Who Should Replace Celine at Caesars? Our 11 Picks
Suffering from frayed vocal cords and caring for a cancer-stricken husband, Grammy-winner Celine Dion is taking a hiatus from show business, including her long-running, self-titled show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace (which was built for her). As it is now, Elton John and Shania Twain fill in the nearly 4,300 seats at the Colosseum when Celine is on vacation, but who can take over indefinitely? Legends like Bette Midler, Cher, and Rod Stewart have also played residencies at Vegas's most famous venue, which underscores how selective Caesars is about who they book. Thinking about who can draw the crowds, and who we actually want to see perform, we chose 11 artists and groups who could seamlessly fill in for Celine:
Extremely talented and well-liked, Justin has mass appeal that would work well for the Colosseum. He's young enough to withstand the punishing schedule and wouldn't phone it in, like some others with residencies are known to do. His movie career isn't exactly through the roof, so he might be smart to place all his bets on his music and dancing.
Caveat: Timberlake may think he's too young, or too big, for Vegas.
TLC (with Left-Eye hologram)
This girl-group will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Gen Xers, and a VH1 movie about their rise brought their story to millenials. Though they are missing their most charismatic member — Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, who died in a tragic 2002 car crash — the other members have enough sass and hits to sustain a show, especially with that hologram special effect everyone's using these days.
Caveat: T-Boz has suffered from health problems and TLC, without Left Eye, might not be able to fill the Colosseum night after night.
This crooner is classic Vegas. His velvet voice and love of standards brings to mind a male Celine, and his gentleman qualities and inoffensive manner will appeal to Vegas crowds.
Caveat: He'd be good, but he wouldn't necessarily be exciting.
Still a heartthrob after all these years, this New Jersey son — uh, and his band — is still very much in the minds of those who grew up in the '80s and '90s. Anthems like "Livin' on a Prayer" and "I'll Be There for You" are made for drunken Vegas sing-alongs.
Caveat: His audience is not exactly Celine's, which might not be where Caesars wants to go.
She's certainly got the pipes for a Vegas show. Christina also has big name recognition and a whole new audience got a taste for her when she joined NBC's juggernaut The Voice.
Caveat: She doesn't have many recent hits and is known to be a touch difficult.
Beloved and hilarious, Cyndi cemented her legendary status with her work creating Broadway's latest sensation, Kinky Boots. Songs like "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "True Colors" are modern classics. Even Celine covered her hit "I Drove All Night" during the first incarnation of her Vegas show.
Caveat: Cyndi is more known for Broadway and her kooky personality (and LGBT activism) than music these days.
This would be a huge get for Caesars. Barbra is a legend, and not just with gay audiences. She has a half-century of hits, and she loves to banter with her audience (if she's comfortable)
Caveat: Barbra's stagefright. Plus, she's 72. Also, she'd be extremely expensive for Caesars.
Fleetwood Mac's breakout star has already performed at the Colosseum, just not as part of a residency. A standing show with Stevie would pack in people of all ages; she's eternally cool.
Caveat: Expensive, and she's no spring chicken.
Prince has already played Vegas, but smaller, hipper venues. Like Stevie, Prince is eternally cool and would probably pack the house with audiences of all ages. He looks amazing and has zeal and sex-appeal.
Caveat: He might be resistant to playing all his hits and, like Christina, is known for diva behavior.
This is a looooong-shot. Madonna, obsessed with her image, likely thinks she's too big to play a Vegas residency (she's not, probably only Beyoncé is at this point). But if she could be convinced, the legend would provide a huge shot in the arm, not just to Caesars, but the entire city of Vegas. With dozens of hits, she could switch up her setlist constantly and keep the show fresh.
Caveat: Madonna would probably rather eat hydrangeas than sign up for a residency (but she is a Material Girl). Also, she'd be expensive as all hell.
This is our dream replacement. Janet, currently living a quiet life in the Middle East with her new husband, is missed by her fans. Nothing's been quite the same since the wardrobe malfunction (over a decade ago now), but nearly everyone has a soft spot for Miss Jackson, and would love to see return to prominence. And: so many hits.
Caveat: She's withdrawing from the spotlight, lately.