GRAMMYs gift lounge a hit with music royalty

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Recording artist George Clinton attends GRAMMY Gift Lounge during the 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lilly Lawrence/WireImage)

LOS ANGELES-When the GRAMMY Awards come to town everyone knows it. The GRAMMYs is to the music industry what the Academy Awards are to the many talented thespians, writers and creators that make up the acting industry. The big buzz surrounding the GRAMMYs this year was the stop-the-press performance by five-time winner Adele and her classic homage paid to Beyoncé.

Running right behind the Adele show at this year’s GRAMMYs were the moving tributes to the Bee Gees, Prince and George Michaels.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 11: Musician Morris Day of The Time attends GRAMMY Gift Lounge during the 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lily Lawrence/WireImage)

But before the party got started, there was the 59th Annual GRAMMY Gift Lounge put on by Distinctive Assets, a venue more or less backstage to where all the musical theatrics took place at Stales Center in downtown Los Angeles.

“It is a true honor to be even a very small part of Music’s Biggest Night for so many years now, says Distinctive Assets founder Lash Fary. “Just as the GRAMMYs themselves are the gold standard in the music industry, the GRAMMY Gift Lounge has become the benchmark by which all other talent gifting experiences are measured.”

Braving through the dreariness of the rain and chill elements for a couple of days, celebrities made their way down to the hotbed gifting suite to grab some goodies provided by some rather interesting vendors.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 10: Singer Mya attends GRAMMY Gift Lounge during the 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lily Lawrence/WireImage)

For three days, this was the hub of activity as performers like funk man George Clinton (Parliament), blues artist William Bell, singers Madie Wolf, Blake Lewis, Zealyn, Audra Day, Mya, Chole Bailey and Halle Bailey, musicians Jimmy Jam, Jerome Benton, Jesse Johnson and Morris Day of The Time, as well as Amber Rose and actor John Travolta, among others, made their way down to this sweet spot.

For businesses and vendors, being a part of a gifting lounge like the one set up by Distinctive Assets for talent participating in the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards, mean getting your brand associated with a star or two, and that is worth more than a thousand words when it comes to publicity.

So every year, vendors sponsoring hair and beauty products, tech stuff and eateries vie for the right to have their business front and center of the Distinctive Assets GRAMMY Gift Lounge. Of course, when you’re shopping you get access to a wide variety of items to choose from that will satisfy the taste buds.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 09: Singer William Bell attends GRAMMY Gift Lounge during the 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lilly Lawrence/WireImage)

For those individuals coming out to the 59th Annual GRAMMY Gift Lounge by Distinctive Assets, and sponsored by MTG, the shopping cart list was long and extensive. You won’t see any celebrities complaining about that. The more the merrier.

Along with the GRAMMY gift bag provided to them that included items from the American Heart Association, Betty Jane Candies, Nike, Old Spice, In Season Beauty, i-Water, Crystal Hill Organics, Crayola, ChapStick and Curlee Girlee, celebrities and talent had the opportunity to soak in the attention bestowed upon them by the businesses fortunate enough to make the gift lounge cut.

There were plenty.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 09: Amber Rose attends GRAMMY Gift Lounge during the 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/WireImage)

Blue Nun brought out the bottles to showcase its 24K Gold Sparkling Wine.

“It is a sparkling wine from Germany, and before bottling, we add 24-carat gold flakes with every bottle. It is slightly sweet, very refreshing…makes it very easy to drink,” said Mark C. Tramont, a Blue Nun spokesman. “Where we found our largest popularity is in the female audience between  the ages of 30 to 45. They seem to enjoy the product the best.”

Gold Leaf Gourmet, only up and running for a few months, believe they have the solution to your home dessert needs with their dessert kits. Speaking of home care kits, Oomi just might have the next big thing in home security with its high-end tech home systems.

“Oomi is a smart home system. I like to call it my home in a box,” said Winston Chang. “It’s your entire home theater system, lighting system, security system. It comes with an app. You can download the app and you can see what’s happening in your home.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 11: Musician Sean Connors of Third Coast Percussion attends GRAMMY Gift Lounge during the 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage)

On the fun end, there is probably not another company quite like Hasbro Gaming and the company’s ways of equipping individuals and families with games (Toilet Trouble, Trivia Pursuit X, Scrabble, Monopoly) to entertain themselves. One of the more interesting vendors to make their way into the GRAMMY Gift Lounge was UniversiTee Box, which ships care packages to college students all over the country.

By the number of people stopping by their space, it was evident that UniversiTee Box was a hit. That’s because everyone either has a student in college, have been to college or know someone in college, and know what care packages mean to a starving student. Aside of getting a care package from mom, UniversiTee Box has opened the floodgates for more struggling students to have something to hold on while going through the rigors of college life and being away from home.

“The UniversiTee Box is a monthly care package for girls in college,” said Delores Balogun, chief operating officer for UniversiTee Box. “In every month, we send care packages to girls all around the world and the unique thing about our product is that we have an inspirational message. The message is about encouraging girls, self-love and empowerment while also giving them key essentials that they need while they are in college.”

One company that best reflects the mood of the whole GRAMMY weekend probably rests on the talented hands of Gina Rivera. Rivera’s Tools by Gina was the clear centerpiece of the gift lounge. The hair, beauty and salon company was a hit. A fashion and beauty icon in her own right, Rivera said Tools by Gina is the embodiment of the pop culture that the GRAMMYs are all about.

“I’m so excited. This is actually the second year that I’ve been here. So it’s always such an honor to be part of something that is so big,” Rivera said. “I am a hairstylist. We’re very much into pop culture and into music an movies, what have you. That gives us our inspiration as stylists. To me, we wanted to be part of this, share my products with all of this amazing talent. It’s always fun. It’s just an exciting vibe. Who doesn’t love music? Everybody.”       

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1138 Articles
Dennis covers the NFL (Chargers), NBA (Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers), Major League Baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers) and NCAA sports (USC, UCLA, Long Beach State). Dennis has also covered and written on topics such as civil rights, politics and social justice. Dennis is a proud alum of Howard University.