The amazing Stevie Wonder couldn't have been too surprised because so many people knew what was happening, but he still got a kick out of the birthday party thrown for him in the Bahamas on Thursday night. Lots of stars and Motown-related types, like producer Suzanne dePasse, who ran the company for years, showed up to fete Wonder's 57th.
Wonder performed his own songs and was serenaded by the likes of jazz great Nancy Wilson, and newer stars Joss Stone, John Legend, and India.arie.
How did they get Stevie down to the Bahamas and Atlantis Hotel? His designer wife, Kai Milla-Morris, put on a fashion show poolside at the new luxe Cove Hotel at Atlantis for a bunch of friends including Holly Robinson-Peete and Michael Michele.
The bigger surprise of the night was the appearance of Whitney Houston, who sources tell me looked "stoned."
Maybe her red eyes were just from jet lag, flying in from Los Angeles. Houston is supposedly working on her new album there after going through a yearlong rehab from drug and alcohol abuse. Since she also looked and behaved "stoned" at the pre-Grammy dinner in February — readers may recall her basically ignoring Al Gore and snickering at her table — one wonders what Houston's rehab has really added up to.
But Houston's shenanigans couldn't put a damper on the wild times. The Bahamas all-star music weekend was held at the Atlantis to celebrate the new upscale Cove luxury hotel plus other new additions at Kerzner Resorts' Caribbean gem. Last night things kicked into high gear with a performance by Janet Jackson. Janet arrived with mom Katherine, sisters La Toya and Reebe. It was a girls' weekend, with no sign or mention of any of her brothers including Michael, although there was one reported sighting of Jacko's publicist Raymone Bain.
In the audience and helping to launch the Atlantis changes celebrities of all stripes like: Sean Connery; director Spike Lee; Kelsey Grammer; Claire Danes; Jeremy Piven; Tim Allen; Ashanti; Usher; Ashford and Simpson; Nile Rodgers; Natalie Cole; Sam "Soul Man" Moore; Janet's producer Jimmy Jam Harris and her new label chief Antonio LA Reid of Island/DefJam; Gayle King (sans Oprah despite rumors); Bo Derek and John Corbett; Denise Rich; Carol Alt; Star Jones; Al Roker; Alan Thicke and ABC weatherman Sam Champion; Michael Jordan; Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley.
If things get out of hand, O.J. Simpson defense attorney Robert Shapiro was on hand. And Clinton fundraiser and grocery chain magnate Ron Burkle is said to be on the scene as well.
Spotted around the Atlantis compound: Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. His group plays tomorrow night during a '70s party that is also said to feature Donna Summer and John Travolta. Guests were told to wear their best Studio 54 duds. It should be interesting. Tyler is there with actress daughter Liv, her rocker husband Royston Langston, and toddler son Milo.