Wayne Newton is Enjoying His Newest Tour at 82 Years Old

Host, Singer Wayne Newton speaks onstage during the UCLA Head and Neck Surgery Luminary Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on January 22, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California
Jason Merritt/Getty Images for The UCLA Department of Head and Neck Surgery

Las Vegas icon Wayne Newton is happy to be back on tour and interacting with his audience. Newton is currently traveling around the country, performing some of his favorite songs and sharing highlights from his long career. He began singing professionally as a child and performing with his older brother, Jerry as a teen. They toured in a Grand Ole Opry traveling show and Newton started playing with instruments and he now plays 13 including the piano and banjo.

In 1959, when Newton was just a junior in high school, he landed a job with his brother at the Fremont Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. A two-week gig turned into one year and helped them land appearances on The Jackie Gleason Show. In 1962, singer Bobby Darin helped Newton establish a solo career and his single “Danke Schoen” soon rose to the Top 20. Although he only had a few hits on the charts, his performances in Vegas secured him as a popular entertainer there, and for a while, he was the highest-paid act in Las Vegas.

American singer and entertainer Wayne Newton performing on stage, circa 1975

Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Now, he is spreading his love of music across the country so fans don’t have to fly to Vegas to see him. Newton shared about the tour, “I’m so looking forward to it because it’s been a while since we were on the road. We do maybe three or four shows a year on the road normally, but this tour is quite exciting.” He added, “I’m telling stories, singing hits, playing instruments − whatever the people want to hear, that’s what they’re going to get.”

Singer Wayne Newton performs at the 2007 NBA All Star Game on February 18, 2007 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement

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Newton admitted that he has a rough outline of the show but it truly changes with each audience. He explained, “Well, what I do is start the show with three different types of songs. One up-tempo, one ballad, and one would be a standard. That kind of tells me by the reaction of the crowd what it is they want to hear. I then turn around and tell the band what songs we’re doing. So, they’re prepared for whatever it is and whatever direction I go.” In May, he will celebrate his 65th anniversary of being a Vegas performer and you can still see him perform there until June 2024.

When Newton is not touring or performing these days, he spends time with his wife Kathleen and daughter Lauren. He also shares a daughter named Erin with his first wife Elaine Okamura. If you’re interested in getting tickets to one of his upcoming shows, visit his tour website.

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Pop Music Legends

August 2017

Dedicated to the sights, sounds and stories of the golden age of pop.

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