By Olivia Scheck
MANHATTAN — Some of the century's most talented musicians gathered in Midtown Thursday night for the 41st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, while another group of celebrities — famous for, er, other things — convened to promote designer perfume.
Piano man Billy Joel was among the presenters at the event, which honored songwriting legend Leonard Cohen and (posthumously) reggae god Bob Marley, while his daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, an aspiring musician who just released a single called "Notice Me," led the charge at Yves Saint Laurent's Belle D'Opium Fragrance Launch.
The elder Joel was joined by influential songsters Paul Simon, Phil Collins and Joan Osborne, while the younger partied with "Full House" star Ashley Olsen, "The Hills" personality Whitney Port and Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss — the New York socialite who parlayed a high school romance with Jerry Seinfeld (21 years her elder) into a successful swimsuit line.
But the two events weren't strictly divided along generational lines.
Talented singers John Mayer and Taylor Swift also attended the Songwriters Hall of Fame event, where he presented her with the Hal David Starlight Award.
"Batman" actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, 32, and "Gilmore Girl" Alexis Bledel, 28, represented the older crowd at the YSL event.
Downtown, singer Mary J. Blige held a gathering of her closest friends, aptly dubbed "An Evening with Mary J. Blige and Friends" at the 16,000 square foot Cipriani, Wall Street.
Former "Matchbox 20" frontman Rob Thomas was there along with bombshell wife, Marisol Thomas, designer Donna Karan and "The Wire" star Idris Elba.