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July 23, 2017

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Cee-Lo promises a Vegas show — as a hip-hop Liberace


Hew Burney

Cee-Lo Green at the Hard Rock Hotel on May 22, 2011.

Move over, Celine. Watch out, Cher. Cee-Lo is coming to town.

Cee-Lo Green, the extravagant hip-hop artist who has gained international acclaim as a musician and TV host on “The Voice,” announced Friday that he will be taking residency in Las Vegas with his own Strip show. Its title: “Loberace,” and yes, he’ll be playing off the Vegas icon Liberace.

“I wanted to do something new and fresh for this generation,” Green told “Today Show” host Matt Lauer. “I don’t think anyone from my generation has got the opportunity to do something monumentous like that. I would like to do something exceptional. The way that I feel about myself and the way that my career is going, it makes sense.”

Green said last year that he hoped to become the first hip-hop artist to stage a Vegas show.

Details on the production are scant. Green did not say where or when the production would run.

But the singer-DJ is very familiar with this city. Just this year, he has performed at the Hard Rock Hotel, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand. In April, he filmed a music video for “I Want You (Hold On To Love)” at Caesars Palace. He cast six dancers from “Jubilee” and modeled the song title’s logo after the iconic Las Vegas welcome sign.

The video is also where Green introduced his Loberace character. It opens with him in an opulent bubble bath near a white piano with a diamond-studded toothbrush and candelabra. A painting of Liberace plays prominently. In other scenes, Green models a baby blue feathered suit — an outfit fitting of the original Glitter Man, and one Green might wear in real life. He is known for his outrageous fashion choices and often decks himself out in rhinestone suits, watches on both wrists and oversized sunglasses.

Green is reportedly drawing on elements of Liberace’s Las Vegas shows for his own production. The two make a fitting, if somewhat odd, pair.

Mark Burnett, executive producer of “The Voice,” perhaps explained it best: “Cee-Lo is the black hip-hop Liberace.”

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