Elton John has chosen 17-year-old phenomenal singer Joss Stone to entertain at his big Oscar party on Sunday night.
Stone sounds like an old soul singer. Her debut album, "Soul Sessions," produced by a bunch of R&B veterans including the wonderful Betty Wright (“Clean Up Woman”), has been a stunning success. Stone’s second album, almost finished, is said to be even better.
Elton’s annual Oscar party is for his AIDS Foundation, which raises millions every year for research. As usual this year the party — which is held on Robertson Drive in a huge tented space — should draw dozens of celebrities including Sting, Sharon Stone and a list that rivals or surpasses Vanity Fair’s fest across the street. Already RSVP’d: Beck, Johnny Depp, Naomi Watts, Billy Crystal, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger, Phil Collins, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rosdale, Linda Evangelista, Tony Bennett, Andre 3000 (OutKast), Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Diane Keaton, Charlize Theron, Sean Penn, Jude Law, Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro, Macy Gray, Eric McCormack, Nia Vardalos, Hilary Duff, Michelle Branch, Taryn Manning, Christian Slater and wife Ryan Haddon.
Already Hollywood is buzzing with pre-Oscar excitement, even though the weather here is dreadful. (Please, Academy, move this thing back to late March next year. Everyone is complaining about something!)
Last night at the trendy Ago restaurant on Melrose, famous O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro was at one table, Paramount Classics chiefs Ruth Vitale and David Dinerstein ruled another, and 80s rockers Daryl Hall and John Oates held court on the covered patio while Nikki Haskell and Beverly Johnson, fresh from Patrick McMullan’s hit book party, dined with friends.
As for Patrick’s party at the Earl McGrath gallery for his wonderful book of photographs from the Eighties: the eternally gorgeous and gracious Jacqueline Bisset was there along with film and TV mogul Jerry Bruckheimer, actress Ann Magnuson (featured in one of the photos) and dozens of the most attractive people I’ve ever seen in one room. On the walls were lots of other celebrities Patrick has photographed over the years, but the one that struck me was a twenty something John Kennedy Jr. caught out on the town one night. Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway: what a tragedy.
Meantime, most of the talk this week is about the transplantation from London and New York to Los Angeles of the private club, Soho House. The owners have rented a mansion above Sunset Plaza, completely refitted it from its tacky origins to a breathtaking new space (they’ve outlawed the real owner from coming near the place during the week, I’m told.) The food for dinners, etc. is being catered by London’s extremely incredible restaurant, The Ivy. Because of the house’s location, the views from the small dining area are spectacular. Altogether, Soho House L.A. is about to become the weekend’s hottest ticket. Already this week Macy Gray has sung there, the Diamond Information Center has sponsored several parties, and there’s talk that a late night after party post-Oscars is being planned.
And it’s only Thursday, folks.