Las Vegas Blog

Everything Las Vegas

20 Iconic Performers That Rocked Caesars Palace

Last updated: February 26, 2018 at 2:08 pm. Posted by in Caesars Palace, Caesars Palace 50th Anniversary, Las Vegas Shows. Comments Off on 20 Iconic Performers That Rocked Caesars Palace.

The modern Las Vegas we all know and love—where the world’s best entertainers, athletes and chefs converge to create an experience like no other on the planet—owes much of its success to the path blazed by Caesars Palace, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. From the start, Caesars Palace has featured the biggest names in music and comedy on its iconic, Roman-style marquee. There are too many to mention in one article, but we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the greatest Las Vegas performers to take the stage at Caesars Palace over the last five decades.

Andy Williams

Andy Williams Las Vegas Performance

You may not be hip to Andy Williams, but trust us, your grandparents were. The late pop singer, whose distinctive vocals popularized the song “Moon River” (from the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”), was huge in the 1960s, when he hosted his own TV variety show on NBC. So it’s no surprise Williams was tapped to be the first-ever headliner at Caesars Palace’s Circus Maximus showroom, beginning with the opening-night festivities on Aug. 5, 1966, and then returning on-and-off over the next 20 years.

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra At Caesars Palace

Since making his move to Caesars Palace from the Sands in 1968, the Chairman of the Board performed on and off throughout the years in the Circus Maximus showroom, where his 40th anniversary in show business was celebrated with a televised event in 1979. Sinatra was even named Caesars Palace’s Vice President of Entertainment in 1981.

Liberace

Liberace at Caesars Palace

Las Vegas and Liberace are practically inseparable, so it’s no surprise that the flamboyant and fabulous pianist and singer brought his sequin-studded show to the stage at Caesars Palace in the 1970s and 1980s. Liberace, who died in 1987, played his final Las Vegas shows during a two-week engagement at Caesars Palace in 1986.

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett At Caesars Palace

One of the earliest resident performers at Caesars Palace (his first string of shows launched Aug. 25, 1966, just 20 days after the resort opened), effortlessly cool crooner (and recent Lady Gaga collaborator) Tony Bennett continued to perform at Caesars numerous times over the next 50 years, including a gig at The Colosseum on Sept. 1, 2012.

Milton Berle

milton berle at Caesars Palace

One of the biggest stars of the golden age of television, “Uncle Miltie” appeared in Circus Maximus in the 1960s and ’70s both as a solo act and as host of the “Milton Berle Show,” which featured a variety of guest performers. He returned in 1988 as one of “The Living Legends of Comedy” with Sid Caesar and Danny Thomas.

Flip Wilson

flip wilson at caesars palace

Heralded by Time Magazine as “TV’s first black superstar,” comedian Flip Wilson was one of the earliest regular headliners at Circus Maximus, first appearing for a run of dates in fall 1968, and then returning in the late 1970s after his eponymous NBC variety show ended.

Cher

Cher At Caesars Palace

Award-winning singer and actress Cher headlined at Circus Maximus from 1979 to 1982 during her transition from disco to rock, and then returned in 2008 for a three-year residency of almost 200 shows at The Colosseum that saw the star perform both hers and others’ hits, dolled up in dazzling, Bob Mackie-designed costumes.

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Sammy Davis, Jr. At Caesars Palace

In addition to performing headlining gigs at Circus Maximus throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, late Rat Packer Sammy Davis Jr. also hosted his own TV variety show, “Sammy and Company,” which filmed at Caesars Palace in 1975.

Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis At Caesars Palace

The Hollywood funnyman performed a stint at Circus Maximus with openers The Osmond Brothers in 1971, but Caesars Palace also hosted the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon in the 1970s and ’80s. In 1976 during the telethon (hosted that year at the Sahara Hotel & Casino), Lewis was reunited with former comedic partner Dean Martin for the first time in more than 10 years by Frank Sinatra, who came directly from his own headlining gig at Caesars Palace.

