There comes a point in the career of any musical act where the only reasonable thing to do is to follow the trailblazing example of the King. By this we mean: Buy a lot of jumpsuits, move your bloated, fat ass to Las Vegas and basically become an ersatz version of your former glory in the city that exists to give a home to ersatz culture of every type. Hey, it worked for the King, it can work for these five artists, too.
5) Prince Has anyone noticed that Prince is already ninety-percent of the way there? He's got the ridiculous jumpsuits, he's already been reduced to playing medleys of his past hits and the dude is so out of step with the world, he recently made the ridiculous claim that "the Internet is completely over". All he needs to do now is pack a few pounds on that wispy, fey frame of his (we hear fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches can help), haul his carcass to Sin City and make it official. Also, does it not make sense that the Prince should reign where the King once did? Just sayin'.
4) Elton John Sure, he's more like the spiritual successor to Liberace than Elvis, but something tells us Vegas has a place reserved for the Rocket Man. And it's not like he has any artistic integrity left to protect -- he proved he was a total fucking sellout by playing at Rush Limbaugh's wedding recently.
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3) Every American Idol participant ever All of them. All the winners, all the runners-up, all the participants, everyone. They can even bring William Hung and that "Pants on the Ground" guy in for comic relief, and Paula Abdul can drop in to slur unintelligible compliments between sets. Make a whole stage show out of it! It makes perfect sense, since, as we mentioned, Vegas is the city of ersatz culture, so what better match than a show dedicated to the creation and promotion of ersatz talent? Plus it would protect the rest of us from accidental exposure by concentrating it in one place and clearly labeling it with a fifty-foot high neon billboard.
2) Madonna In her own way, Madonna is just as important to the history of pop music as Elvis was, so why not? Plus, botoxed and ridiculously overloaded on creepy plastic surgeries is the modern version of bloated, fat and ridiculously out of shape.
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1) Lady Gaga We're not suggesting that Lady Gaga has jumped her shark. It's just that with the costumes, the bizarre persona, the showtunes-esque material and the stage show, she's kind of the living personification of Vegas. It's like some mad scientist somewhere cooked up the perfect hybrid of Cirque du Soleil, a traditional showgirls chorus and the crazy flamboyance of Siegfried and Roy (minus the getting eaten by your pet tiger bit) and formed it into a dance-pop superstar. Lady Gaga was made for Vegas, so she might as well just get it over with already.
Honorable Mention: Michael Jackson Had he not died last year, MJ would surely have topped this list. Ridiculous jumpsuits? Check! Increasingly bizarre outlook on the world? Check! Fading career badly in need of resurrection? Check! Dangerous prescription-drug habit! Check! Er, checkmate, actually, since that's the reasons he never made it to the Vegas stage of his career ... it's a real shame, too. We suspect Vegas Michael would have been even more entertaining than serious-artist Michael was at his height.