Christina Aguilera performs "Tilt Ya Head Back"
how things worked-out during MTV's Video Music Awards last week
--pop music's brightest stars all collected their awards at the
American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami, but spent most of their
time over here in South Beach partying at every sexy location
imaginable, from ocean-front hotels to private homes on Star Island.
As an example of what a world-wide
splash this star-studded partying in Miami Beach made, news sites as far away as WebIndia reported on P. Diddy's
Star Island soiree where the food buffet was served on top of a
nude female, with
Will Smith taking the first bite of forbidden fruit and prompting
other guests to join in.
|Paris Hilton at MTV's
2004 Video Music Awards
Room for One More
After months of prepping for a
monster VMA weekend, South Beach got
its first taste of star power when residents spotted Paris Hilton leaving the lobby of
The Shore Club. Ironically, the Hilton heiress didn't stay in her namesake's hotel 20 blocks north --which might have been a
better idea, because, as Page Six reported, Hilton's credit card was
declined. Apparently forgetting to pay bills isn't unusual
for the heiress, so accepting the situation as a mere oversight, the Shore Club let
Paris flash the cash at a later date. Obviously she's good for it.
Thursday led to even more sightings, as Jamie Foxx was seen cruising the town in a blue Lamborghini in the early afternoon. Foxx, who will
play Ray Charles in the upcoming film
Ray, kicked off his Thursday night at Teasers by pouring one of 10 bottles of Cristal down the throats of some very lovely - and lucky - ladies.
On Friday, Adidas kicked off the weekend with a Missy Elliott-style cookout at
The Sagamore. Elliott was there, along with
Queen Latifah and
The Flaming Lips. (Yes, that guy that was in the bubble at the awards).
|Usher arriving at his post
VMA party at the
Mansion nightclub had a
mob-scene of star-seekers
out front waiting to get in seemingly undeterred by the
cover. Inside the huge club
most of the celebs were
safely shielded away in a
heavily guarded ultra-VIP
area. But, unknown to most people waiting out
front, celebs actually entered Mansion via the back
alley entrance where the
red carpet was set-up. Here, journalists, paparazzi and a few onlookers climbed around the metal barricades to
gaze upon the motherload of celebrities
entering Mansion in support
P. Diddy's Citizen Change voting rally.
Diddy, of course arrived sporting enough bling to blind --from his diamond-studded watch to his custom-made
"Vote or Die" diamond necklace, Diddy was showing his patriotism
in true Miami Beach
and an entourage of 25 people made their way across the red carpet, as
did the gorgeous Naomi Campbell.
seeking to shield the arrival of
from the paparazzi created a diversion with rap singer
Da Brat while
the heiress ducked into the club unseen by photographers.
With this diversion
became absolutely furious. (Apparently images of Da Brat aren't as
marketable as those of
Ms. Hilton) Shouts of "What am I
going to do with pictures of Da Brat? I can't sell those... Who the hell is Da Brat?...It's
your job to get Paris out here and make her do press"
bombarded the publicists, then other
photographers began arguing with those causing such a scene as
they feared this
would shut down the entire red carpet for everyone.
In the midst of this
scene, a frantic Queen Latifah dressed in a pink button-up shirt and white Dior handbag, came flying out of Mansion with her body guards practically knocking-over some folks in the media pit.
The frenzy at Mansion's back
alley red carpet set-up for the media was so intense that
black tank top, cropped pants and
black CFMPs, was able to
wander down the alley behind Mansion with Geffen Records
President Jordan Schur unnoticed by the squabbling paparazzi. After shaking hands with
fans, she approached a side
entrance door furthest away
from the media, but the doorman wouldn't
allow her to enter telling the platinum-selling artist the only way she could get in was
to walk the red carpet (through the mass of journalist and paparazzi). Schur stepped in and demanded the doorman
let the MTV reality star through, but when the bouncer refused yet again, Schur and Simpson
simply departed back down the alley
rather than submit to the media circus in full swing
barely 50 feet away. The biggest laugh of all was that not a single
paparazzi was able to stop their feuding long enough
to notice the incident and get photos.
|Jaime Pressly arriving at
P. Diddy's post VMA party
on Star Island
Saturday Night Fever
While Mansion was
Friday night's "it" spot for MTVs who's-who, fans of
No Doubt who waited in
line for a concert from the pop/ska band to support a
Democratic fundraiser were disappointed when the
band cancelled its performance. They did,
however, receive an appearance by
John Kerry's daughters. Maybe we South Beach denizens are a little jaded, but somehow
swapping No Doubt for the Kerry daughters just doesn't
seem like a even trade.
