Wayne Newton, who recently turned 80 years-old, is one of the most recognizable names in popular music and for good reason: the multi-hyphenate has enjoyed career which has spanned for three-quarters of a century which dates back to when Newton performed as a child in a duo with his brother, to his current perch as one of the most prolific and longest-running entertainers in the starry history of Las Vegas.
A fixture in Sin City since its swingin’ early days to his current residency at the Flamingo hotel and casino (where he happened to get his start), Newton’s iconic career is full of earworm hit songs and heartfelt ballads. That includes the song that is perhaps his most beloved: the 1963 smash “Danke Schoen,” (memorably lip-synced by Matthew Broderick in the comedy classic film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).
In addition, Newton is known for a tireless performance schedule where the artist has either sang or played a whopping 13 self-taught instruments, all in front of an estimated 40 million fans and counting. No stranger to giving back, Newton is also the chairman of the USO Celebrity Circle, an ongoing collaboration which has seen the singer perform for American troops at military bases around the world.
After an extended break thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, Newton has returned to his rightful place in the spotlight, recently seen in a series of commercials for Caesars Entertainment welcoming guests back to a rebounding Las Vegas, and on-stage in an ongoing residency at the Flamingo that stars him, his band and his wife Kat. It’s a toe-tapping show that recounts a historic career and the people he was close to along the way, including Elvis Presely and Frank Sinatra.
“Wayne Newton: Up Close and Personal,” my residency at the Flamingo Las Vegas.
It recounts my career and tells the stories of my friends who helped me along the way and those who went out of their way to make sure I survived.
The thing that I get the biggest feedback about is that people didn’t realize that Vegas had such strong camaraderie. When most people think of Vegas, they think of gambling and partying. But the local people who live here are so wonderful because they deal with that party image Vegas has. It wasn’t dog-eat-dog. It was exactly the opposite of that.
When I first started performing here, you couldn’t even do a TV show from Las Vegas because nobody would sponsor it. I have watched the growth and the people who helped what it turned into today.
I’m not a big drinker. I have Pepsi before my shows. If I’m going to a restaurant or I’m celebrating something, I’ll drink. But I went to Hawaii about ten years ago and they had something called a Hawaiian Martini at a restaurant chain called Roy’s. It was the most delicious thing I ever had, so now we make them at home.
The recipe is Vanilla vodka, regular vodka, Malibu rum, simple syrup and pineapple and you marinate it for five days. It’s delicious. That is my favorite drink in the world!
I also love Margaritas with no salt.
No, I haven’t.
Tito’s Vodka, or Kinky Passion Fruit Vodka, both of which I’ll drink on the rocks.
I’ll also always have Coors Light in the house.
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