Inside Oprah's All-Star Weekend
May 16, 2005

It was a party only Oprah could throw, as Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Halle Berry and Mariah Carey led a cavalcade of stars up the California coast to Santa Barbara for a weekend to remember.

Oprah had been planning the top-secret, three-day extravaganza celebrating the achievements of African American women for a year now. And she was so overwhelmed by the weekend that she even showed behind-the-scenes footage on her own show Monday.

"There could not be an Angela Bassett had there not been a Cicely Tyson," Oprah insisted. "No Alicia Keys had there not been a Tina Turner."

And from Halle Berry to Usher, the stars enjoyed every minute of the weekend. New beau Tom Cruise swept Katie Holmes right off her feet, while luminaries like Janet Jackson and Sidney Poitier glowed in all the star power.

"There really aren't any words to describe it," Jackson admitted.

"The miracle of Oprah Winfrey," noted Poitier.

But aside from all the glam and glitter, Oprah made the weekend's message clear: "I just wanted to say to these women, 'Your life has mattered to my life,'" she said.

Embroidered invitations welcomed honorees to Oprah's Montecito estate for a Friday luncheon where honorees were assigned private waiters and given red alligator gift boxes containing $200,000 diamond earrings.

"The most incredibly beautiful earrings I'd ever seen," Alicia Keys insisted.

The scene then moved to the posh Bacara Resort on Saturday night for the Legends Ball, where guests were instructed to wear black or white.

"No matter where I was in the world, I was going to be there," Lionel Richie told us.

Meanwhile, Oprah's pal Gayle King spied on things for "Good Morning America" and found out how party planner to the stars Colin Cowie wowed all of the power players.

Eighty cases of champagne were flown in from France, 120 pounds of tuna came from Japan and 20,000 white peonies arrived from Ecuador and Israel to add a little international flavor.

"She's truly a legend," Usher said of Oprah.

Yes, it seems Miss O topped herself once again, and Poitier's final words seemed to cover the feelings of millions of fans across the world: "I just love that woman."


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