Wayne Newton has been a constant figure in pop culture, and his career has taken him to some dramatic heights. In his later years, Newton has settled in as Mr. Las Vegas with a consistent stage and reliable performances. While his voice has remained as timeless as ever, the entertainment legend has faced an unscrupulous amount of gossip about his appearance and health.
Wayne Newton’s Iconic Presence
Countless stories over the years have quoted anonymous critics insulting every part of Newton’s appearance, claiming that his smile isn’t good enough for them or bringing up plastic surgery. There isn’t much of a reason to talk about the vain obsession with sussing out cosmetic surgeries. Instead, it’s important to remember that Newton’s emphasis has always been on performing music, not walking a runway. He even adapted his nightly performances to incorporate less singing to let his voice rest more rather than risk his ability to perform. He’s been a regular at Bugsy’s Cabaret at Flamingo for some time.
That isn’t to say that there haven’t been challenges for the singer. In October 2021, he canceled a number of concerts due to a back injury that he reportedly had surgery on after originally damaging it in the summer. In June 2022, he canceled shows after testing positive for COVID-19. He didn’t add any details other than confirming that he was double-boosted.
There’s no one more aware of their presence than Newton, who is used to being attacked for his age. “There is no one I know, from Frank Sinatra to Dean to Sam, who has spent 50 years in anything, and sounds the way they did when they were 14 and 15,” he told the Las Vegas Sun in 2009. “It would be physically impossible … Now, if that’s what you’re looking for, pal, go watch Disney. Leave me alone. Ok?”
Mr. Las Vegas Faces The Music
More importantly, Newton explained, the sound of his voice is only one part of the performance. “There are nights that you are vocally better. There are nights that you are not as vocally good. No question about it,” he said. “But does that mean that the overall project is not entertaining or interesting enough that that would be enough of a reason to cancel it?”
And that’s the simple truth behind Wayne Newton. If lung infections and global pandemics couldn’t keep him away from the stage, why would getting older? He was one of the first stars to get back to performing after the start of the pandemic, and he’s continued doing high-energy shows even now at 80 years old. Off the stage, he’s stayed busy with charity events and philanthropy.
Newton is still cracking jokes and working crowds as well as he always has. While Mr. Las Vegas may not be as loud or spry as he used to be, considering his longevity, he’ll never lose the crown as the King of the Strip.
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