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Forgiveness, or money, got Kanye West to festival

Tony Hsieh must be a forgiving soul.

How else to explain Kanye West as the leadoff headliner of the Life Is Beautiful festival Friday?

Eleven months ago, West badmouthed Zappos, Hsieh’s company, in a most unflattering way a week after getting a personal downtown tour from Hsieh.

During a podcast interview, West, whose biggest hits include “Heartless” and “Gold Digger,” mocked Hsieh for offering some unsolicited advice.

“I got into this giant argument with the head of Zappos that he’s trying to tell me what I need to focus on,” West told author Bret Easton Ellis during the podcast. “Meanwhile, he sells all this ‘s—- product’ to everybody, his whole thing is based off selling a ‘s—- product.’’

Zappos, the Las Vegas-based giant online retailer of shoes and clothing, responded with a lighthearted zinger that went viral.

Zappos’ website ran a “S—- Product” headline with an image of a toilet, a $100,000 plunger and directions on how to use it.

In a reference to West’s “Watch the Throne,” the website text read: “This is the throne everyone has been watching.”

It continued, “Whether you’re #1 or #2, your clique will show no mercy, even in Paris,” more references to West hits.

Hsieh, in an email at the time, told me “it was just a random idea that someone came up with.”

I emailed Hsieh on Saturday, asking him if he had a role in landing West as a headliner and what was the advice he had given him.

He did not respond by deadline.

So did Kanye and Hsieh talk it out?

Or did money talk?

WAITING in THE WINGS?

There’s buzz around UNLV that Las Vegas resident Jim Fassel is a leading candidate to replace football coach Bobby Hauck if the Rebels program doesn’t show signs of improvement.

Fassell, 65, piloted the New York Giants to the Super Bowl in the 2000 season. His resume not only includes helping recruit John Elway to Stanford but twice working with him as offensive coordinator, at Stanford and with the Denver Broncos.

As head coach and general manager of the Las Vegas Locomotives, he led them to two consecutive United Football League championships, outcoaching his counterparts, Jay Gruden and Jim Haslett.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

The Freakin Frog &The Whisky Attic, across from UNLV on Maryland Parkway, is having a closeout sale today featuring Belgian beer. Adam Carmer has been at the site for 13 years, offering one of the biggest beer selections in the country. He’s leaving because the commercial center is being redeveloped. He recently was knighted in Belgium for his work regarding beer eduction. “Yes, I am now privileged to use the title, Sir, and my wife is Lady Carmer,” he said by email.

SIGHTINGS

They might be heated rivals, but the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings were dining in close quarters Thursday at Crush (MGM Grand). Front office members of the Lakers were in a private room off the Bodega room, while the Kings players and execs were nearby. They played Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden. … Kim Kardashian, celebrating her 34th birthday Friday at Tao (Venetian) with husband West and family and friends. During the evening, Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp went to Kim’s table to say hello to the family. … Britney Spears, with her “Piece of Me” dancer Friday at Buca di Beppo on Paradise. … Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, getting a tour of the Fright Dome with owner Jason Egan on Friday. … Justin Bieber’s on-and-off girlfriend, Selena Gomez, in the audience Saturday at Shania Twain’s show at The Colosseum (Caesars Palace). … Twain, dining at Restaurant Guy Savoy (Caesars Palace) on Thursday. … About 40 Uber executives and employees, gathering at La Comida Mexican Restaurant on East Fremont St. on Thursday, the eve of the ride-sharing company’s launch in Las Vegas. … Comedian Rita Rudner, with friends Thursday at TJ’s steakhouse (Westgate). … Spotted at the Orleans Arena last week during filming of a TV show for Yahoo! Sports: actor Tom Arnold, Rio headliner Penn Jillette, Luxor headliner Carrot Top and former NBA players Baron Davis, Rick Fox and John Salley. The show is about a team called the Sin City Saints.

THE PUNCH LINE

“There have been seven fence jumps now at the White House so far this year. Maybe it’s time the president gives Joe Biden a key.” — Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.

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