Gwen Stefani has left no doubt that she’s the newest star on the famous Las Vegas Strip.
On Friday, a portion of Las Vegas Boulevard was closed down as the singer made her “official arrival” to Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, where will be performing a 25-show residency beginning on June 27.
Stefani’s entrance to Vegas was very “Vegas,” to say the least.
As her music played overhead outside Planet Hollywood Friday morning, hundreds of fans watched a semi-trailer bearing Stefani’s face pull up to the outside stairs of the hotel. Almost immediately, a drum line began playing, signaling that the over-the-top production was starting. From there, multiple dancers emerged from the trailer, as did multiple showgirls. Finally, as the anticipation was building, Stefani emerged, smiling and waving to the crowd. As she walked to a more formal stage, the singer posed for selfies with fans and signed several autographs.
“I just gotta take a second to actually believe this is happening,” she told the crowd. “Imagine, I’m just a girl from Orange County in Anaheim, California, and never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that I’d be doing my own Vegas residency.”
With her beau Blake Shelton looking on by the side of the stage, she added, “It feels sort of meant to be in a way… I’ve been sharing my story with everybody that’s been listening to my music all these years. I’m so grateful for that. I can’t believe the love exchange that we have. I just want to continue that journey with everybody, and this is going to be my new home, which is crazy.”
The Voice coach then promised to have “the best show that’s ever been here.”
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The stage that she spoke on certainly played along with Stefani’s upbringing, as oranges littered a faux grass wall behind her, clearly an homage to her Orange County roots. Also on the grass wall were oversized letters in old English font spelling out “GWEN.” Above the stage was a giant wrap promoting her show, letting the city know that Planet Hollywood is all in on Stefani.
Last Tuesday, after much speculation, it was formally announced that Stefani would get her own Las Vegas residency show titled Gwen Stefani — Just a Girl.
The welcoming event on Friday was timed to begin at the exact same time that tickets for her show went on sale.
Stefani’s residency inside Zappos Theater essentially takes over for Britney Spears’ Piece of Me residency, which ended on Dec. 31. Stefani’s theater-mates now include Jennifer Lopez, the Backstreet Boys and Lionel Richie.