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BC-US--Super Bowl-Parties

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

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

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.

Legend, who followed Blige, said he'd never thought he'd see the day a Super Bowl came to New York City.

Then he corrected himself: "More accurately, New Jersey."

And with that, he launched into a song by one of New Jersey's favorite sons, Bruce Springsteen: "Dancing in the Dark."

Guests- who included supermodel Petra Nemcova, TV hosts Stephen Colbert, Katie Couric and Gayle King, director Spike Lee and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein- were served lobster, strip loin and branzino. The theme being fitness, cocktail hour included offerings of kale smoothies from Jamba Juice, as well as nonalcoholic shots made with lemon and ginger.

A charity auction during the dinner brought in hefty sums 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 sports watch by Movado, the main sponsor of the evening.

Beneficiaries included the Happy Hearts Fund, which Nemcova introduced and which rebuilds schools and helps children after natural disasters. The three performers also 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.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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