It’s one of the biggest music parties of the year, and Las Vegas lays claim to center stage with our Caesars Palace headliner Celine Dion marking the 20th anniversary of the “Titanic” tearjerker “My Heart Will Go On” at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena and live on ABC starting at 5 p.m.
Celine last year received the first Icon Award, and this year it will be presented to our Monte Carlo headliner Cher. She wraps her current residency at Park Theater on Saturday, rests, then walks across The Park to the arena to receive this year’s Icon Award, her first awards show performance in 15 years.
Cher performs after the presentation, and I’m reliably told that her showcase will be the longest one onstage, although it will be difficult to top the 9-minute opening planned by Nicki Minaj with Wynn Nightlife resident DJ David Guetta, Lil Wayne and “SPF” headliner Jason Derulo.
Here’s Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” video on YouTube featuring Las Vegas atop a super-stretch limo:
2017 BBMAs presenters are Kate Beckinsale, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Mark Cuban, Noah Cyrus, Alexandra Daddario, DJ Khaled, Josh Duhamel, Ansel Elgort, Sara Foster, G-Eazy, Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Prince Michael Jackson, Rachel Lindsay, Lea Michele, Olivia Munn, Rita Ora, Logan Paul, Rachel Platten, Bebe Rexha, Nicole Scherzinger, 2017 Miss America Savvy Shields, Jussie Smollett, Hailee Steinfeld, Lindsey Stirling and Ashley Tisdale.
They join hosts Ludacris and Vanessa Hudgens and performers Camila Cabello, The Chainsmokers, Miley Cyrus, Drake, Florida Georgia Line, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Sam Hunt, John Legend, Lorde, Bruno Mars, Julia Michaels, Ed Sheeran, Celine and Cher. Ludacris and Vanessa hadn’t met until Thursday’s rehearsals. Incidentally, Ludacris in his contract has bottles of Remy Martin Louis XIII on hand in his dressing room at $3,000 a bottle.
Julia will perform her debut single “Issues” at the awards. “Issues” is the ninth Top 40 hit Julia has co-written on The Billboard Hot 100 and her first as a solo artist. DJ Khaled and Bebe Rexha will welcome Julia to the stage. Fans can keep up with and join the conversation by using #BBMAsUnlimited.
Tonight is the start of eight nights of parties through Monday, then again next weekend to celebrate the eighth anniversary of XS at Encore. This weekend the headliners are Marshmello (tonight), David Guetta (Saturday), Diplo (Sunday) and The Chainsmokers (Monday). Next weekend Kygo is added to the lineup for the Night Swim Sunday party.
It’s difficult to believe that with the world’s largest gathering of music stars at T-Mobile that there’d be any spotlights left to turn onto other singers. Journey and Cher wrap their residencies this weekend, and John Fogerty launches his at Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.
Thompson Square is at Tropicana, and Tony Bennett’s daughter, Antonia Bennett, makes her debut with Las Vegas pianist George Bugatti at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and that’s where we start this week’s edition of The Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, MAY 19
Linkin Park headlines Night 1 of CBS Radio’s “SPF” at Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
John Fogerty is at Encore Theater.
Thompson Square is at Tropicana.
Billy Ray Cyrus is at Red Rock Resort.
Antonia Bennett and George Bugatti are at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz.
Beginnings: Chicago Tribute Band is at South Point for two nights.
Hedwig and The Angry Inch is at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay for two nights.
Gin Blossoms is at Golden Nugget.
Kongos is at The Hard Rock Hotel.
Six60 – Roots of Creation is at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas at The Linq Promenade.
Ralphie May’s “No Apologies” is at Harrah’s.
Impractical Jokers is at MGM Grand.
Crapshoot Comedy Festival is at Fremont Street for two nights.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets are on sale for The Funk Brothers at Orleans Showroom on July 14; Thievery Corporation on Aug. 4 and The Magpie Salute on Sept. 20 at BBLV; August Alsina at HOB on Aug. 24; Mary J. Blige at Pearl at The Palms on Sept. 1; Richard Marx at The Flamingo from Aug. 15 to Sept. 2; Imagine Dragons at T-Mobile Arena on Sept. 29; Incubus at The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel from Oct. 7-14; and Van Morrison at The Colosseum at Caesars from Jan. 31-Feb. 3.
Tiger Woods hosts his 19th Annual Tiger Jam with supermodel Kate Upton at MGM Grand for two nights with a poker tournament tonight and Darius Rucker concert and Top Golf party Saturday.
“For the Love of Cocktails” is at Skyfall Lounge at Delano Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Car Stars is at Fremont Street for two days.
Marshmello is at XS.
T-Pain is at Light at Mandalay Bay.
Yellow Claw is at Encore Beach Club.
SATURDAY, MAY 20
DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Niall Horan and Jason Derulo headline Night 2 of “SPF.”
Chris Brown is at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The Temptations are at The Orleans Showroom for two nights.
Daughtry is at The M Resort.
Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys are at Primm Valley Resort.
Struntz and Farah are at Aliante.
Testament and Sepultura are at BBLV.
Edgar Winter Band and Rick Derringer are at Cannery.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
WWE star Bill Goldberg hosts and Drake launches his Night Owl whiskey goblet line at Sugar Factory Fashion Show.
Dirtybird BBQ is at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center.
Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles and Home Cookin’ headline Jazz in the Park at Clark County Amphitheater.
The Ogden Foundation Celebrity Bowl is at Red Rock Resort for two days.
Lake Spring Mountain season opening is at Spring Mountain Motor Resort in Pahrump.
It’s race season at Pahrump Valley Speedway.
David Guetta is at XS.
Diddy is at Light.
Ja Rule is at Flamingo Go Pool.
Borgore is at Rehab Beach Club at The Hard Rock Hotel.
Scott Disick celebrates his birthday at 1 OAK at The Mirage.
SUNDAY, MAY 21
Katastro and Pacific Dub are at BBLV.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The 2017 BBMAs are at T-Mobile Arena.
Michael Kessler and Melinda Jackson of M&M Dance Theater: Contact! is at South Point.
Drake hosts The BBMAs after-party at Hakkasan at MGM Grand.
Kid Ink is at Rehab.
We’ll be back Sunday here and in Sunday ENT of The RJ with Human Nature’s eighth anniversary on the Strip and 21-year-old new Omnia at Caesars resident DJ Julian Jordan, plus our BBMAs wrap-up Monday with photos and video.