Crobar stunned audiences with live performances by opening act
De La Soul and the
Beastie Boys for MTV2/LIFEbeat,
the music industry's AIDS
awareness program. Performing on a
tiny stage approximately the size
of a king-sized bed, the Beastie Boys mixed elements from their first album with their latest one, creating a frenzy of fans who pumped their fists and cheered
frantically. Beastie Boy
sported a "Time's Up, Mr. Bush" T-shirt, but that was as political as the party
got. Seen moving through the crowd was former Saturday Night Live
star Jimmy Fallon, who
quickly made his way up to the secluded super-duper VIP area upstairs. After the show, Fallon and a herd of friends took off down Washington
Avenue, with Fallon laughing and ducking as he ran toward a black SUV
in front of Butterfly Lounge.
The Blender Magazine/Neptunes party at
Nobu was a tasty delight for
of Nick Lachey and
Jessica Simpson, along with sister Ashlee, their dad and mom, who were all hanging in the VIP.
|Shaquille O'Neal and wife
Shaunie at Usher's party
at the Shore Club
While the elite were invited to
Missy Elliott and
P. Diddy parties on
Miami Beach's Star Island, Elliott, for some unknown reason skipped out on her soiree, but still made
sure guests had plenty of eye candy to ogle. Paris Hilton was there,
though she was supposed to be hosting her own party at Mansion.
On Friday night the hotel heiress must have had enough of the club-scene (hard to believe, I know), because she never showed up
at the event. Instead, Mansion happily welcomed
Ashley Olsen, who were having a
great time and partying like rock stars, even though that's the one part
of their empire they've yet to broach.
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!
The scene at the VMAs in downtown Miami was both sheer excitement and utter chaos.
TV helicopters and airplanes
towing party banners
filled the skies, while
those lucky enough to get tickets made their way across barricaded streets to the musical promise land. While the
show was in progress, South Beach was busy getting ready for the
be-all-end-all of after-parties, and as the awards came to a close, Usher looked into the camera and announced to MTV that he was on his way to
the Shore Club's SkyBar to
party - and of course that meant everyone else on the planet was, also.
Jessica & Ashlee Simpson
at VMA's Pre-Party hosted by
Pharrell Williams & Chad Hugo
SkyBar's entrance was
absolutely fierce. Conrad was working the door and despite being his life-long friend,
screaming his name or offering him your
most prized sexual favors, you
just weren't getting in. It was a time when South Beach locals realized they had no juice whatsoever once the big dogs
Those of us who were lucky enough to get inside
(don't ask how we did it --it's borderline illegal) were greeted with a fabulous circus
themed scene. Jaguars with diamond-studded collars, snakes wrapped around painted ladies, and trapeze artists dangling above the pool, while fashionistas sipped champagne at the open bar.
The crowed "oohed" and "aahed,"
as a magnificent fireworks
display lit up the South Beach sky, but in
reality, the fireworks was nothing more than a diversionary tactic to
keep the masses from noticing
Usher's entrance to his
private soiree. As partygoers
looked up at the sky, Usher, who won Best Male Video and Best Dance Video,
snuck in via the private
entrance at the far right of the pool.
The singer filed in with the likes of Lil Jon and the
East Side Boyz, a very
Shaquille O'Neil, and
Jet, who won Best Rock Video.
After his stealthy
entrance, Usher found his place on a throne made
just for him in the VIP where the paparazzi snapped
away at the unofficial king of R&B.
Back on the celeb-less side of the party,
some out-of-control fan tried to invade the VIP area and was tackled to the ground by two
watchful bodyguards. For
some bizarre reason idiot-boy
kept on struggling even though he was way out-muscled, and the guards
finally had no
choice but to pepper spray
As the spray wafted through
the crowd, people started to choke and cough, and with hands clutched over their
mouths and tears streaming down their face, they
angrily walked out of Usher's victory party.
Dave Navarro and
Carmen Electra were making an appearance down the street
The National Hotel for Ocean Drive's event, the lines at the
Shore Club grew even more intense.
After fire marshals
shut down the velvet ropes for further entry due to the tremendous
crowds inside, along comes supermodel Naomi Campbell who
found out that even fame
and her notorious temper
wasn't getting her into
SkyBar tonight. Screaming at doormen, the frustrated Campbell shouted
she would "have your
jobs," then uttered the kiss-of-death
here in Miami: "Don't you know
who I am?" The doormen knew who she
was alright, but apparently the Fire Marshals didn't.
Even though MTV has a fifteen
year history in Miami, first shooting "The Grind" at the Raleigh
hotel then numerous specials all over South Beach, this was the
first year the VMA was held anywhere other than New York or LA. But,
if the level of partying in South Beach was any indication of the
event's success, we get the feeling they'll be headed back this way