Some of the biggest names in entertainment have taken the stage in Las Vegas, but there are only a few who earns he title of “greatest Las Vegas headliner.” Here are the top 10:
Cher’s first Vegas run was at Caesars Palace in 1979. Even then she brought her big set pieces, bold costume choices and larger-than life personality. Almost 40 years later, and she’s still entertaining audiences with one exceptional show that features burlesque dancers, animatronic elephants, 3D projections and more all at the Park Theater.
French-Canadian singer Celine Dion opened her first Vegas residency show A New Day in 2003. The show ran for five years. Celine returned to Vegas in 2011 with a new show titled Celine that was another huge success. Celine returned to the stage one more time in 2016 following the death of her husband. That show is set to end in 2019. Celine is considered the most successful individual performer in Las Vegas since Elvis Presley.
Speaking of, Elvis Presley opened at the International Hotel in 1969 (nearly 10 years after he flopped at the New Frontier) and was an instant success. He went on to perform more than 800 shows at the International Hotel in seven years. Performing here was some of the greatest moments of his career.
Siegfried & Roy
Siegfried & Roy not only brought audiences a show unlike anything ever before seen in Vegas, they also opened the doors for many magicians in the city. The duo began as a part of the show at the New Frontier in 1981 but quickly became headliners when they brought their big-scale illusions and animal acts to the stage at The Mirage.
Liberace may be the most flamboyant performer Vegas has ever seen. He first performed in the city in 1944, and it was here he began to develop his over-the-top persona. In the 1970’s he opened the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas which continues to be one of the city’s top tourist attractions.
Sammy Davis Jr.
Perhaps best known as a member of the Rat Pack, Sammy Davis Jr. was a talent in his own right. Not only could he sing but he could dance and act. He starred on Broadway and had his own TV show, along with heading all over the world including in Vegas.
You might initially think of Elvis Presley when you think of greatest Vegas performer but Frank Sinatra was Las Vegas. Sinatra and The Rat Pack dominated the Strip for over three decades performing regularly at the Sands and Caesars Palace.
Wayne Newton began performing in Vegas in 1958 with his brother Jerry. They were initially signed for a two-week run but ended up performing six shows a day for five years. By the 1970’s, Newton became a headliner and has been a regular performer ever since. He has even earned the nickname “Mr. Las Vegas.”
The Vegas tribute show, Jubilee! opened in Vegas in 1981. Full of showgirls wearing elaborate costumes and 25-pound feather headdresses, Jubilee embodied everything Vegas was in its prime. The show was the last of the famed Las Vegas showgirl productions. It closed in 2016.
Penn & Teller
Despite the many magicians on the Strip, standout duo, Penn & Teller are one of the best. They were first introduced at the Minnesota Renaissance Fair in 1975 and by 1985 were performing Off Broadway and earned an Emmy Award for their PBS show Penn & Teller Go Public. They have been residency headliners at the Rio since 2001.