Steven Tyler’s Grammy Awards viewing party returned Sunday after the annual event took a hiatus in 2021 due to the pandemic.
The event takes place before dinner and a show at the Hollywood Palladium and historically benefits Tyler’s charitable organization Janie’s Fund, a philanthropic initiative to raise awareness for young girls who have survived abuse and neglect. In partnership with Youth Villages, a non-profit organization, the fund’s name was inspired by Aerosmith’s 1989 hit song ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’, which tells the story of a young girl who was a victim of domestic violence.
At the beginning of the evening, the Aerosmith frontman toasted the audience, kicking off the livestream of the Grammy. After the three-course dinner and the awards broadcast, the rock star made his first public appearance in two years, playing a piano version of Aeorsmith’s “Dream On.”
In an emotional speech, Tyler spoke to the crowd about how child victims of neglect and abuse as a result of the pandemic “paid dearly,” referring to Janie and Gabriel Fernandez, the 8-year-old boy who was the victim of abuse and ultimately, murder — a story that was recorded in Netflix’s The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez†
“The world stood still,” Tyler said of the start of the pandemic. “Instantly, 2020 became a devastating F5 tornado – a worst-case scenario for children in this country. Schools closed, stay-at-homes were introduced, meaning personal and economic stress and substance abuse would be rampant. Children were paid dearly. It makes me cringe when I think of the Janie’s and Gabriel’s of 2020.”
Jessie J took to the Palladium stage later that evening, replacing original artist Miley Cyrus who was no longer able to attend due to a positive test for COVID-19.
“Give it up to the mind-blowing talent Jessie J. Thank you for being great to us and to Miley,” Tyler addressed the crowd. “As you’ve all heard by now, Miley couldn’t be with us tonight. We’re sending her our vibes and we hope she’ll feel better soon. Thanks also to Miley’s incredible band who are still going to make it with us tonight. †
Cyrus tweeted about the news Saturday night she apologized to Janie’s Fund and Tyler for her absence. The pop star wrote: “If you travel the world, play in front of 100,000 people a night and meet hundreds of fans a day, the chances of getting Covid are pretty high. I now have Covid, but it was well worth it.” She followed with a second tweet stating that she ‘feels good’.
Several major ticket items were auctioned off during the night, including Aerosmith’s touring “Dream On” piano autographed by Tyler for $700,000, a portrait by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts for $100,000 and an original Mick Rock photograph of Tyler performing live with Aerosmith in 1976 courtesy. The event raised a record $4.6 million for Janie’s Fund.
Other attendees included Ashlee Simpson Ross and Evan Ross, Caitlyn Jenner, Melissa Joan Hart, Ashley Benson, Matt Sorum and Kat Graham.