Ethan Miller/Getty Images for ABC
Thursday, May 2, 2013 | 4:11 p.m.
The all-superstar lineup for the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19 continues to grow. Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne will team for a performance, and Jennifer Lopez, who was at MGM Grand for last weekend’s Hakkasan Las Vegas grand opening, returns, as does Chris Brown, who celebrates his birthday at The Mirage this weekend.
No sooner did Ed Sheeran leave town after his Nobu Caesars Palace Hotel grand-opening performance Sunday than he returns, too, for what is already a high-powered, three-hour ABC special. Local hero Ne-Yo, Akon, Icona Pop and DJ David Guetta have been added to our previously reported lineup.
That list includes Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Miguel, Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Christina Aguilera, Selena Gomez, The Band Perry, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kacey Musgraves. The BBMAs also will honor Prince, who performed four shows at The Joint in The Hard Rock Hotel last weekend, with the Billboard Icon Award.
TELLER JOINS PENN: On Sunday’s episode of Donald Trump’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC, there’s a guest appearance by contestant Penn Jillette’s Rio headliner partner Teller. Country star and ex-contestant John Rich will be a boardroom adviser to The Donald as the two teams compete to design a casino resort-themed suite and host a party at Jay-Z’s new Barclay Center in Brooklyn.
1ST ANNIVERSARY: What began as a limited run for Murray Sawchuck’s magic show at Tropicana turned into a first-anniversary celebration Wednesday night. Murray told me: “After touring for over 18 years around the world, it’s so nice to drive to work and perform for all the fans that come to Las Vegas. We didn’t realize when we began here we’d still be here a year later, but we’re very happy and hope to stay a long, long time.”
Since becoming a TV regular, Murray has appeared on more than a dozen reality TV shows, including “Pawn Stars” and “Home and Family.” Later this month, Murray appears on TLC’s “4 Houses” where four home owners compete to see which house is the most livable, presentable and original. Murray’s next appearance on the newly Emmy-nominated “Family” is June 4.
EXPANDED CARNEVALE: Last year’s six-week Carnevale at The Venetian and Palazzo was so successful, hotel execs have decided on a three-month expansion this year from May 27 to Sept. 8 and expanded attractions to 300 experiences. In addition to the “Wheel of Fortune” tapings there with Pat Sajak and Vanna White, there will be celebrity chef appearances by Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck and Curtis Stone. Celebrations also involve tequila troubadour George Clooney and rum rocker Sammy Hagar.
“It’s fantasy, food, fun, fashions, wine and the romance of all of Italy’s summer festivals,” said President John Caparella. “The magic of Carnevale is never knowing what unexpected surprise is around the corner.” Meantime, the World’s Largest Bachelorette Party is July 19-21.
PRE-FIGHT WAR: It was seconds away from a fist fight, and our contributing videographer Richard Corey captured it all at the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Roberto Guerrero press conference Wednesday at MGM Grand. Boxer Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton is covering the celebrity angles for me during The Big Fight weekend. The Filipina fighting phenom and three-time world boxing champion told me, “That was a pretty intense atmosphere as charges flew between the families of the boxers.”
Mayweather-Guerrero at MGM Grand
SEEING DOUBLE: Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, twin sons of late teen idol Ricky Nelson, have a unique conversation planned during their weekend visit headlining three shows at South Point. On Friday afternoon, they’ll visit with Las Vegas entertainer Tony Sacca to tape his Channel 14 show “Vegas Rocks Variety” at Marilyn’s in Eastside Cannery.
Tony is a twin, too, and they’ve agreed to talk the Top 10 benefits of being identical. “You are always beside yourself,” joked Tony, adding, “You could do half the work or twice the value. If you get a black eye in a fight, your twin brother can show up the next day as the winner.”
ONE NIGHT ONLY: Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and his Las Vegas culinary team will host a one-night-only event with his six restaurants as a “Sip & Savor” fundraiser on May 29 at his Spago in The Forum Shops of Caesars Palace. It not only celebrates the group’s 20th anniversary in our city, but also re-creates the dinner that launched our Keep Memory Alive fundraisers. Chefs from Spago, Cut, Lupo, Postrio, Cucina and Bar & Grill will oversee the feast, with proceeds earmarked for KMA and The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
“America’s Got Talent Live!” is returning June 3-5, and former Spice Girls beauty Mel B, who starred in “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood when it opened in 2009, joins the show for its NBC premiere June 4 from here.
Vince Neil’s Motley Crue will help our Venetian/Palazzo parent company Las Vegas Sands kick off the first anniversary of its Bethlehem, Pa., casino May 20 and 21.
A Summerlin art dealer has purchased one of the original Joni Mitchell “Toothpaste” paintings from the Museum of Modern Art, and it will go on display at a private dinner party in Queensridge.
I’ll be filming a segment for Flamingo headliner Marie Osmond’s Hallmark show today in the kitchen of Buca di Beppo at Excalibur. Imagine what the two of us will cook up!
Presale tickets start today for the “American Idol Live 2013” at Mandalay Bay on July 12. General tickets go on sale Friday.
Congratulations to our local Fox 5 affiliate for its 10 Emmy nominations announced Wednesday night by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the Pacific Southwest. Six were for news, three for entertainment and one for sports.
Slaughter plays the showroom at South Point.
New Beat Fund rocks Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
The motorcross team of Trey Canard, Jeremy McGrath, Nate Adams and Robbie Madison hosts a meet-and-greet at DC Shoes in Miracle Mile Shops of Planet Hollywood.
The Act at the Palazzo launches its monthly End of the World party.
If you’re not in Kentucky for the Derby, then raise a mint julep here for The Big Fight weekend of Mayweather vs. Guerrero or chill out with Playboy beauties Crystal Hefner, Pamela Anderson and Brande Roderick poolside as three dayclubs open for the season. We have the Royal Robin Rundown, including Cinco de Mayo celebrations and Diddy and Busta Rhymes at the Palms.
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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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.