Jessie J played to an intimate crowd of 600 guests at Steven Tyler’s 4th Annual Grammy Viewing Party, after Cyrus, the previously-announced headliner, dropped out following a positive Covid-19 test. With Cyrus having been scheduled to perform up until Friday, organizers for the charity gala were left scrambling to find a last-minute replacement.
“I just got the call two days ago and I’m still running on U.K. time,” Jessie told to the audience, adding, “This is only my third live show in three years.”
The eleventh-hour change meant Jessie J wasn’t able to fly her band into town, so the singer took the stage with Cyrus’ band and backup singers. Jessie admitted she only had “an hour or so” of rehearsal time with the group, though she praised their professionalism and flexibility, saying, “I feel like I won American Idol.”
Jessie J ran through a tight set of hits, opening with “Bang Bang” and closing with “Domino,” but it was her cover of “Party in the USA” that really got the crowd going. “This song paid my rent for a long time,” she quipped, before leading a sing-along with an eclectic group of guests that included everyone from young stars like Jxdn, Dyllón Burnside and Will Ropp, to Caitlyn Jenner, Chad Kroeger and Dee Snider.
“This is the song I wrote about moving to LA,” Jessie said. “Thank you for letting me have this moment.”
Tyler also made a cameo during Jessie J’s set, joining the singer to close out the night with an energetic performance of “Walk This Way.” Earlier in the evening, the Aerosmith frontman serenaded the crowd with a rendition of “Dream On;”
Tyler’s Grammy viewing party served as a fundraiser for Janie’s Fund, a philanthropic initiative created by Tyler in partnership with the non-profit group Youth Villages, to support girls who have suffered from abuse and neglect. Organizers say Sunday’s event raised more than $4.6 million for Janie’s Fund — the largest total they have ever collected.
Tyler’s annual event launched in 2018 and has since raised more than $12.2 million for Janie’s Fund, which is named after the Aerosmith song “Janie’s Got a Gun.” The group has spoken in the past about how the song was written after Tyler saw a Time magazine cover story about gun violence in the U.S., along with a Newsweek article about children being abused in affluent suburbs.
Co-chairs for Tyler’s viewing party this year included Elton John, Alice Cooper, Lionel Richie, Ashlee Simpson and Melissa Joan Hart, who recently donated her more than $1 million Celebrity Wheel of Fortune earnings to Janie’s Fund.