Las Vegas Sun

January 21, 2018

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Celebrity preview: Spears, Cyrus, LL Cool J, Lochte, Lovato and ‘Gangnam Style’


Kevin Mazur/WireImage/ABC

Britney Spears and Rihanna perform during the 2011 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 22, 2011.

Paparazzi cameras and fan flashes will be an around-the-clock phenomenon this weekend with the iHeart Radio Music Festival at MGM Grand Garden Arena today and Saturday. With superstars Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus, known for making tabloid headlines, in attendance, the frenzy should be at fever pitch.

However, it’s the extraordinary iHeart lineup that’s nearly unbelievable: Usher, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Rihanna, LL Cool J, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Jason Aldean and more. YouTube twin-sister sensations Megan and Liz open the shows, while a pregnant Shakira has bowed out last-minute.

How MC and ringmaster Ryan Seacrest will keep it running smoothly over two nights is baffling because comedienne Kathy Griffin is taking part, too, and Britney and Miley are favorite targets in her standup.

2011 iHeartRadio Music Festival: Red Carpet

The red carpet for Night 2 of the 2011 iHeartRadio Music Festival at MGM Grand Garden Arena with Steven Tyler, Karina Smirnoff and J.R. Martinez, Sublime, Nicki Minaj, Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke, Ashley Greene, Ashley Benson, Natasha Bedingfield and Rascal Flatts, Nicole Scherzinger, Randy Jackson and David Guetta on Sept. 24, 2011. Launch slideshow »

This is the festival’s second year in Las Vegas; last year’s debut also was the launch of the website that provides music from more than 800 U.S. radio stations. But the weekend spotlight will shine on the stars at MGM Grand as Las Vegas lives up to its title of the Entertainment Capital of the World with other star concerts, parties and appearances.

The music isn’t confined to MGM Grand. Carlos Santana continues his run at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay, legendary rocker Rod Stewart resumes his residency at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace, and Garth Brooks is back at Encore Theater in the Wynn. Plus, tickets go on sale for Barbra Streisand’s November concert at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Expect a sellout within 10 minutes.

Please support my pal Brad Garrett, who will host his celebrity poker tournament to benefit the Maximum Hope Foundation at noon Saturday at MGM. Brad’s charity provides assistance to families caring for a child with life-limiting illness. His buddy Ray Romano will lead a celebrity contingent. I’ve promised Brad a champagne toast and to help auction star memorabilia. Please join us; MGM Grand is the place to be this weekend.

2011 iHeartRadio Music Festival: Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes at the 2011 iHeartRadio Music Festival at MGM Grand Garden Arena with Usher, Steven Tyler and David Guetta on Sept. 24, 2011. Launch slideshow »

The Barrett-Jackson Collectible Car Auction shifts into top gear for today and Saturday’s final days of the world’s biggest car auction. Even with the excitement of $500,000+ cars revving up to go under the hammer, wait till you see the staggering collection of more than 20 $1 million vehicles in the Mandalay Bay event halls. It will be broadcast live in HD on Speed, but there’s nothing quite like seeing, smelling and touching close up. (We’re still talking about cars!)

Pool season is beginning to wind down, and next weekend sees the start of several closings. So go make a splash as big as the one we have in store this weekend with the Royal Robin Rundown:



The iHeart Radio Music Festival kicks off its two-day event with performances by Green Day, No Doubt, Lil Wayne Jason Aldean, Rihanna, Miranda Lambert, Usher and Megan and Liz. Guest presenters include Ryan Lochte (probably not in a Speedo), Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, LL Cool J and Kathy Griffin. Swedish House Mafia headlines tonight, and Deadmau5 and Calvin Harris storm the decks Saturday.

Ryan Lochte Parties at Tao Beach

Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte celebrates at Tao Beach in the Venetian on Friday, Aug. 17, 2012.