Diana Ross

Diana Ross At Caesars Palace

Former Supremes leader Diana Ross performed numerous times throughout the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s at Circus Maximus, with her February 1974 performance recorded for her album “Live at Caesars Palace.” The Motown legend returned to Caesars to sing on The Colosseum stage in September 2014.

Tom Jones

Tom Jones Live at Caesars Palace

We’re pretty sure the cover image to Tom Jones’ 1971 album “Live at Caesars Palace” says all you need to know about the iconic Welsh pop singer’s history at the iconic Strip resort.

Willie Nelson

willie nelson at Caesars Palace

Country music legend Willie Nelson was a regular at Caesars Palace throughout the 1970s and ’80s, bringing such hits as “On the Road Again” and “Whiskey River” to life in his distinctively relaxed style.

George Burns

George Burns At Caesars Palace

Legendary entertainer George Burns signed a lifetime contract with Caesars Palace at the tender age of 96. He was slated to celebrate his 100th birthday with a show at Caesars, but had to cancel due to poor health (Burns died about a month and a half after passing the century mark).

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld At Caesars Palace

Award-winning comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld made a couple of appearances at the Circus Maximus showroom in the 1990s while his eponymous hit sitcom was still on NBC. Since the opening of The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in 2003, however, Seinfeld has been a consistent headliner at the venue, where he will perform next April 8 and 9.

Celine Dion

Celine Dion Doing Colosseum Construction At Caesars Palace

We’re not saying The Colosseum at Caesars Palace wouldn’t have happened if not for Celine Dion, but … well, actually, we are saying it. The 4,200-seat venue—built to replace the Circus Maximus showroom—was created specifically to house Celine’s inaugural Las Vegas show, “A New Day…” That show was one of the top-grossing shows every year of its run, as has been its successor, “Celine,” since its launch in 2011. As for The Colosseum? It’s been named the #1 Top Small Venue in the world by Billboard Magazine 11 times.

Elton John

Elton John - The Red Piano At Caesars Palace

Sir Elton John has made The Colosseum his Las Vegas home since 2004, when the Rocket Man brought “The Red Piano” tour to Caesars Palace for a six-year residency. The Pinball Wizard brought his brand of “Crocodile Rock” back to The Colosseum stage in 2011 for a follow-up residency, “The Million Dollar Piano,” which returns to Caesars Palace for select dates beginning April 16. The ivory-tickling rock singer has also left a more permanent imprint on Caesars Palace, having opened FIZZ champagne lounge with his partner, David Furnish, in 2013.

Shania Twain

Shania Twain At Caesars Palace

Country-pop crossover sensation Shania Twain brought more than her chart-topping hits and stunning good looks to The Colosseum during her two-year residency, “Shania: Still The One”—she also brought live horses on stage every night.

Bette Midler

Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On At Caesars Palace

Bette Midler performed a run of shows at Caesars Palace during the 1970s, but she came back in a big way in 2008 with her two-year resident show at The Colosseum, “The Showgirl Must Go On,” which featured a huge cast of dancers performing numbers choreographed by “Mickey” singer Tony Basil.

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson At Caesars Palace

The youngest of the Jackson siblings took “Control” of The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for multiple dates on her “Number Ones: Up Close and Personal” tour in 2011.

Sting

His former band The Police never played at Caesars Palace, but spiky-haired, yoga-practicing, ageless rocker Sting stopped by The Colosseum on Nov. 25, 2011 during his solo “Back to Bass Tour.”

[ratebanner prop=”clv” room=”JLUX”]

Tags: , , , ,



About The Author

Pj Perez is a longtime Las Vegas resident and UNLV graduate who has been writing about his adopted hometown for a variety of travel guides, websites and magazines since the 1990s, which isn't possible, because he's not that old. When not jockeying behind a keyboard, he can be found with a bass guitar in one hand and a gin cocktail in the other.

View Posts


Comments are closed.