Elton John is among the most well-known musicians in the world. His high-energy performances and exceptional skills are tailor-made for the bright lights of Sin City. Vegas had John way before Lady Gaga, and Bruno Mars packed theaters on the Strip. The Sacrifice singer made Las Vegas his home for more than ten years with his The Red Piano and The Million Dollar Piano residencies.
John’s five-night-a-week music shows drew in locals, tourists, and high rollers willing to fork thousands of dollars at the poker tables just to see the Rocket Man in person. John’s lucrative residencies helped him amass an over $295 million income.
A look at Elton John’s ‘The Red Piano’ residency
The Red Piano performed at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace was John’s first residency in Las Vegas. According to Alamy, John and David LaChapelle came up with the concept for the show back in 2004. When the residency began, it was supposed to last for 75 performances over three years, but it lasted for 247 performances over six years.
The show got the name The Red Piano from the shiny red piano John played during the show. On April 22, 2009, John ended his residency at the Colosseum, and OnTheStrip estimates that he took home roughly $166.4 million. The Red Piano show was replaced by Cher’s Cher, and Bette Midler’s The Showgirl Must Go On.
Inside Elton John’s ‘The Million Dollar Piano’ Las Vegas residency
Sin City really loves the “Rocket Man” singer. In 2011, two years after the end of his first residency, The Red Piano, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace welcomed John back to Las Vegas to begin The Million Dollar Piano residency.
During The Million Dollar Piano show, the “Sacrifice” singer would take the stage with his beloved piano, “Blossom.” According to The Guardian, the piano took four years to build and reflects the ostentatious style for which the “Rocket Man” singer is known.
John had much to celebrate throughout the run of The Million Dollar Piano residency. On January 11, 2013, John and his long-term partner, David Furnish, announced the birth of their second son, Elijah, to Hello Magazine. Their older son, Zachary, was born on December 25, 2010. On December 21, 2014, both sons would be present as their proud fathers exchanged vows.
After 197 shows, The Million Dollar Piano residency ended in May 2018 with estimated gross earnings of $131 million. During his final performance, he told the sold-out crowd, “I’m going to miss you guys. You’re in my heart. You’re in my soul, every fiber of my being.”
Altogether, John’s residencies earned an approximate total of $297.4 million.
How Elton John’s earnings compare to other Las Vegas residencies
In terms of revenue, John’s Las Vegas residencies are still among the most successful of all time. John made more than Bette Midler, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Rod Stewart, and even Cher, according to The List Wire.
Britney Spears’ residency was at The Zappos Theater from 2013 to 2017 and earned $137 million. Bette Midler’s residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Earned $71.8 million from 2008 to 2010. Rod Stewart’s The Hits residency earned just over $57 million, while Cher’s show performed at Caesars Palace grossed $97.4 million.
While John’s concerts have been successful, they don’t hold a light on Celine Dion’s Caesars Palace residencies, Celine and A New Day, which garnered $296 million and $385 million, respectively.
John had a profound impact on how people viewed residencies. Back in the day, if an artist settled in Sin City, that meant the end of their career. But times have changed, and today’s A-listers are signing multimillion-dollar deals in Vegas.
According to Allegiant Stadium, John, who is fresh off celebrating his 75th birthday and making a spectacular return to the stage this year, will be performing in Las Vegas on November 1, 2022, as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road: The Final Tour.