Monday, April 1, 2013 | 6:04 p.m.
The Keep Memory Alive gala celebrating the joint 80th birthdays of Quincy Jones and Sir Michael Caine will be one of the largest gatherings of Hollywood and music stars outside an awards show. The live, 2-hour telecast of the festivities April 13 from MGM Grand Garden Arena benefiting our Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health will be broadcast on AXS cable network seen here on Century Link, DirectTV and Dish. (AXS is the former HD Network owned by Mark Cuban and also now Ryan Seacrest.)
I’ve learned from the latest show rundown that I will introduce Quincy’s actress daughter Rashida Jones, who will join with Larry King to kick off the fundraiser. Actor and comedian Chris Tucker will perform and introduce Jennifer Hudson. The Michael Jackson tribute with Quincy’s “Man in the Mirror” features Snoop Lion, Will.I.Am, Jordin Sparks and Siedah Garrett, leading into Arsenio Hall’s setup of the Herbie Hancock and Carlos Santana jazz tribute.
Actor Terrence Howard will introduce a video salute to Quincy, followed by a duet by James Ingram and Patti Austin. Gorgeous actress Scarlett Johansson will set up Michael’s film tribute, then Chaka Kahn will perform “Alfie.”
I’ll introduce Whoopi Goldberg for Stevie Wonder, BeBe Winans and Ray Charles’ tribute to Quincy, with Amy Pohler starting the Bono salute to The Rat Pack and Frank Sinatra before Barbra Streisand leads “Happy Birthday” to the two superstars. Rashida and Michael’s wife, Shakira, will escort the men onstage; after the speeches, there’s a surprise 3-minute finale.
MARIE’S TEAR-JERKER: Flamingo headliner Marie Osmond, who started her book tour in New York today, says that when she heard the news of her son Michael’s suicide jump three years ago, “I thought someone had run a knife through my heart.” In her new book “The Key Is Love,” she says there are still moments in her anguish over his death that she drops to her knees unable to breathe.
Marie admits that there are times she cries until she can’t cry anymore, then she cries again. “But I’m healing every day thanks to my mom’s advice to talk about it,” she added. Marie plans book signings here after the national promo tour.
LIBERACE VIDEO: The first teaser video promoting HBO’s upcoming Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra” with Michael Douglas as the entertainer and Matt Damon as his boyfriend was posted on YouTube today.
Behind the Candelabra
Grammy Award-winning artist John Legend will headline the 12th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational on Friday to be hosted by Wayne Brady and also featuring a performance by Monte Carlo headliners Blue Man Group.
Thanks to vivacious Jenny McCarthy for following me on Twitter and retweeting some of my weekend notes and photos of her visit to Steve Wynn’s Encore.
Thanks also to Fuse TV execs who follow us and while in Las Vegas filmed Def Leppard at their new residency “Viva Hysteria” at The Joint in The Hard Rock Hotel. Fuse won an exclusive Q+A and behind-the-scenes access for final rehearsals; Vegas DeLuxe was invited to share the footage. Thanks to Brian Greene from Fuse Digital News for the clip.
COUNTRY CAVALCADE: The opening of Sunday’s 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS from MGM Grand Garden Arena includes hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, a number by Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, immediately followed by Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Pistol Annie’s and Brad Paisley. More than 130 country artists will be here in “the week Vegas goes country.” We’ll have a preview Thursday.
SEASON 4 OF LEGENDS FOOTBALL: Season 4 of Legends Football League, formerly Lingerie Football League, headquartered here kicked off in a home game for the Jacksonville Breeze against the new expansion team Atlanta Steam. It was a 48-0 shutout for the veterans!
Our Las Vegas Sin plays its first away game against the Chicago Bliss on May 10, followed by a June 22 home game at The Orleans Arena. The Sin travels to Ontario, Calif., to play against the Los Angeles Temptation and then back home against the Seattle Mist on July 20. LFL premiered in 2009, became international with Canada last year, debuts in Australia this year and premieres in Europe in 2015. Now part of NBC Sports, the gridiron girls have less risque uniforms and more protective gear.
CAR CHASERS: Tuesday’s episode of “Car Chasers” on CNBC features stars Jeff Allen and Perry Brandt at the recent SEMA convention here. Jeff and Perry find, fix and flip classic and exotic cars from their Lubbock, Texas, shop. While here, they roll the dice on a 1965 Malibu and two hot rods.
RECORDS BROKEN: This year’s 28th annual Nightclub & Bar Convention & Trade Show here March 19-21 wound up with record numbers. The turnout of 37,740 delegates was an 11 percent increase over last year, and with nearly 700 companies on the convention floor, that was a 10 percent boost. The inaugural program of entrepreneurs will be expanded next year from three winners to five. “Bar Rescue” star Jon Taffer cut the red ribbon with superstar and Planet Hollywood headliner CeeLo Green. Vendors have started signing up for next year’s convention.
EXTREME THING: The 18th annual Extreme Thing Sports and Music Festival took over Desert Breeze Park for Easter Weekend with more than 15,000 people in attendance. Entertainment included New Found Glory, Asking Alexandria, Ricardo Laguna’s Pro BMX Dirt Challenge and a professional wrestling challenge.
World Class Driving launches America’s first open-road muscle car driving adventure at Red Rock Canyon behind the wheels of such hot rods as the 662hp Shelby GT500 and the 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8. The fleet also includes a Corvette and a 2014 Camaro.
Steve McGrew and Steve Thomas headline at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand.
Producer and DJ Gareth Emery spins at Marquee in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Chef Angela Sosa’s Poppy Den in Tivoli Village launches its Meaningful Monday events for charity, with the first benefiting our Epicurean Charitable Foundation for UNLV students entering the hospitality industry.
Comedian Louis Anderson talks about the weight he’s lost facing injuries and danger on ABC’s “Splash” as he dives with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Episode 3; an exclusive interview with rocker Pete Wentz about his new TV series on tattoos in Las Vegas; plus, the identities of some of the celebrity roasters ready to rip apart Zowie Bowie singer Chris Phillips at The Stratosphere on April 23.
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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MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.