I don't know who won the Grammys, and I don't really care. What interests me is what people had in their swag bags. Luckily, as a reporter I was invited to cover the Official Backstage Talent Gift Lounge, where I was chaperoned like a 13-year-old at a Bar Mitzvah.
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It works like this: There are the gift bags, and the gift lounge. The gift bag is on a guest's seat before the awards ceremony and requires no schmoozing. The gift lounge, meanwhile, is where folks physically hand out gifts to famous people, in hopes of gaining their products exposure. Deluxe swag included...
...everything from eye drops and throat drops to hand-dipped chocolates. Also, a USB shaver (!), a Touchfire iPad keyboard, and a IDAPT iPhone 5 lightning tip. Oh, and gift certificates to tropical resorts and an acupuncturist. Sadly, I didn't get any of the good shit, though I did score a Diet Pepsi.
This year's "official" gifting suite was under a white, big-top-style tent at Staples Center, right next to the awards ceremony. If America had a caste system, here's where you'd find it: only Grammy nominees and presenters were presumably "gifted," and camera-wielding plebeians such as I were assigned attendants to escort us, lest we tried to snag any swag for ourselves.
The list of gift-room Grammy guests included everyone from Katy Perry and Ellen Degeneres to Elton John and Patti Smith; basically, anyone who was either onstage or nominated for a Grammy. Also, MC Lyte and AJ McLean got a bunch of stuff, so there you go.
Clockwise from top left: An adorable kid doled out "fashion-forward fine jewelry" designed by LL Cool J's wife, Simone I. Smith. A cancer survivor, Smith has a tattoo of a lollipop that looks like it's been bitten, which inspired her to create pendants in the form of half-eaten suckers, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.
Next, Jeanette Longoria designed a limited edition of 100 hand-illustrated canvas shoes called "Music With Sole" for Carlitos Brand. Then, another adorable kid with a stylin' 'stache touted made-in-America street clothes from the Listen Collection by LGGK. Lastly, Seyie Putsure designed the "look" of the entire gift lounge on behalf of her firm, Seyie Design, a service that was valued at about $7400.
Below: The vagina steamer!