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Five-time Grammy Award winner and hip-hop superstar Cee Lo Green is definitely headed to the Strip with a run of residency shows this fall featuring his flamboyant character “Loberace.”
If his show-business genius is the same as his auctioneering skills where he helped raise an incredible $250,000 at MGM Grand over the weekend, it will be one giant knockout of a hit extravaganza. If his song-and-dance show is the same as his performance with the “Jubilee!” dancers at the MGM gala, then he becomes the new King of the Strip.
“The Lady Killer” himself confirmed our previous Vegas DeLuxe rumblings when I chatted with him backstage at the Keep Memory Alive “Power of Love Gala” tribute to Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“It’s definitely on,” he smiled proudly. “It will be this fall at the big Planet Hollywood theater. Everything is set but the exact dates, as we have to work those out around ‘The Voice’ TV schedule. We’re just waiting on those production dates -- but hopefully a September start.”
Cee Lo has a multi-talented role on the hit NBC talent show as vocal coach, mentor and judge alongside Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine.
He shot his video “I Want You (Hold On to Love)” at Caesars Palace with the longtime Bally’s headliner “Jubilee!” dancers, and it looked as if he would fit into vacant slots at the Colosseum between Celine Dion and the December arrival of Shania Twain. Instead, he’ll appear at the larger 7,500-seat Theater for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood, still in the Caesars Entertainment family.
Cee Lo explained that he wanted to reduce his extraordinary travel schedule because he’s trying to ease a back injury. In fact, over the weekend, he was driven across the I-15 desert from L.A. for comfort reasons instead of traveling in a private jet that had been booked for him. On Thursday, he further injured his back at an L.A. charity bowling event, but it didn’t stop Cee Lo from being one of the huge hits at the gala.
I introduced Cee Lo to the 2,000-strong MGM crowd, as he’d originally agreed to auction four backstage passes to “The Voice,” and for the winning buyer to also meet the celebrity judges. Bidding was so fast and furious among four people that it quickly crept up to $75,000.
At that point, Cee Lo said he’d provide extra tickets and sold the set to all four, bringing in the $250,000 (two paid $75,000 apiece and the others a little less). Then he later added to the wild success of the glittering night when supermodel Cindy Crawford brought him onstage to perform a medley of “Bright Lights Bigger City” and “Crazy” with six pink-feathered “Jubilee!” dancers.
The new concerts highlighting Loberace is a tribute to the beloved, longtime Las Vegas entertainer Liberace, who ruled the Strip as one of the highest-paid entertainers in the world in the 1970s and ’80s as “Mr. Showmanship.” Here’s a YouTube clip from my interview with him on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”
Cee Lo had the last word: “I love Vegas. It’s always a great time here. We’re going to have a lot of fun and a lot of flash. It will be the show that Vegas is all about.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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