NEW ORLEANS - CeeLo was looking for a little New Orleans action. David Gregory was taking the weekend off from "Meet the Press.'' And Paul McCartney was hanging out at a party that included Pitbull and Flo Rida.

It was a rich and eclectic mix of stars of all wattages on Friday night, as partying got under way in earnest before Sunday's big game.

CeeLo was the featured performer at ESPN Magazine's "Next'' party, which had a guest list that included Michael Phelps, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, Kelly Rowland, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Piven, Josh Hutcherson, and current and former football players like Emmitt Smith, Cris Carter, DeSean Jackson.

CeeLo performed with his old rap clique Goodie Mobb: The group, which was an offshoot of OutKast before CeeLo became a solo hit, is coming out with a new album later this year. Though the ESPN party was the main event of his night, he made it clear it would not be his only one: "New Orleans has got a lot to offer, I may get into a little trouble.''

The stars were spread out across New Orleans: McCartney gave a rock royalty air to the Rolling Stone party, which featured performances by Flo Rida and Pitbull and guests that included Chace Crawford and Sofia Vergara.

At Audi's Super Bowl lounge, Will Ferrell, Jeremy Renner and Olivia Munn mingled, and Playboy attracted Neil Patrick Harris, David Arquette and others. Back at the ESPN party, Gregory, a Redskins fan, admitted to playing hooky from his weekly political show for the big game.

"To get a chance to come to New Orleans on top of it all, it doesn't get much better than this. I love sports, I love the Super Bowl, so this is a great opportunity,'' said Gregory, who was rooting for the Ravens.

Mackie, an actor and New Orleans native, was excited to have the Super Bowl in his hometown once again, though he's still smarting that the Saints aren't in it; the team fared poorly this season after being hit with significant sanctions by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over allegations of bounty hits on opposing players.

When asked what he would say to Goodell if he saw him, Mackie said: "I'd tell him congratulations. What he wanted to happen happened, so now the saints are going to come back twice as hard next season.''


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  • Actress Sofía Vergara arrives at DirecTV's Super Saturday Night party on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in New Orleans.

  • Actress Sofía Vergara arrives at DirecTV's Super Saturday Night party on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in New Orleans.

  • Kate Upton arrives at DirecTV's Super Saturday Night party on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in New Orleans.

  • Model Kate Upton attends the Lacoste/GQ Super Bowl Party at The Elms Mansion on February 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Sir Paul McCartney (R) and Nancy Shevell attend DIRECTV Super Saturday Night Featuring Special Guest Justin Timberlake & Co-Hosted By Mark Cuban's AXS TV on February 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Actress Nina Dobrev arrives at DirecTV's Super Saturday Night party on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in New Orleans.

  • Flo Rida at the Samsung Galaxy Shangri-La Party on February 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Actress Hayden Panettiere arrives at DirecTV's Super Saturday Night party on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in New Orleans.

  • Actress Olivia Munn attends the 2nd Annual NFL Honors at Mahalia Jackson Theater on February 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Actors Sofia Vergara, Jeremy Renner, and Olivia Munn attend the Rolling Stone LIVE party held at the Bud Light Hotel on February 1, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Actress Olivia Munn at the Samsung Galaxy Shangri-La Party on February 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Recording artist Kelly Rowland arrives at ESPN The Magazine's "Next" Event on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 in New Orleans.

  • Tenth Annual Leather & Laces Hosted by Jamie Chung, Rachael Leigh Cook, Brooklyn Decker, Josh Henderson

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 02: Brooklyn Decker attends the Tenth Annual Leather & Laces Super Bowl Party on February 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Leather & Laces)

  • Cee Lo Green arrives at ESPN The Magazine's "Next" Event on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 in New Orleans.

  • Actor Jeremy Piven arrives at ESPN The Magazine's "Next" Event on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 in New Orleans.

  • Model Candice Swanepoel, left, and an AXE astronaut arrive at ESPN The Magazine's "Next" Event on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 in New Orleans.

  • Retired NFL running back Emmitt Smith arrives at ESPN The Magazine's "Next" Event on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 in New Orleans.

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