May 01, 2009 06:40 PM

The Las Vegas entertainment community was shocked by the sudden death Friday of Danny Gans, a popular singer and impressionist.

“I’m very, very sad,” said Celine Dion. “Not only was he the best in his field, but he was such a kind and loving person. … I can’t believe he’s not with us anymore, and our heart goes out to his family.”

Noted for his impressions of everyone from Michael Jackson to Tony Bennett, the 52-year-old entertainer played the Mirage for eight years before moving to the Encore Theater in February. He was found dead in his home in Henderson, Nev., about 3 a.m. by his wife, Julie, said a Wynn Resorts spokeswoman. Henderson police respond to messages seeking comment, and the Clark County coroner’s office said no information about Gans was immediately available, the Associated Press reports.

“Las Vegas lost a great man, a great icon, his memory will live on through those he inspired,” said ventriloquist Terry Fator, a headliner at the Mirage and the former winner of the 2007 America’s Got Talent.

Steve Wynn, chief executive of Wynn Resorts, called Gans’s death “a profoundly tragic event that leaves us all sad and speechless. The loss of Danny to his wife Julie, his children, Amy, Andrew and Emily is at this moment impossible to comprehend.”

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