21 Of The Greatest Singers Who Headlined Las Vegas

Written by Dan Farrant

Sin City is known for its vibrant nightlife and flashy casinos. Beyond the glitz and glamor, Las Vegas boasts the grandest entertainment spectacles, showcasing a range of world-class performers, from singers to comedians, dancers, and an array of other talents.

In this article, we’ve curated a selection of 21 of the greatest and most famous singers who headlined Las Vegas over the years. Let’s start!

1. Liberace

Before all the familiar names we know today ever took center stage on the strip, Władziu Valentino Liberace was the first to take a concert residency on the Las Vegas Strip.

Known mononymously as Liberace, his residency in Las Vegas in the 1940s marked a turning point in the city’s entertainment history, setting the stage for the countless performers who would follow.

Liberace’s extravagant and glamorous performances were unlike anything the city had seen before. With his dazzling costumes, glittering jewelry, and unparalleled piano skills, he quickly became a beloved fixture in Las Vegas. 

He was the highest-paid entertainer of his time, earning a reputation for his ability to draw large crowds and command top dollar for his performances. This earned him the moniker Mr. Showmanship, a title that he wore with pride until his untimely passing in 1987.

2. Frank Sinatra

After Liberace’s pioneering stint in Las Vegas, Ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra took the stage in the 1950s after being rejected by Hollywood. This “detour” in his career, however, proved to bode well for Sinatra, as it cemented him as the benchmark of Las Vegas entertainment. 

Alongside other A-list entertainers that formed the Rat Pack, Sinatra performed at iconic venues on the Las Vegas Strip, such as the Dessert Inn and the Sands Hotel and Casino. In particular, Sinatra’s residency at the Sands is considered one of the most successful in Las Vegas history.

Sinatra’s impact on the Las Vegas Strip extended far beyond his residency shows; he helped shape the very essence of the city’s entertainment culture, elevating it to a world-renowned destination for music and showmanship. 

In recognition of his immense contributions to the city’s entertainment scene, he was elected to the Gaming Hall of Fame in 1997 — a year prior to his death at the ripe age of 82.

3. Elvis Presley

One of the biggest icons in the music industry, Elvis Presley, rocked Vegas in 1956 as a headliner at The New Frontier Hotel and Casino. His debut in Vegas, however, was met with a dismal response, even after the release of his hit song “Heartbreak Hotel.”

The initial lack of success didn’t stop Presley from making a name for himself in Vegas. He returned to Vegas years later with a concert residency spanning 1969 to 1976 at the International Hotel, which is now the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. 

His Vegas residency was a monumental success, attracting fans from all corners of the world. This success inspired his 11th studio album, From Memphis to Vegas / From Vegas to Memphis, which reached #12 on the Billboard 200. 

Presley’s legacy as a headliner in Vegas is a cultural phenomenon — his iconic jumpsuits, adorned with rhinestones, set a fashion trend. Many performers who followed in his footsteps during the 1970s and beyond took inspiration from his style, making elaborate costumes a staple of the Vegas entertainment scene.

4. Wayne Newton

Mentored by some of the biggest names in the Vegas entertainment industry, such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, it’s no wonder that Wayne Newton deserves a spot on this list. Nicknamed Mr. Entertainment, The Midnight Idol, and Mr. Las Vegas, Newton is one of the most popular Vegas headliners in the 1960s.

Scouted as a high school junior for his incredible talent, Newton debuted at the Flamingo Las Vegas Casino Hotel in 1963. His two-week stint proved to be a huge success, and since then, he became a regular headliner at The Frontier, the Desert Inn, and Sands Hotel and Casino, among many others.

A man of many talents, his shows often featured a mix of singing and comedy, captivating audiences from all walks of life. His sheer charisma has earned him the distinction of being the highest-grossing entertainer in Vegas.

Beyond his singing career, Newton also starred in several films and TV shows, including License to Kill and Night of the Running Man. He continues to be active in the entertainment industry up to this day.

5. Céline Dion

The Queen of Power Ballads, Céline Dion, proved to be a powerhouse, not only in the music industry but also on the Las Vegas entertainment scene.

After Vegas’ heyday during the era of Liberace, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley, the diva set a new milestone with her two consecutive residencies: “A New Day,” which ran from 2003 to 2007, and “Céline,” which ran from 2011 to 2019.

Both of these residencies not only broke attendance and earnings records but also breathed new life into the Las Vegas music industry. The city experienced an influx of visitors from around the world, bolstering the local economy and creating jobs for countless individuals.

