Paula Abdul Wows Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Flamingo Residency Is Next

Posted on: May 2, 2019, 11:42h. 

Last updated on: May 2, 2019, 12:46h.

Pop veteran Paula Abdul is the latest performer to announce a Las Vegas residency. The Straight Up singer was straight up with Billboard this week when she told the entertainment-media juggernaut she will commence a series of shows at the Flamingo later in the year. The first of 20 performances is scheduled for August 13, replacing a Donny and Marie Osmond-shaped hole in the Flamingo’s entertainment schedule. .

Paula Abdul
Still got it: Paula Abdul closes the show at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, 30 years after the release of her first album. (Image: Kevin Winter/Getty)

On Wednesday night, Abdul closed out the Billboard Music Awards with a medley of her greatest hits to wild excitement from a celebrity-packed audience at the MGM Grand Garden Arena — which emphasized that a Las Vegas residency is no longer something you do when your career is on a downswing. In fact, the more in-demand and relevant you are the better.

Abdul will join headliners in their prime like Lady Gaga and Cardi B, as well as the eternally mega-famous, like Elton John and Celine Dion, on the Strip marquees.

No word on how much she will be getting per show, but she would be wise to have hired to Lady Gaga’s agent. According to Variety, Gaga will be taking home more than $1 million per performance, plus a 50 percent cut of merchandise sales. That’s double what Britney Spears gets.

From Loss Leader to Big Business

Some time after the Rat Pack moved out and after Elvis left the building, Las Vegas became a graveyard for performers – a place where they wound down their careers, while rubbing shoulders with German magicians.

Shows were a loss leader for casinos too – simply a means to attract more gamblers to the casino floor. But in modern Las Vegas, entertainment has become at least as important as the gaming itself.

Dion’s show “A New Day” was the game-changer and remains the most successful concert residency of all time, grossing over $385 million and attracting nearly 3 million people.

Betting on the Billboards

With Las Vegas now a mecca for the world’s top performance artists, it’s the natural choice as the venue for an event like the Billboard Music Awards. Just don’t expect to be able to bet on the winners at any sports books on the Strip, which have a resistance to offering odds on events where the outcome is known in advance – by someone at least.

Digital sports books have no such qualms, though. Online odds-setters tipped Cardy B for the Top Artist Award at 10/3, but those who had their money on Canadian artist Drake at 19/5 were the smart ones.

Unfortunately, no one was offering odds on Abdul throwing her hat into the crowd and accidentally hitting Julianne Hough in the neck during her performance, which is a shame because it happened.

Nor were they offering odds on Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas tying the knot in a wedding chapel after the show at a ceremony officiated by an Elvis impersonator, because that happened too. If it’s any consolation, you can get odds on Turner becoming eventual Queen of Westeros (13/2) — just not in Las Vegas.