With a host of stars in her wake, Tina Knowles rocked the streets of the New Orleans French Quarter Saturday night with a 60th birthday bash that included a horse-drawn carriage parade and an invitation-only black-tie, masked soirée. The guest list was killer, led by her daughter Beyoncé and son-in-law Jay Z, and included daughter Solange Knowles, Kris (Kardashian) Jenner, CBS' Gayle King, Jennifer Hudson and actor Richard Lawson, Tina's squeeze.
News of the hush-hush party leaked out on TMZ late Friday creating a French Quarter frenzy on Saturday as fans lined up to see the heavy-duty collection of music world (Rocko and Monica) and Hollywood notables. The gold embossed invitation, posted by TMZ, read "Solange Knowles and Beyoncé Carter cordially invite you to share in an enchanted evening in New Orleans to celebrate the birthday of their mother Tina Knowles in the tradition of an old New Orleans masquerade party."
"Along the ride, party guests were celebrated by French Quarter street crowds, some stepping up to the carriages to clink glasses with the riders."
The evening began with champagne cocktails at Hotel Monteleone, according to John Guess Jr., CEO of the Houston Museum of African American Culture, who was among a dozen or so Houstonians in the mix. "Glasses in hand, party guests boarded horse drawn carriages for a seven block ride to the Muriel's Jackson Square restaurant," Guess emailed. "Along the ride, party guests were celebrated by French Quarter street crowds, some stepping up to the carriages to clink glasses with the riders."
The birthday girl personally welcomed guests at the restaurant where a New Orleans zydeco band provided dance tunes and waiters passed Louisiana specialties such as seafood gumbo and shrimp etouffe. Later a jazz band, led the partygoers to the second floor for more dancing and celebrating. In the middle of the action was Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland.
Lucky Houstonians receiving the coveted invitation included Annette and Arthur Bracey, Byronne Hearn, Anita Smith and daughter Joy; Melanie Lawson and Guess; Alvia Wardlaw and her dad Alvin along with her sister Joy Fitzgerald and husband Darryl Fitzgerald in from Atlanta; Suzette and Kirbyjon Caldwell; Juanita Rasmus; Cheryl and Percy Creuzot; Vernell Jackson and Angela Phea.
"What a wonderful gesture on the Knowleses' part to include so many Houstonians to such a warm and fun celebration of a wonderful woman," Guess remarked.