At Las Vegas' Caesar's Palace, they've tapped a not-too-shabby guest performer for the weeks when Celine Dion is on vacation: Elton John. In a press conference Tuesday in Vegas, John confirmed a long-rumored three-year contract at Caesar's, one that will have him playing 75 shows (five nights a week for five weeks a year) in Dion's absence, starting in February 2004.
Back in July, when word surfaced of negotiations between the Grammy-winning piano man and the hotel, Billboard reported that the deal would be worth $54 million to John. He declined to confirm the figure on Tuesday but told reporters, ''Let's just say, I'm very well paid.''
John's performances haven't been as flamboyant in recent years as they were in the 1970s, but he says he'll ramp up the glitz again for Vegas. ''It's back to costume changes and Velcro,'' he said. ''There are not ostrich feathers, but there will be sequins flying around.'' The production designer for the show, called ''The Red Piano,'' is famed fashion photographer David LaChapelle. Referring to John shows of the past, ''LaChapelle said, ''The wild and wacky days are here again.''