A lot of stars are in Miami for tonight's Video Music Awards, but many of them didn't have to book a hotel for the big weekend.
That's because they already own gorgeous mansions and condos there. Miami, with its great weather, beautiful beaches and sexy nightclubs has become the playground of some of Hollywood's biggest celebrities.
"It's America's Riviera," said Jacquelynn Powers, senior writer of Ocean Drive Magazine, named after Miami's most famous street.
"In the '90s, Miami was all about the modeling scene. Now it's all about the music scene," she added.
Musicians Lenny Kravitz and Ricky Martin have chosen to make Miami home base. So has the singer Enrique Iglesias, who lives in Miami with his wife, Anna Kournikova. Music producer and performer Sean "Diddy" Combs has a recording studio in Miami, and loves to host parties at the clubs.
Entertainer Jennifer Lopez long has been enamored of Miami, Powers said. Lopez, a Bronx native, met her first husband when he working as a waiter on Ocean Drive.
When Lopez was dating the actor Ben Affleck, she bought a house on North Bay Road. She since has sold it and now lives in a condo in Miami with her husband, Marc Anthony.
"They have very strong ties to Miami, both being Latin," Powers said.
But it's singer Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio, whom Powers calls "Miami's number-one power couple."
"They've been here the longest, and have huge star power here in Miami," she said.
The Estefans live on Star Island, a man-made island built right off Miami in Biscayne Bay in the early 1920s. It is a fitting name for an island that has attracted major celebrities, including Combs.
Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal just put his Star Island house on the market for $32 million. O'Neal bought the eight-bedroom home from a former Miami Heat basketball player for $19 million.
"You better be tall if you live here, because the counters, the doorways and even the cabinets are higher than normal to accommodate a 7-foot frame," Powers said.
Recent Miami Transplants
Singer Beyonce Knowles recently bought several oceanfront units in a Miami condo development called Blue Green Diamond.
"She's turning it into one big, fat bachelorette pad," Powers said.
Matt Damon, who met his girlfriend, Luciana Barroso, when she was a waitress at Crobar, one of Miami's hottest clubs, just bought a place in Miami. Damon and Barroso now live on North Bay Road.