From J-Lo to the King: 5 of Las Vegas’s most celebrated performers

  • Recently offered a residency at the Wynn Hotel, Adele follows in the footsteps of some of the world’s most celebrated singers
  • The King and Britney Spears are among those to have taken up residencies in the gambling capital

Earlier this week, Casinopedia reported on the alleged residency offer made to superstar Adele. If she accepts, the London-born singing sensation will take up residence in the Wynn Hotel for a year and earn a whopping $500,000 per show.

The Wynn Hotel is located on the famous Las Vegas strip in Nevada. Las Vegas has been the centre of American – even worldwide – gambling since the state became the first to legalize the practice in 1931.

Nowadays, the city is home to some of world’s most famous land-based casinos and casino resorts, and every year, millions upon millions of people flock to the social haven. If considerations such as this occur to Adele, it is highly unlikely that she will decline such a monumental, career-changing offer.

But she is not the first to have been offered such a residency in Sin City – in fact, many stars before her have walked through the doors of such hotels as Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood, taken up the microphone, and made millions of dollars; in the slots capital of the world.

Here, we take a step back in time and explore the residencies of such stars.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears performs during her Las Vegas show in 2016
Britney Spears performs during her Las Vegas show in 2016

Britney Spears – who rose to fame following the release of her single Hit Me Baby One More Time in 1998 – is currently performing at the 4,500-seat theatre The Axis, which is part of Planet Hollywood, as part of her Las Vegas residency.

The final show of Britney’s Planet Hollywood residency will take place on New Year’s Eve 2017. She’s finishing early, however; after signing up for 2 years to begin with and then later signing on for another 2, Spears has decided to call Planet Hollywood quits at the end of the year.

Having sold more than $100 million in tickets, Spears’ ‘Piece of Me’ residency was Las Vegas’s turning point regarding the residencies that some high-end hotels offer.

She is thought to have been the first ever modern-day, chart-topping residency holder – that is, before her concert run kicked off at Planet Hollywood, only performers who were reaching the ends of their limelight careers would perform these gigs. In fact, let’s talk about some of these now.

Celine Dion

Céline Dion sings I'm Alive in Las Vegas 2007
Céline Dion sings I’m Alive in Las Vegas 2007

Next on our list of Las Vegas’s residency-holders is Celine Dion. Having kicked off her massively successful singing career in the 1980s, Dion returned to the charts in 2002. Riding this second wave of fame, she signed and committed to taking up a residency at Caesars Palace, performing a string of concerts at The Colosseum.

This residency – her first on the Las Vegas strip – ran from 2003 to 2007 and was called ‘A New Day…’ It soon became, after its 600 shows, the largest-grossing residency of all time; it took in $385 million.

This level of success obviously spurred Dion on yet further, because it was announced in 2010 that she would be returning to Caesars Palace for another residency, this time called ‘Celine.’ It ran for 3 years – between 2011 and 2014 – consisting of 70 shows per year.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez singing If You Had My Love in Las Vegas February 2016
Jennifer Lopez singing If You Had My Love in Las Vegas February 2016

Like Spears, Jennifer Lopez was also offered a residency at Planet Hollywood’s The Axis theatre, and she too accepted. Called ‘Jennifer Lopez: All I Have,’ the show run is scheduled to end in May 2018 after having begun at the very beginning of 2016.

Announced way back in October 2014, Lopez’s residency at Planet Hollywood featured such hits as Dance Again, On the Floor, and I’m Into You. And although some residency ideas are met with criticism, Lopez’s was a winner from the beginning.

Described as “two hours of high-octane entertainment,” “a heck of a party,” and “showmanship that’s hard to top,” it seems that Lopez’s run of shows in Las Vegas was right move for both her and Planet Hollywood. This is, of course, proven by the concerts’ takings of $34.6 million in 2016 alone. This made it Vegas’s most successful of the year.

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey performing in Las Vegas July 2017
Mariah Carey performing in Las Vegas July 2017

Mariah Carey – although different in many ways from Celine Dion – was also offered residency at Caesars Palace, in its The Colosseum theatre. The concert run, which began in May 2015 and came to an end earlier this year in July, was called ‘#1 to Infinity.’

Across the 2-year period, Carey performed significantly fewer shows than some of her peers. With 17 in 2015, 27 in 2016, and just 6 in 2017, her total came to just 50 shows – which, when compared with Dion’s 600, seems like very few.

Nonetheless, ‘#1 to Infinity’ was a box office success, taking in almost $24 million dollars during its 2 years on the stage. But for Carey – as she explained when she announced the residency on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2014 – the shows were more of a personal achievement for her. She said: “I’m going to do my first ever in Vegas at Caesars. This is a special event for me.”

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley performing Suspicious Minds Live in Las Vegas 1970
Elvis Presley performing Suspicious Minds Live in Las Vegas 1970

It would have been wrong not include the King of Rock and Roll on a list of the greatest performers ever to have graced the Las Vegas strip. So here, we talk about Elvis Presley.

Beginning on the last day of July in 1969 and coming to an end some time in 1971, Presley took up residency at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. Back then, however, it was known as the International Hotel.

From then on, over those 3 years, he performed 58 shows in a row – all of which were, impressively but hardly surprisingly – completely sold out.

This broke all Las Vegas attendance records at the time, his performances at the Westgate having attracted a massive 130,157 gamblers to the hotel. Following this initial success, Presley – over the next few years – broke his own records three times: twice in 1970 and once in 1972.

So, for Adele to follow in the footsteps of the King himself is a mighty honour – one she’d surely be mad to turn down.

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