A magical, mystical, almost euphoric feeling was in the air as friends of Oprah Winfrey
gathered at New York's trendy Metropolitan Pavilion Monday night to celebrate the debut issue of O: The Oprah Magazine
, which officially hits newsstands today.
Girlfriend's fans included Diana Ross, Ivana Trump, Rosie O'Donnell, Maria and Eunice Shriver, Eartha Kitt, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Sharon Lawrence, Martha Stewart, Cynthia Rowley and Emme.
Oprah, who seemed even more spiritual than usual, mingled with the crowd and finally came to the stage to thank her staff and her life partner, Stedman Graham, for their help.
The talk diva explained how working with best friend Gayle King (who serves as O's editor-at-large) has given King the opportunity to repay Oprah for all she's done for her. "Over the years, I've been known to give great gifts. I've given Gayle her nanny. I put in a swimming pool for her children. I've paid for the children's private school, bought her a BMW for her birthday. All those years, Gayle has always said to me, 'I just don't know what I can do to ever repay you.' Gayle quit her job of 18 years and came to work with me. The other day, she said to me, 'You know all those years when I said to you that there's nothing I could ever do to repay you? Bitch! I don't owe you nothing!' " She was joking... we think. (Memo to Gayle: Never curse at Oprah!)
Oprah then introduced her "inspiration," Tina Turner (with ex-ER staffer Gloria Reuben singing and dancing backup!). Turner began her set with "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and treated the crowd to six songs. Oprah, Rosie and Ross joined Turner for the finale, a rousing version of "The Best." Quite fitting, because the evening was simply the best ? even for a hardened entertainment reporter.