Launch slideshow »

Britney Spears' Femme Fatale Tour at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Britney Spears' Femme Fatale Tour stop at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 25, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Garth Brooks is at the Wynn for two nights; Luke Bryan is at Red Rock Resort; Santana is at HOB all weekend; Gary Puckett is solo without the Union Gap at South Point all weekend; jazz kings Brian Culbertson and David Sanborn are at Texas Station; and Dollface is at the Lounge at the Palms.


Kevin James and Ray Romano are at the Mirage for two nights; David Spade is at the Venetian for two nights; Dana Carvey is at the Orleans for two nights; Paul Ogata is at Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood all weekend; and Joel Lindley, Gene Pompa and David Gee are at Harrah’s Improv all weekend.


Tickets for Barbra Streisand go on sale; incredible illusionist David Copperfield returns from a break at his Bahamas retreat to make magic all weekend at MGM Grand; “Wicked” continues its hit run at Smith Center for the Performing Arts through Oct. 7; and “Seussical: the Musical” is at Henderson Pavilion through Sept. 30.

The Killers Rock The Joint

The Killers open the new Joint. Launch slideshow »

Tickets go on sale for “The Addams Family” at Smith Center from Nov. 20-25; the Killers at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from Dec. 28-29; and blues rocker Joe Bonamassa at the Pearl in the Palms on April 20.

The 5th Annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Collector Car Auction continues at Mandalay Bay for two days; the Lucas Offroad Racing Series is at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for two days; KISS by Monster Mini Golf celebrates National Mini Golf Day inviting adult “mini” people to golf for free; Molasky Corporate Center launches our city’s first private bike-share program unveiling 10 Electra “Townie” bicycles for use by 1,000 tenants and the neighboring IRS buildings; and Mayor Carolyn Goodman proclaims Sept. 21 as Las Vegas Bachelorette Day.


The Official 2012 iHeart Radio Music Festival After-Party is at 1 OAK in the Mirage; Tao in the Venetian celebrates the World’s Largest Bachelorette Party all weekend with events and parties at Tao Beach, Tao and Lavo in the Palazzo; adult superstar Jesse Jane is at Gallery Nightclub in Planet Hollywood; the free Nocturnal Swim Party sponsored by our Las Vegas Weekly colleagues is at M Resort; Swedish Bikini Beauties are at the Bank in the Bellagio; and Calvin Harris spins at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore.



It’s Night 2 of iHeart with Brad Paisley, Linkin Park, Pink, Mary J. Blige, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Calvin Harris and Deadmau5.

Enrique Iglesias at Mandalay Bay Events Center

Enrique Iglesias performs at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Joe Walsh is at the Pearl; Toto with drummer Jeff Porcaro and keyboardist David Paich is at Green Valley Ranch; Ashton Zyer is at Smith Center; Tito Puente Jr. is at Cannery; Voices 3 (Bill Fayne, Teddy Davey and Chris Coyne) is at Suncoast Showroom for two nights; and Flobots with RNR are at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.


Brad Garrett’s celebrity poker tournament is at noon in MGM Grand’s poker room; more than 22 restaurants, chefs and chocolatiers are at the Las Vegas Wine and Food Festival at Red Rock’s pool to support the James Beard Foundation; the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway features the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NASCAR Super Late Models, Super Stocks and Bombers) and USLCI-sanctioned Legend Cars, Bandoleros and Thunder Cars for a two-day event; and the Special Lecture -- Military UFOs: Secrets Revealed is at National Atomic Testing Museum’s Area 51 exhibit.


Dragonette is at Hyde Bellagio; Korean pop sensation PSY brings “Gangnam Style” to Tao; CollectiveZoo’s Pool Party Safari finale is at Rumor; Deadmau5 and Warren Peace are at XS; and Axwell’s at Encore Beach Club.



Calvin Harris is at Encore Beach Club; XS has its official closing party of Night Swim for the season with Axwell and Tony Arzadon; and Paul Oakenfold spins at Rehab in the Hard Rock.

Enjoy your star-studded, pleasure-filled, pop-music weekend; have fun, and be safe. Please check back to Vegas Deluxe over the weekend for our up-to-the-minute reports from iHeart.

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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