On March 25, 2003 — 20 years ago Saturday — Celine Dion single-handedly changed the face of Las Vegas entertainment when she launched her first residency, A New Day…, at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
The state-of-the-art show, designed by Franco Dragone of Cirque du Soleil fame, ran through 2007 and is still the highest-grossing Vegas residency of all time, taking in $385 million. What’s more, it took Vegas from a place where careers went to die to a bucket-list item for major artists.
In 2011, Celine returned for a second residency, which ran until 2019 and made her the highest-paid entertainer in Vegas, raking in $500,000 per show. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that people initially thought the Canadian superstar was making a terrible move.
“People thought I was going to finish my career here, and that the Titanic was going to sink again,” Celine told ABC News in 2019.
But ultimately, other stars — especially female artists with children — realized what Celine knew all along: staying in one place, rather than dragging yourself around the world, is a great option.
“Vegas has given me, in a way, stability to be home every night, raising my kids,” Celine told ABC News in 2019. “I mean, I love touring, don’t get me wrong, but it’s very, very, very different.”
And thanks to Celine, if you don’t have a Las Vegas residency these days, are you even a star, bro? Maroon 5 starts theirs on Friday, and just some of the artists who set up shop in Vegas in Celine’s wake are Adele, Elton John, Katy Perry, Sting, Cher, Rod Stewart, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Janet Jackson and the Backstreet Boys.
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