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Lady Gaga levels R. Kelly by taking down 2013 collaboration

Updated January 11, 2019 - 1:24 pm

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is the sports book bar at Wynn Las Vegas, as I await Drake’s show at nearby XS Nightclub. A good thing to ask someone at this bar is, “Are you ready for God’s Plan?” without saying that’s a Drake song.

More from this scene, and elsewhere:

Gaga ditches R. Kelly

Lady Gaga has lowered the boom on R. Kelly, first tweeting that she was removing the song “Do What U Want (With My Body)” from streaming services, then following through with that promise about 20 hours later.

Gaga, who opened her majestic “Enigma” production at Park Theater on Dec. 28, tweeted an apology for working with Kelly, the subject of a crippling Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”

“I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” Gaga posted on her Twitter and Instagram pages. “What I am hearing about the allegations against R Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible. As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the songs and video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life.”

The “Surviving” series chronicled the multiple accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against Kelly by multiple women over several years. The series included interviews with #MeToo founder and civil rights activist Tarana Burke, music star John Legend and others. It aired over three nights, starting Jan. 3 and concluding Saturday.

Kelly has denied any wrongdoing. His attorney Steve Greenberg responded to Gaga’s apology hours after it posted.

“Mr. Kelly has not committed any crime. It is unfortunate the extent people want to put his past relationships under a microscope for their own personal gain,” Greenberg told Access Hollywood. “But no one complained when they were living the glamorous Life as a rockstar groupie or girlfriend. There are no victims — there are only those now exploiting Mr. Kelly for their 15 minutes of TMZ fame.”

The Gaga-R. Kelly tune and official videos of the song were also removed from YouTube.

‘Believer’ in the mix

Imagine Dragons’ song “Believer” was played during the video montage at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center on Thursday night as Derek Stevens announced Circa Resort & Casino as the name of the new resort he and his brother, Greg, are building on Fremont Street.

Nice moment for the band, though they were not aware their song was being used in the civic celebration. When I texted Dragons manager Mac Reynolds asking how he felt about the the song being featured in that five-minute clip, he said it was the first he’d heard about it. Then he added, “Rad.” So, that’s a word we need to return to the lexicon, in time for Circa’s opening in December 2020.

Igniter hits 25

Cameron Hughes, the wild man known as “The Igniter” at Vegas Golden Knights games, celebrated his 25th anniversary of crowd-goosing after the Golden Knights’ 2-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. Golden Knights stars Deryk Engelland and William Karlsson were among those at the top-level club party, which was hosted by arena emcee Mark Shunock.

Hughes’ history as a crowd igniter dates to an Ottawa Senators game in 1994. The crowd was docile, in need of a boost, so Hughes jumped from his seat and danced around like a nut case. The Senators summarily offered him a job, and he’s made a career of it. He’s ignited more than 1,700 games and says, “I’m still having a blast.”

Dressed up, ready to play

Tickets are onsale at 10 a.m. Friday for “Ester Goldberg’s Totally Outrageous Brunch,” opening with shows at 11 a.m and 2 p.m. Feb. 23. This is Michael Airington’s drag — wait, NO, it’s NOT DRAG, he tells me — brunch variety show at The Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas.

Ester is Airington portraying a lady of a certain age, red wig (or, orange wig). Her official bio reads: “Ester Goldberg has had a long, fabulous life. In addition to being a widow, a star of radio, cabaret, and nightclubs, she has also been a make-up artiste, gossip columnist, counselor to young teens, and gifted music maven and chanteuse. It is not hard to imagine why she is widely considered to be one of the world’s newest (and oldest) influential Divas.”

She seems under the influence. No argument there.

Airington has assembled quite the cast for this residency shindig. He’s signed the crazy-talented vocalist lineup of Anne Martinez, Cassie Stone, Janien Valentine and Sarah Hester Ross. Also crazy in the talented category is John Di Domenico, with his Donald Trump impression. This week, Di Domenico pitched building Trump’s border wall with Legos. But at this show, the borders are wide open.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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Lady Gaga cancels Wednesday performance on Las Vegas Strip

Lady Gaga has missed a show for the first time in her dual Las Vegas Strip residencies at Park Theater. She called out Wednesday night, suffering from sinus and bronchial concerns.