To quote a legendary entertainer, this year’s Power of Love lineup is “So good! So good! So good!”
Apologies for creating an earworm with that Neil Diamond classic. Nonetheless, the list of stars set to appear at the 24th annual Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala at MGM Grand Garden on March 7 is loaded: Venerable rocker Sammy Hagar, R&B star Toni Braxton, country-music artist Billy Ray Cyrus, producer-recording great Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, rock crooner Chris Isaak, and pop artist/producer Andy Grammer have all been booked.
The event is once again a fundraiser for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to provide services for those suffering from such neurocognitive disorders as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases; multiple system atrophy; multiple sclerosis; and frontotemporal dementia and related disorders. Event co-founders Larry and Camille Ruvo are again heading up this year’s program.
Along with honoring Diamond, KMA will present the 2020 Community Leadership Award to Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson for their extensive philanthropic endeavors and contributions to medical research, education and many Jewish causes and organizations over the decades.
Diamond announced his retirement from touring in 2018 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The 78-year-old singer/songwriter has been closely identified with Las Vegas over the decades, as the first headliner at the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts in 1976.
Diamond’s last Las Vegas show was at Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 17, 2015, and his last performance was Aug. 12, 2017, at the Forum in Inglewood, California. After his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Diamond called off scheduled shows in Australia and New Zealand as part of his 50th anniversary world tour.
Several performers have forged connections to Las Vegas:
Hagar is a frequent headliner who in January appeared at the formal name unveiling of the Strat, and also operates his Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood.
Braxton, who recorded the top-selling R&B hit “Un-Break My Heart,” is a former Las Vegas Strip headliner, having performed at Flamingo Showroom from 2006-08, her run cut short because of health concerns.
Isaak is a recurring headliner, too, having performed at Encore Theater in December.
Edmonds has been recording this year with 1 Oak Nightclub at The Mirage headliner Matt Goss.
Cyrus, who hit No. 1 with his sing-along country hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” performed the July 4, 2018, free concert at Fremont Street Experience. He is, of course, Miley Cyrus’ famous father.
The night’s presenters include ABC talk-show host and longtime Las Vegan Jimmy Kimmel (who operates his eponymous comedy club at Linq Promenade), dance and choreography great Derek Hough (headlining his own residency at Flamingo beginning in June), and longtime “Cheers” and “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer.
A piece of triviata: Grammer and his wife, Kayte Walsh, renewed their wedding vows at Little Church of the West in Las Vegas in 2012. That’s the same Las Vegas Boulevard chapel where 2013 Power of Love co-honoree Michael Caine (awarded with Quincy Jones) married his wife, Shakira, in 1973.
Look for ZZ Top co-founder and guitar great Billy Gibbons on an upcoming episode of “Pawn Stars” on History Channel. He recorded at Gold & Silver Pawn on Monday. The possession at the center of the episode, and the air date, are to be revealed. But it sounds intriguing, as Gibbons is reunited with a long-lost item.
Among those on hand was “Crazy Girls” emcee and dancer Dani Elizabeth. That summit could be a harbinger of things to come for ZZ Top’s return to The Venetian Theatre for five dates on March 20, 21, 25, 27 and 28.
Celebrated French chef and entrepreneur Josette LeBlond is the latest honoree on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. LeBlond’s star is to be placed on the Strip in front of Paris Las Vegas this weekend, following a ceremony Thursday at her Las Vegas home.
LeBlond and the late Vegas entertainer Tony Sacca were in partnership with the Las Vegas Rocks Cafe at Neonopolis in 2010-11. Sacca’s star, which was pulled up as protective bollards were placed along the Strip, is being returned to the sidewalk this weekend.
The star of political pundit, author and RJ contributor Wayne Allyn Root also returned to the Strip this week. Root reports that he has booked a one-on-one interview with President Donald Trump before Trump’s rally Friday at Las Vegas Convention Center.
Great Moments In Social Media
Ex-Major League slugger and proud Las Vegan Jose Canseco has weighed in on the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing controversy. An expert on enhancing one’s competitive advantage, Canseco tweeted, “It’s a huge advantage knowing what pitch is coming. If I had a choice between Peds (performance-enhancing drugs) and knowing what pitch was coming, I would pick knowing what pitch was coming.”
It is a huge Advantage knowing what pitch is coming if I had a choice between using Peds and knowing was Pitch was coming I would pick knowing what Pitch was coming
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) February 20, 2020
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson and Dr. Miriam Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.