Apple and YouTube surprise all at Clive Davis’ big Grammys party

Apple and YouTube surprise all at Clive Davis’ big Grammys party

Grammy-nominated a capella group Pentatonix Fotografia de: Avi Kaplan, Kirstie Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and Kevin Olusola
LOS ANGELES — Times change. In its 39th year, music mogul Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards gala once again was Grammy week’s hottest ticket in town, but this year more than ever the party showcased digital’s monumental impact on the music industry.

Davis not only handpicks every guest and performer at the star-studded event, he also name-drops his selections with grandiose introductions. Two of his first three reveals on Saturday night were surprisingly Apple‘s Tim Cook and Eddy Cue.

He described Cook, Apple’s CEO, as a “special human” who leads the world’s “most-valuable company,” and he went on to describe Cue as “the man who played a vital and integral role in setting up the revolutionary iTunes [in 2003] and App Store [in 2008].”

The shout-outs were a very telling statement about the music industry’s appreciation of technology in an progressive year for The Recording Academy, which is making Sunday’s Grammys telecast available online for the first time ever and ramping up its social media game across such platforms as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat.

The crowd of past and present A-list artists also witnessed YouTube‘s footprint on the industry when the Grammy-nominated a cappella group Pentatonix, who owes much of its success to its YouTube audience of 7.5 million subscribers, performed a tribute medley of Bee Gees songs before Barry Gibb took the stage.

Pentatonix — nominated for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for a “Daft Punk” medley — also performed at Thursday’s Grammy Connect, where musical Vine couple Us the Duo, another group that earned a record deal after becoming viral online, opened.

Not everyone was on the digital bandwagon, though. Martin Bandier, who earned the President’s Merit Award, discussed the dangers of streaming music during his speech.

“Songwriters are not being fairly compensated in today’s digital world,” Bandier said, inciting applause from Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Miley Cyrus, John Legend and more.

Swift, of course, has recently been vocal about royalties in the streaming age, saying in November that she’s “not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music.”

Davis, 82, having lived through many music evolutions, still believes in the music industry despite the hurdles involving streaming, dwindling album sales and questionable royalties.

“[The] industry will be more vital than ever in the future,” he proclaimed.

BONUS: Full list of 2015 Grammy performers, so far

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