Billboard rightly credits Dion as the pioneer in modernizing concert residencies. Her innovative approach to live performances set the stage for a new era of entertainment in Las Vegas, inspiring other artists to follow in her footsteps.

To this day, Dion continues to perform despite her health struggles. She also debuted in the film industry in 2022, starring in Love Again, to which she also sings the soundtrack.

6. Elton John

Another headliner at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace is the British singer Elton John. “The Red Piano” was a five-year concert residency spanning 2004 to 2009, which is ranked as the third highest-grossing performance in Las Vegas.

John’s larger-than-life presence in Las Vegas extended far beyond his electrifying performances at The Colosseum. In 2006, he joined forces with fellow legendary artist Céline Dion for a charity concert for those affected by the hurricanes that plagued the United States.

After “The Red Piano,” he held another residency at the same venue in 2011. Titled “The Million Dollar Piano,” the concert was a testament to his million-dollar-generating contribution to the economy of Nevada. His latter performance is ranked fifth among the most successful concert residencies in Vegas history.

After decades of spectacular performances and award-winning songs and albums, John announced in 2023 his retirement from performing during his final concert tour in Sweden. 

7. Britney Spears

The Princess of Pop, Britney Spears, did not just dominate the charts. Her “Britney: Piece of Me” concert residency was also among the top-selling performances in Vegas of all time, ranking fourth in terms of actual gross sales after Céline Dion and Elton John.

Held at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, “Britney: Piece of Me” opened in 2013 and spanned for over four years. What was initially a two-year plan was twice as long as it should have been due to its sheer popularity.

Spears’ concert residency was considered another groundbreaking performance in her iconic career. The production was a spectacular showcase of her music catalog, with a mixture of what is dubbed as a club-like atmosphere that was like no other in the history of Vegas residencies.

Despite the struggles and conservatorship dispute she has battled over the years, Spears’ career continued to shine brightly. Following the success of “Britney: Piece of Me,” Spears launched an international arena concert tour from 2017 to 2018, reaffirming her status as a global pop sensation.

8. Jennifer Lopez

Another pop culture icon in the 1990s and early 2000s, Jennifer Lopez, affectionately known as J.Lo, held a two-year concert residency at Planet Hollywood from 2016 to 2018. With over 120 shows, her performance was ranked sixth among the highest-grossing concert residencies in Las Vegas and the top among Latin artists of her time.

“Jennifer Lopez: All I Have” was everything you could expect from our Latina pop queen: it was a spectacle of extravagance, and her stage was a visual masterpiece. The show was a celebration of Latin culture, all while maintaining her signature pop and R&B style.

A multi-faceted artist, Lopez also produced and starred in the TV series Shades of Blue during the same period she had her concert residency, from 2016 to 2018 — a testament to her unwavering work ethic and commitment to her craft.

Not one to rest on her laurels, she has remained a prominent figure in the world of entertainment, fashion, and business to this day.

9. Cher

The Goddess of Pop Cherilyn Sarkisian, better known as Cher, began her career as a lead singer for the short-lived rock band Black Rose. Following the band’s breakup, Cher embarked on her first solo concert tour. And in true Cher fashion, she started it strong with a three-year concert residency in Vegas in 1979.

“Cher in Concert” debuted at none other than the prestigious Sahara Reno Hotel and Casino, featuring one of the flashiest productions of all time. Cher is credited with being among the first performers to introduce drag queens to the masses.

The inclusion of drag queens in her show was a bold and trailblazing move, especially for that era. Cher’s willingness to showcase and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community at a time when acceptance and understanding were not as widespread as they are today was truly groundbreaking.

Over the years, Cher performed in Las Vegas several times, with each performance building on the foundation she laid in 1979. This included a three-year concert residency at the Caesars Palace in 2008, which marked her return from a brief hiatus.

10. Barry Manilow

Born Barry Alan Pincus, Barry Manilow was set for the stage even from the beginning of his career. Starting as a jingle writer in the 1960s, he became one of the most renowned singer-songwriters, with legends like Frank Sinatra praising his incredible talent.

However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that he performed in Las Vegas. In 2005, he debuted his concert residency at the Las Vegas Hilton, which lasted until 2008. He returned to Vegas again two years later at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Vegas for a longer residency contract spanning seven years.

Each of his shows was a testament to his enduring popularity and incredible showmanship. His charismatic stage presence and powerful vocal abilities wowed audiences night after night. The setlist typically featured his classic tunes like “Mandy,” “Copacabana,” and “Can’t Smile Without You,” among many others. 

In 2020, Manilow signed another concert residency contract in Vegas, this time at the Westgate Hotel. According to recent developments, the residency is set to be extended through 2024.

