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October 19, 2017

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Star Surveillance: Chippendales, Carla Pellegrino, Gary Payton, Joe Montana and Nelly


Jill Pham

Gary Payton, in purple, with family and friends at Heraea in the Palms.

2013 MJCI Gala at Aria

Michael Jordan, fiancee Yvette Prieto and Will Smith at the 2013 Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational Gala at Aria on Friday, April 5, 2013. Launch slideshow »

2013 Academy of Country Music Awards

George Strait and Garth Brooks perform during the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2013. Launch slideshow »
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Chippendales at The Rio hunks Jaymes Vaughan, Jon Howes and Nathan Minor with chef Carla Pellegrino.

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Chippendales at The Rio star James Davis, sadly with his shirt on, at Blue Man Group in the Monte Carlo.

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Nelly at Haze in Aria.

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Oscar Goodman at McDonald's.

With Michael Jordan’s Celebrity Invitational and the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards in town this past week, Las Vegas appeared to have more headline names than Hollywood and Nashville.

The late Michael Jackson’s children Prince and Blanket made a surprise visit to their old haunt of the Planet Hollywood restaurant in The Forum Shops of Caesars Palace. They arrived with their Uncle Jermaine Jackson’s sons and ordered chicken crunch, which they always had when they dined there with their father.

Sexy met beefcake when “Top Chef Seattle” cheftestant Carla Pellegrino (Meatball Spot, Bratalian) joined Chippendales at The Rio hunks Jaymes Vaughan, Jon Howes and Nathan Minor after watching their show.

NBA icon Gary Payton celebrated being inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame with a gathering at Heraea in the Palms. The nine-time all-star and 2006 NBA champion with the Miami Heat was with family and friends feasting on signature dishes and toasting with shots.

The stars of The History Channel’s hit “Counting Cars” were on the track at Dream Racing, the sports car racing experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Gearing up for the premiere of Season 2, cast members Scott, Shannon, Horny Mike, Roli and Grandpa suited up in full racing gear taking to the wheel of a fiery red fleet of Ferrari 430 GTs.

Stars are beating a path to see Def Leppard’s “Viva Hysteria” residency shows at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel. Billy Idol, Steve Stevens, Billy Morrison, Eric Dane and John Mayer, in town for the 2013 ACM Awards, have been in recent crowds.

Monte Carlo headliners Blue Man Group helped kick off the Los Angeles Dodgers season with the ultimate pre-game pep rally during opening day. The performers were chosen to join the team in honor of their season theme “A Whole New Blue.” The trio presented a performance of their original piece “Time to Start” that obviously helped the Dodgers beat the defending World Series champions San Francisco Giants 4-0. Back at home, Chippendales hunk James Davis attended a performance.

Rapper Nelly hosted and performed at Haze in Aria, competed in the MJCI at Shadow Creek and took part in “Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night” at MGM Grand Garden Arena. At Haze, he performed several of his hits, and the crowd included Michael Phelps, Brian Baumgartner, Ne-Yo, Penny" Hardaway, Michael Crabtree and Andre Johnson.

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and retired two-time Super Bowl champion wide receiver Dwight Clark were at N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms to catch up with friend chef Barry Dakake. Onlookers were so much in awe of the duo that one anonymous fan picked up their dinner tab.

Comedienne and Tropicana headliner Roseanne Barr stopped into Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand to check out Steve McGrew’s closing night, while country star Brad Paisley debuted his new album “Wheelhouse” to ACM VIPs there before show time.

LVCVA Host Committee Chairman and former Mayor Oscar Goodman worked the counter and the drive-up window at McDonalds to help the one-day promotion “Green for Grads,” raising scholarship funds for Southern Nevada students.

Pro poker player Lady Pink with husband Bob and son Byron attended Murray Sawchuck’s show at the Tropicana. Murray and Lady Pink appear on TLC’s “4 Houses” in May as two of the four-part cast showing off their homes.

Actor and rapper LL Cool J, in town for the 2013 ACM Awards, dined at Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill in MGM Grand. And this weekend with Bono, Carlos Santana, Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder here for the joint 80th birthday celebrations of Sir Michael Caine and Quincy Jones, the Strip will be power-packed yet again, and we’ll be out and about so that we don’t miss any of them.

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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