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October 23, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Barry Manilow reveals battle with heart disease

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Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

The 2011 Miss America Pageant contestants at Barry Manilow’s show at the Paris on Jan. 7, 2011.

Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe

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Barry Manilow at the Paris Las Vegas

Barry Manilow at the Paris on March 6, 2010. Launch slideshow »
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Michael Tierney, Wayne Brady, Toby Allen, Phil Burton, Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Andrew Tierney, Jon B. and Carrie Underwood at the Ella Award presentation to Robinson at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

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The Titanic Exhibit at the Luxor.

Mark McGrath and Sugar Ray

Sugar Ray at the Henderson Pavilion on April 29, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Superstar entertainer Barry Manilow has talked for the first time about his secret 15-year battle with a serious heart disease, and he’s launched a campaign to help 2.5 million other Americans suffering from AFib (atrial fibrillation). Our Paris headliner who is set to move to Harrah’s next year is kicking off Get Back in Rhythm as a national education campaign.

He told Fox News: “It’s very rare that I would ever talk about my health. But I discovered over 2.5 million other people have the same condition. It starts very innocently, and your heart starts to skip a beat. It doesn’t seem that dangerous, but then it grows to skip another beat, then another and another, and it goes way out of rhythm. It’s a dangerous condition and can go into heart disease, heart failure and a stroke. If people don’t call their doctor and stick to the medical plan, it’s playing with fire.

Barry revealed: “Sometimes even the medicines don’t stop it. It can last for weeks. It’s pretty terrifying. They have to put you out and give you the electric shocks to shock the heart back into normal rhythm. I’ve had that done many times.”

At 68, he says he has no plans to slow down his schedule and wants to produce a Broadway musical titled Harmony that he’s written and collaborate with Sting. He joked: “This condition doesn’t care if I’m doing a show or if I have plans. It comes when it wants to. Dying would ruin my career.”

*The Society of Singers honored our hometown hero Smokey Robinson with the Ella Award (named after Ella Fitzgerald) at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in L.A. this week. His Australian discoveries and Imperial Palace headliners Human Nature were invited to perform at the awards, as were Carrie Underwood, Pastor and Natalie Cole.

Toward the end of the awards, Wayne Brady announced a surprise guest, and Stevie Wonder walked onstage to thunderous applause and led all the stars in “My Girl.”

*It was 26 years ago this month that the wreckage of the most infamous ship in history, the RMS Titanic, was discovered at the bottom of the North Atlantic. Today, the largest artifact ever recovered, appropriately titled The Big Piece, is on display in the most unlikely place: in the middle of the desert at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Luxor.

The section of the Titanic’s starboard side hull recovered in 1998 weighs approximately 15 tons and measures 26 feet by 12 feet. Some of the 3 million rivets used during Titanic’s construction can be seen along with the original support beam. The portholes visible on The Big Piece were part of unoccupied C-Deck cabins 79 and 81 alongside C-83 occupied by New York theatrical producer Henry B. Harris, who drowned, and his wife Irene, who survived in one of the lifeboats. The Titanic Exhibit features more than 20 never-before-seen artifacts, including gaming chips and sections from the famed Grand Staircase.

Star Surveillance

Comedy legends Louie Anderson and Marty Allen and former U.S. Sen. John Ensign were among the VIP and celebrity guests at last night’s opening for Billy Richardson’s new restaurant The Barrymore at the totally made-over retro Royal Resort near the Convention Center. The new, plush eatery is a salute to the original Barrymore from the first MGM here named in tribute to Hollywood legend John Barrymore’s 1932 film Grand Hotel. John died in 1942 and was the paternal grandfather of Drew Barrymore. The restaurant has two dining rooms separated by a long bar lounge with open air seating and is connected to the boutique hotel’s new swimming pool playground.

Tonight’s Tips

Sugar Ray entertains at the annual DISH benefit for Three Square Food Bank at Palms Pool & Bungalows. More than 20 restaurants and chefs, including Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood, Barry Dakake’s N9NE Steakhouse, Andre Rochat’s Alize and Tao at the Venetian are taking part in the third annual fundraiser. … Former John Mellencamp and Counting Crows musician J. Chris Newburg headlines as a comic at The Playboy Comedy Lounge in the Palms for four shows through Saturday. … Big Sean is at Haze at Aria. … MC Jimmy Emerson hosts a media night at his Evening at La Cage at Four Queens with his lookalike performers who portray Liza, Reba, Marilyn, Bette, Madonna, Dolly -- and more!

Tomorrow’s Teases

Our Weekend Celebrity Preview of the “music event of our lifetime” with an extraordinary superstar lineup for the two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival -- and where all the stars will be partying after-hours. Plus, we’ll tip where David Bowie and supermodel wife Iman might be headed during the all-star weekend, which sees CBS’ The Amazing Race -- it won its 1,867th Emmy Award last Sunday -- get underway with two of our nightlife lovelies competing in the extraordinary challenges.

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.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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