OutKast (music group)

Grammys 2013: Mood lifts at Clive Davis gala

Grammys 2013: Mood lifts at Clive Davis gala

This post has been updated. Please see below for details.

The annual pre-Grammy gala known as the Clive Davis party is an A-list showbiz summit — "the invite everybody wants,” as CBS boss Les Moonves put it — masquerading as an intimate hang. This year's event Saturday at the Beverly Hilton was no exception.

That's why Usher, R&B's crown prince, admitted to the packed ballroom that he once planned to use the stage name Cha Cha. He was doing his part to make the star-studded audience feel like family.

But he was aiming to keep the mood light too: Saturday’s party came days away from the anniversary of Whitney Houston’s death, which last year...