Divas reboot careers in Las Vegas

Divas reboot careers in Las Vegas
STILL HOT:Jennifer Lopez at the 14th Mawazine World Rhythms International Music Festival last month.
PHOTO: Reuters

Las Vegas residency is the rage these days.

Celine Dion and Shania Twain have bagged gigs in Sin City and the likes of US divas Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez have followed suit.

Carey, 45, kicked off her debut Caesars Palace Las Vegas residency gig, Mariah #1 To Infinity, last month, albeit to mixed reviews.

Teary-eyed, she made the big announcement in January on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, calling the residency a "new chapter".

Inspired by her latest compilation album #1 To Infinity, Carey treats fans to 18 of her No. 1 Billboard hits and new track Infinity, all of which can be found on the album.

Carey told Good Morning America last month: "It's like a clean slate. It's the album, #1 To Infinity, it's the show, #1 To Infinity, and it's the place I'm at in my life, which is a brand new moment for me."

The residency came as a surprise to those who knew that Carey's vocals are no longer what they used to be.

The New York Times documented her vocal "struggle" in a scathing review of a show, describing her performance as "tentative and inconsistent".

On the other hand, People magazine lauded her for her constant ability to "bring the house down with her huge range and high notes".

Still, some fans were let down when she failed to turn up at a show last month due to a bout of bronchitis.

She may no longer hit the soaring octaves like she used to, but her lasting reputation as a top-notch entertainer means she commands big bucks.


Carey is believed to earn more than the US$30 million (S$40 million) that Spears commands for her current Britney: Piece Of Me Las Vegas residency.

Sceptics scoffed when Spears announced her two-year stint at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in 2013.

Her eighth record, Britney Jean, released that year, was a flop and Spears, 33, was suffering diminishing popularity.

But she's having the last laugh.

Las Vegas Review-Journal awarded her show the Best Overall Show and Best Bachelorette Party honour and she recently added over 30 new dates.

However, her fancy footwork could not distract naysayers or stave off their accusations of her lip syncing throughout her set.

Others attacked her appearance and mocked her for apparently painting on her abs.

In April, Spears lashed out at a male audience member who called her a "fat b****" while she was on stage. She retaliated with an obscenity-laden remark into the microphone.

The singer, who once had her Toxic music video co-star Tyson Beckford on a leash during one of her shows, was also forced to cancel shows last month after she fell on stage and twisted her ankle.

Despite the mixed reviews, Spears is slated to make another US$12 million with the extended run.

She chose this path so that she can be close to her sons Jayden, nine, and Sean, 10. She told Variety: "I'm really happy with the way I'm set up right now - going to Vegas, making a comeback and rebuilding my foundation here.

"I'm a home girl. I really don't see how I went all over the place, travelled the world and did everything. I feel like I was out of my...mind and I did that for 15 years.

"But I was just so hungry and young and eager to pursue my dreams that it made sense then. It's really easy to lose track of where you are and what you're doing."

Not to be left out is Lopez, 45, who announced her Las Vegas residency - slated to begin next January at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino - on US reality singing show American Idol last month.

She told USA Today: "There're a lot of different things over the years people have come to know me as, so many different things we can delve into.

"We haven't started exactly but in my mind, I know it's going to be a multifaceted, high-energy kind of block party."

Jenny from the Block will juggle it with her judging duties on the 15th and finale season of American Idol.

Preparation is underway, with Lopez proudly declaring it as the "best JLo show you've ever seen and heard".

The coming months will see her conceptualising the show and costumes before rehearsals begin in October.

Her vocal coach Stevie Mackey promises that Lopez sounds "totally incredible".

This article was first published on June 17, 2015.
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