Blige, Legend, Anthony Headline Super Bowl Bash

Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Marc Anthony kicked off Super Bowl weekend in style by serenading a celebrity-filled crowd in Manhattan.

Hundreds of New Yorkers and visitors packed into Cipriani’s 42nd Street Friday night for a party sponsored by Shape and Men’s Fitness magazines. Tickets cost $2,500 per person.

Photo: Starpix, Dave Allocca/AP
Shape Magazine and Men's Fitness Super Bowl Party at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.

Blige opened the show and had many in the crowd ignoring their dinner by the end of her energetic set, which included hits like “I’m Goin’ Down,” ‘‘Good Woman Down” and an impassioned rendition of “No More Drama” that brought the crowd to its feet.

Serenading a swanky Manhattan crowd, singer Legend said he never thought he’d see the day a Super Bowl came to New York City.

Then he corrected himself: “More accurately, New Jersey.” With that, he launched into a song by one of New Jersey’s favorite sons, Bruce Springsteen: “Dancing in the Dark.”

Guests – who included supermodels like Petra Nemcova, TV hosts like Stephen Colbert, Katie Couric and Gayle King, and movie folk like Harvey Weinstein – were served lobster, strip loin and branzino. The theme being fitness, there were also offerings like kale smoothies, and non-alcoholic “shots” made with lemon and ginger.

A charity auction during the dinner brought in amounts like $8,000 for a dinner for six at Rao’s, a New York restaurant that’s notoriously difficult to get into, and $4,000 for a Movado sports watch.

Beneficiaries included the Happy Hearts Fund, which Nemcova introduced and which rebuilds schools and helps children after natural disasters. The three performers each chose a charity to receive funds: Legend chose the Show Me Campaign, which works to give children access to quality education; Blige chose the Mary J. Blige Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, Inc.; and Anthony chose Maestro Cares, which works with orphaned children in Latin America.