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Cash Money Grammy Party: Whitney Houston Was Set to Attend

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Cash Money Records has a lot to celebrate, so on Saturday night (Feb. 11), for the second year in a row, the label commemorated its Grammy nominations by throwing a lavish bash, this time at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Calif.

Nicki Minaj‘s three Grammy nods, including one for the coveted Best New Artist award, were among the topics of discussion during the party. “It’s so great; I’m so proud,” Cash Money’s CEO, Ronald “Slim” Williams, told The BoomBox, speaking about his entire team, Minaj included. “I know how hard they work, people don’t get the chance to see, so it’s great for me because they deserve everything. They deserve all they get. We work hard. When everybody’s sleeping, we work and take pride in everything we do.”

Unlike last year, many of the bigger names on the Cash Money roster — like Lil Wayne and Drake — opted for low-key entrances to the celebration. Both bypassed the red carpet and entered the event away from the eyes of cameras, while Minaj was not seen at the party. Aside from Wayne and Drake, much of the Cash Money family walked the gold carpet, which was accented by matching decor inside and was the brainchild of celebrity party planner Collin Cowie, who stuck to his reputation for exuberance.

The night was also marked with tragedy, given the news that Whitney Houston had died in her hotel room earlier in the afternoon. Houston’s passing shocked many in the music industry and was especially hard for Slim, as he revealed that she was scheduled to attend the party.

“It’s a sad day for everybody, because she was one of the greatest,” he said. “I don’t even know what to say. I’m very shocked about it. She was supposed to be here tonight.”

In the wake of her death, producers of the Grammy Awards announced that a tribute would be performed by Jennifer Hudson. Back in 2009, Houston presented the ‘American Idol’ alum with the Grammy for Best R&B Album.

While this year’s show will likely center on Houston’s life and career, fans will have to wait for the live broadcast airing on CBS tonight 8PM EST to see whether Minaj will be victorious in taking home the Best New Artist award, or any other trophies.

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