*Ann Powers, LA Times music critic writes …
It was another official Night to Remember. Yet despite a showstopping appearance by Mary J. Blige and other performances of note from Harry Connick, Jr. and Maxwell, the event didn’t hold its audience.
Many famous faces exited just before midnight; by the time Jamie Foxx came out to close the show less than an hour later, the venue was perhaps one-third full.
The rapid loss of heat affected the impact of what was happening onstage. Jennifer Hudson’s heartfelt two-song tribute to Barbra Streisand (who stayed to witness the honor) didn’t bring down the house the way her post-“Dreamgirls” appearance had a few years previous. Rob Thomas and Santana were lively, but the empty seats before them suggested the fading moments of a wedding reception.
Why did this happen? There were other parties to attend, for one thing. The Roots and Ne-Yo both hosted late-starting events; in fact, the R&B crooner was part of that big-name exodus.
Read the rest of Ann Powers’ review HERE.