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Photos: Muppets, Rod Stewart, ‘Voice’ singers, Eric Benet join CeeLo for Christmas

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Erik Kabik/ErikKabik.com

The “CeeLo and Friends” Christmas show and Keep Memory Alive fundraiser featuring CeeLo Green (pictured here with the Muppets), Rod Stewart and “The Voice” contestants at Peepshow Theater in Planet Hollywood on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.

CeeLo and Friends Christmas Show at Planet Hollywood

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The "CeeLo and Friends" Christmas show and Keep Memory Alive fundraiser featuring CeeLo Green (pictured here with Tony Vincent), Rod Stewart, the Muppets and "The Voice" contestants at Peepshow Theater in Planet Hollywood on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.

Click to enlarge photo

The "CeeLo and Friends" Christmas show and Keep Memory Alive fundraiser featuring CeeLo Green (pictured here), Rod Stewart, the Muppets and "The Voice" contestants at Peepshow Theater in Planet Hollywood on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.

Christmas came a little early this year when singer CeeLo Green recorded a “CeeLo and Friends” holiday special Wednesday night at the Peepshow Theater in Planet Hollywood where he will premiere his show “Loberace” on Feb. 27.

Caesars Palace headliner Rod Stewart and 19 of “The Voice” contestants took part with Christmas carols and holiday songs. But it was the Muppets with Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog who nearly stole the show with an original song, “All I Need Is Love.” Our thanks to contributing photographer Erik Kabik for today’s photo gallery.

CeeLo’s concert, a $500-a-VIP-seat and meet-and-greet-the-stars fundraiser for our beloved charity Keep Memory Alive celebrates the Oct. 30 release of his debut Christmas album, “CeeLo’s Magic Moment,” with the show airing on “The Voice” next month, the TV Guide Channel and the new Warner Sound Atlantic Records YouTube channel at the end of November through New Year’s.

Highlights included the duet with CeeLo and Rod, who had his wife and family with him for the show. They dined at chef Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Caesars Palace afterwards enjoying truffle risotto and Pinot Noir from Kistler.

I loved CeeLo’s “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” with Tony Vincent from CeeLo’s team on Season 2 -- CeeLo says it’s his favorite on the album -- and a very emotional “Silent Night” with singer Eric Benet (who was Halle Berry’s second husband). My interview with CeeLo before the holiday special was posted Tuesday.

He closed with his hits “Crazy” and “Forget You” as he enthusiastically promoted “Loberace.” He told me: “We’ve started the entire process. It’s going to be way over the top, a real memorable extravaganza. It will soon be the only project on my plate, so it gets undivided attention once ‘The Voice’ finishes. Just wait till it blows your mind.”

CeeLo looked like Santa Claus in a red vinyl coat atop red vinyl pants and red crocodile shoes. In his dressing room afterward the show, he told me: “I felt like I was singing in a sauna! That’s the first and last time we do vinyl for an onstage look. I’m never going to have another one of those made. You gotta try it to know it, though.”

CeeLo received a standing ovation as the “Jubilee!” showgirls from Bally’s danced onstage for the finale. The audience also marveled at the extraordinary light, sound and effects controlled center stage by John Mobious 8. He told me he uses four MacBook Pros linked to 12 sensor pads he controls from his moving hands that hover above and around to activate sound effects and lasers.

He calls it “The Hydra,” and it took him 17 years of technology to build and then two additional years to make it work perfectly for theater concerts. The DJ wears a metal mask designed by a Michael Jackson wardrobe costumer and says it’s to give him a half-alien, half-human look. He’s the only person in the world with the machine and the ability to control it; Mobious 8 will be working his amazing magic in “Loberace.”

CeeLo summed up for me: “I am so happy this went so well tonight. We really pulled off a miracle considering we only had eight hours of rehearsal time altogether. I knew ‘The Voice’ kids would come through. I knew the Muppets and Rod Stewart would be brilliant.

“I was confident we could do it, and it turned out even better than we hoped for. Now just wait for February and ‘Loberace.’ You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

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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