Former music exec Steve Stoute: Grammy awarding process lacks ‘clarity,’ snubs deserving artists

Steve Stoute stuck up for Justin Bieber, Eminem and Kanye West. The question is: Will they stick up for themselves?
Stoute, a former music exec who’s now CEO of his own marketing company, Translation, set the music industry atwitter when he took a full-page, open-letter-style ad in the N.Y. Times Sunday Styles section (costing upward of $100,000) to assert that the Grammy Awards had “lost touch” with contemporary culture.
Stoute questioned previous Grammy snubs of Eminem and West and wondered how teen phenom Bieber didn’t win Best New Artist this year. He also implied that Arcade Fire’s two performances during the broadcast were tied to their Best New Album win.
Monday, Stoute told us he took out the ad because “I’m in the business of cultural truth.” The marketing guru, whose letter urged artists to stop accepting the invitation to the Grammys, predicted many of them “will push back on next year’s show unless they have some clarity” on the Grammy voting process. 
A rep for Eminem did not respond to our request for reaction to Stoute’s letter by deadline, and a rep for Bieber declined to comment. But Stoute says he’s confident that his ad is what the artists and labels “needed to start the conversation” about what he termed the “hypocrisies and contradictions” of the Grammys.
Carmen Dell’Orefice does not want you to lay your hands on her. At least she didn’t after Joanna Mastroianni’s fashion show at her W. 38th St. studio on Thursday. One showgoer tells us the 79-year-old model was seated front row at the presentation and, when the lights came up, was swarmed by fashionistas seeking to say hello. That’s when, our source says, the silver-haired stunner “balled herself up” and began shouting “No hands! No hands!” — apparently a warning that she would not be shaking hands and catching a cold from the crowd.
Common’s decency
Common went stag at Hennessy Black’s NBA All-Star party in L.A. on Thursday night, but he didn’t exactly dispel talk that he’s ready for his stag party. The rapper showed up at Boulevard 3 without his rumored fiancée, tennis star Serena Williams. But a source tells us that although he was out with the boys, he was on his best behavior and paid no attention to the swarms of sexy sirens trying to catch his eye.
George Shearing’s doggone memories
George Shearing’s death on Feb. 14, at age 91, reminded a fan of a story the blind jazz piano virtuoso recounted in his “Lullaby of Birdland” autobiography. Shearing was on a plane from Los Angeles to New York with his seeing-eye dog, Lee, when the plane made a fuel stop in Chicago. Shearing and Lee stayed on the plane while other passengers stretched their legs, until the pilot of the aircraft asked the musician if he’d like his dog walked. Shearing said yes, and a few minutes later, the passenger next to him saw a few dozen people milling around the bottom of the stairway that had been rolled up to the plane’s doorway, “reluctant to get back on the plane because they saw the pilot with a guide dog!”
Remember the Pratts?
Stephanie Pratt is mulling a savvy move for an ex-reality star: When your show ends, befriend the flacks. In town from L.A. for Fashion Week revelry, Pratt — formerly of “The Hills” — hit BowlMor Lanes Times Square on Thursday night. She found time between strikes and snacks (from the kitchen of David Burke, no less) to tell a BowlMor employee she’s considering a stint on E!’s PR reality show, “The Spin Crowd.” If it’s picked up for a second season, she may move in with Simon Huck and become his on-screen roomie. Not bad, but as reality stars potentially shacking up, we’re rooting for Tim Gunn and Snooki.