11. Rod Stewart

British singer Rod Stewart’s early days in the music industry were spent busking in London in the 1960s. His career quickly took off from then, and he established his “Rod the Mod” image stemming from his dandy fashion style.

Stewart led a successful music career through the years, with hits like “Sailing,” “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy,” and “Hot Legs.” However, it wasn’t until 2011 that Stewart ventured into the dazzling lights of the Las Vegas music scene.

In August 2011, Stewart embarked on a two-year concert residency at Caesars Palace. The residency was a massive success and extended beyond its initial two-year run due to popular demand. It was slated to continue until 2022.

The combination of Stewart’s distinctive raspy voice, his engaging banter with the audience, and the show’s overall production quality made it a must-see event on the Las Vegas entertainment calendar.

12. Mariah Carey

Las Vegas would definitely miss out if the Songbird Supreme Mariah Carey isn’t part of their league of musical headliners. 

Known for her melismatic singing style and five-octave vocal range, Carey is known for her hit songs “Hero,” “Always Be My Baby,” and the worldwide holiday anthem, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

She performed these hits — and more — during her first concert residency at Caesars Palace, which spanned from 2015 to 2017. The show was a spectacular display of her vocal prowess and showmanship.

After a brief hiatus, Carey returned to Caesars Palace in July 2018 to kick off her second residency, “The Butterfly Returns,” promising even more memorable performances and hit songs. Las Vegas has undoubtedly become a second home for the Songbird Supreme, and her presence has enriched the city’s musical landscape.

13. Tom Jones

Best known for his songs “It’s Not Unusual” and “Delilah,” Tom Jones is known to be a regular performer in vegas for decades. 

He first performed in Las Vegas in 1967, headlining at the Flamingo. The immense success and popularity of his shows have led him to focus his career more on club performances, particularly in Las Vegas.

Spanning from the mid-1960s to the early 2010s, Jones’ commitment to his Las Vegas performances didn’t waver, even as the music industry underwent significant transformations. His annual appearances became a staple in the city’s entertainment scene, drawing fans from all corners of the globe.

His exemplary services to the music industry led to him being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. The knighthood was not only a testament to Jones’ remarkable career but also a nod to his enduring popularity and influence across generations. 

14. Barbra Streisand

The Queen of Divas Barbra Streisand’s talent was evident from the very start. A neophyte to the entertainment industry, she was invited by the Vegas legend himself, Liberace, to perform as his opening act in the early ’60s. 

Streisand’s early appearance at the Riviera Hotel alongside Liberace marked the beginning of her illustrious Las Vegas career. In 1969, she headlined the inauguration of the International Hotel known now as the Westgate Las Vegas.

Over the years, Streisand performed at various prestigious nightclubs and venues across the Vegas Strip. Her shows became known for their opulence, with elaborate sets, dazzling costumes, and an orchestra to match her powerful vocals.

To this day, Streisand remains one of the most beloved singers and performers not just in Las Vegas but all over the world. Her distinctive voice and charismatic stage presence have earned her numerous awards and honors, including the illustrious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

15. Neil Diamond

One of the most celebrated singer-songwriters of all time, Neil Diamond, headlined at the Aladdin Hotel’s newly opened Theater for the Performing Arts in 1976. 

His show was only for a few days, yet the 7,500-seat theater was filled to capacity every night, with fans from all over the country flocking to see the singer live on stage. 

While his Las Vegas residency was a relatively short chapter in his career, it served as a memorable milestone that showcased his ability to mesmerize audiences on one of the world’s grandest stages. 

In the years following his Las Vegas performances, Diamond performed at many other sold-out venues all over the world and released several more albums that further solidified his place in the annals of music history. 

16. Lady Gaga

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, best known by her stage name, Lady Gaga, is a performer who well deserves a spot in the annals of Las Vegas headliners. 

With the quality of her productions in her music videos and concerts, Gaga’s unique artistic vision promises an unforgettable experience for her fans in Sin City. In 2018, she signed a concert residency at the MGM Park Theater titled “Enigma + Jazz & Piano.”

The two-part residency is a concert that’s like no other: “Enigma,” the first part of the residency, showcases Gaga’s pop hits and electronic dance music, bringing the high-energy spectacle that she’s renowned for. 

On the flip side, “Jazz & Piano” demonstrates Gaga’s incredible vocal prowess and her deep-rooted connection to jazz and classical music. Stripped-down arrangements allow her raw talent to shine, creating an intimate atmosphere where her voice takes center stage.

The popularity of Gaga’s performances has extended the residency’s length, and it’s slated to have its final run in 2023 — five years from when it started.

