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October 19, 2018

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Strip Scribbles: Mandalay Bay wins ACM Award for Casino of the Year


Tom Donoghue/

Brad Paisley, The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012.

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  • Check out Robin Leach's for more celebrity and A&E coverage.

Brad Paisley, The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery at Mandalay Bay

Brad Paisley, The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Zac Brown Band at Mandalay Bay Events Center

Zac Brown Band at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Vinnie Paul at KISS by Monster Mini Golf

Vinnie Paul at KISS by Monster Mini Golf on Monday, March 19, 2012. Launch slideshow »

B.o.B. at 1 OAK

B.o.B. at 1 OAK in the Mirage on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Smith Center

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Chippendales Guest Ricardo Laguna

Chippendales guest Ricardo Laguna at the Rio on Jan. 5, 2012. Launch slideshow »

The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards is a three-hour CBS special from MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 1, but it’s still not enough time for all the honors. Today, the ACM released the names of winners of special awards that won’t be presented until September in Nashville.

Kenny Chesney, four-time ACM Entertainer of the Year, has sold more than 10.5 million tickets on his 11 national tours, and the academy is honoring him with the Crystal Milestone Award for the remarkable achievement. Our Mandalay Bay wins for Casino of the Year for presenting many country concerts.

Emmylou Harris, Billy Sherrill, Ricky Skaggs and Dwight Yoakam will receive the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award honoring individuals who are trailblazers in country music. Alan Jackson will receive the Jim Reeves International Award, which is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions to global acceptance of country music.

Gayle Holcomb will receive the Mae Boren Axton Award in recognition of years of dedication and service by an outstanding individual to the academy. She served as an ACM board member for 17 years and five years as ACM chairwoman and was the driving force for the awards’ move from L.A. to Las Vegas in 2003.

ROCKCITY RADIO: Las Vegas-based has signed a deal to partner with Internet radio giant Slacker Inc. to create the world’s first music channel for undiscovered artists and bands broadcast 24/7. As part of the deal, RockCityClub will be in every new Ford and on every Verizon cell phone.

The biggest music producers in the world with 162 Grammy Awards have become part of, and the new music channel headed by my pal Ron Dante includes Phil Ramone, Kerry Gordy (son of Motown founder and legend Berry Gordy), Lamont Dozier and many others.

Founder Jack Wishna told me: “With this partnership, we’re giving birth right from Las Vegas to the world’s first radio station devoted exclusively to giving undiscovered artists and bands the chance to have their music heard by millions of potential fans 24 hours a day. For artists looking for their big break, the powerful combination of and Slacker gives them by far the most visible exposure they can find for their music and their careers.”

HAPPY 70TH! It’s difficult to believe that “the date with fate,” the quintessential Hollywood love story between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, is 70 years old today. “Casablanca,” the 1942 classic, won three Oscars and is my all-time favorite. It gets a rare big-screen showing in 500 theaters across the country, including several here in Las Vegas. Next Tuesday, the Blu-Ray edition of the film will be released. The film is still No. 3 on the all-time AFI Top 100.

SCUBA BY DAY, ELVIS BY NIGHT: Elvis Presley tribute artist Charlie Franks is a scuba instructor by day and the master of blue suede shoes at night in “2 Kings” at the Rio. His wife Holly and he own Scubafy Dive Center, a scuba shop in Boulder City where he teaches other instructors. Charlie regularly dives in Lake Mead and Lake Mohave with his 300 students at the training facility, and it’s going to be filmed for a new reality TV series. His co-star at the Rio is Ice, who performs as Michael Jackson in “2 Kings.” Ice was born and raised in the King of Pop’s hometown of Gary, Ind., and also hails from a family of eight.


Vinnie Paul of Pantera and Hellyeah played several rounds of mini golf at the new KISS by Monster Mini Golf on Monday night, and contributing photographer Erik Kabik was on the greens for a gallery. Vinnie signed the wall of rock and also played the drums before he left.

Rapper B.o.B. performed a three-song set at 1 OAK in the Mirage this morning. B.o.B. arrived after midnight and at 1 a.m. grabbed the mic and performed from his VIP table. Watching the show: rapper Young Jeezy partying with 1 OAK co-owner Scott Sartiano and Managing Partner Eli Pacino. After his performance, B.o.B. was swarmed by fans, and the Wicked Whisper & Racy Rumor was that he left with two women.


One performance remains at the new Smith Center for the Performing Arts for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and our thanks to contributing photographer Erik Kabik for his gorgeous photo gallery. Pro BMX rider Ricardo Laguna hosts a screening of his new reality TV series at Insert Coins. Fifty Trick Trucks will parade along Fremont Street before the pit crew challenge. And the Neon Reverb festival continues at Beauty Bar on Fremont Street and Artifice on 1st Street downtown.


Only the wildly eccentric Gazillionaire at “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace could force his loyal sidekick Penny Pibbets to buy her own T-shirts for a promo contest. “It’s how I keep all my money,” laughed the flamboyant producer. Editor Don Chareunsy has the secrets, plus meet the man who can book any star for your club, party and even, if the price is right, home.

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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