England, Branson entered the music industry when he opened a record shop in London called Virgin Records and Tapes, and thus the Virgin brand was born. Soon after, he founded Virgin Records with Nik Powell. The label garnered unprecedented acclaim with its first release: multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield's progressive rock album Tubular Bells. Other artists signed to the label over the next 20 years would include Culture Club, Devo, Genesis, Janet Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Roy Orbison, the Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, the Smashing Pumpkins, and many more. In 1992, Branson sold Virgin Records to EMI Music, but later re-entered the music industry with V2 Records in 1996, which he later sold to Universal Music Group in 2007.
With locations spanning the United States and Europe, the Virgin Megastores chain of record stores drove the music retailing business for many years across the globe. Other entrepreneurial ventures under the Virgin Group umbrella include Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin America airlines, and telecommunications company Virgin Mobile. Branson was on the forefront of live music festivals, founding England's V Festival, and Virgin Mobile Freefest, a free U.S. music festival that raises money for RE*Generation, a Virgin Mobile initiative combating youth homelessness.
Branson has made many notable philanthropic contributions throughout his entrepreneurial career. Virgin Unite is his nonprofit organization dedicated to using global leadership to address conflict, climate change, and disease. The Elders is an initiative he founded in 2007 with Peter Gabriel, Gra?a Machel, and Nelson Mandela, addressing global issues such as health and gender equality. The Carbon War Room is an initiative that Branson founded to scale energy efficiency activity to deliver a profitable lower carbon economy. In 2009 Virgin America became the first U.S. airline to join the Climate Registry, publishing its first annual climate report and committing to reporting its emissions. In 1999 Branson was knighted for services in entrepreneurship.
Photo Credit: Kevan Brooks/AdMedia / Retna Ltd.