17. Shania Twain

Las Vegas goes beyond the dazzling lights and vibrant performances of pop, jazz, and other popular genres. It also proudly hosts some of the most prominent country-pop headliners, with none other than Shania Twain taking center stage.

The Queen of Country Pop burst into the music scene in the early 1990s, but it wasn’t until 2012 that she ventured into the glamor of the Las Vegas stage. For two years, Twain headlined at the Caesars Palace, titled “Shania: Still the One.”

She embarked on a second concert residency in Las Vegas in 2019, this time at the Zappos Theater. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her 2020 shows were canceled. The residency resumed the following year and concluded in 2022.

Fueled by the overwhelming response from fans and the undeniable demand for her dynamic shows, Twain’s Vegas headlining days are far from over. The success of both her past residencies set the stage for Twain’s highly anticipated third residency in 2023 at the Bakkt Theater.

18. Katy Perry

The Queen of Camp Katy Perry has always stunned her audiences with her danceable tunes and musical performances that are nothing short of electrifying. 

Given her track record of delivering unforgettable live performances, it’s no surprise that Perry would eventually find herself at the center of one of the most iconic entertainment hubs in the world — Las Vegas.

In 2021, Perry hosted a concert residency at Resort World Las Vegas titled “Play,” which was slated to run until January 2022. 

The “Play” residency was a dazzling spectacle, showcasing Perry’s larger-than-life persona. The stage design was a kaleidoscope of colors, transforming the venue into a whimsical wonderland that perfectly complemented Perry’s vibrant performances.

Due to its immense popularity, eight more shows were added, with the final leg recently concluded in 2023.

19. Bruno Mars

Known for his energetic performances and incredible showmanship, Bruno Mars brought his unparalleled talent to the entertainment capital of the world with his concert residency at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Titled “Bruno Mars at The Chelsea,” the show kicked off in 2013 with a series of 11 spectacular shows. The intimate setting of The Chelsea allowed fans to get up close and personal with the Grammy-winning artist, creating an immersive experience that set this residency apart. 

Truly a crowd favorite, Mars had a second Vegas residency, this time at the Park MGM, spanning from 2016 to 2023. The state-of-the-art lighting, stunning visuals, and meticulously choreographed routines were, no doubt, deserving of winning the Top R&B Tour at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards.

In a move that further solidifies his connection to the city, Mars has announced plans to open a lounge bar at the renowned Bellagio. This new venture, aptly named The Pinky Ring, promises to be a unique fusion of Mars’ signature style and the glitzy allure of Las Vegas.

20. Garth Brooks

A country music icon known for his charismatic stage presence and chart-topping hits, Garth Brooks, made a significant splash in the entertainment scene when he suspended his retirement in 2009 to embark on a weekend concert residency at Encore Las Vegas.

The periodic nature of the weekend concerts added an element of exclusivity, making each show a hot ticket in town. The residency format also allowed him to maintain a balance between performing live and spending time with his family, a crucial factor that influenced his initial decision to retire from full-time touring.

This not only marked Brooks’ successful return to the stage but also paved the way for other prominent artists to explore similar arrangements in the city’s vibrant entertainment landscape.

Building on the success of his initial residency, Brooks took the next step in his Las Vegas journey by embarking on a second residency at The Colosseum in 2023. The residency is slated to have 45 shows in total and will conclude in 2024.

21. Adele

Let’s end this article strong with none other than the powerhouse, Adele. Following the success of Garth Brooks’ periodic weekend performances, Adele stepped into the Las Vegas spotlight with her first concert residency, “Weekends with Adele.”

Adele’s setlist was a carefully curated journey through her illustrious career, featuring chart-topping hits like “Someone Like You,” “Rolling in the Deep,” and “Hello.” The Colosseum, with its grandeur and acoustic excellence, provided the perfect backdrop for Adele’s soul-stirring ballads and powerful anthems.

Comprising of Friday and Saturday night performances, the show began in 2022 and is scheduled to conclude in the first half of 2024.

Each performance felt like an intimate affair, as Adele shared personal stories between songs, making the audience feel like they were part of a special moment in her life.

Summing Up Our List of Amazing Las Vegas Headliners

Musical performances amidst the spectacular backdrop of the Las Vegas entertainment scene are nothing short of amazing, especially with headliners such as those included in our list.

From the classical flare of Liberace and Frank Sinatra to the soothing yet powerful ballads of Céline Dion and Adele and the energetic and flashy performances of Lady Gaga and Cher, these singers bring their own unique style to the stage.

Did we miss a favorite singer of yours on our list? Let us know, and we’ll be sure to add them!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.