7:27pm PT by Melinda Sheckells
Drake Takes Las Vegas Crowd on a "Journey"
Looking as dapper as a young Frank Sinatra, Drake took the stage just before midnight on New Year’s Eve at Marquee Nightclub inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
The crowd was expecting a celebratory countdown to 2015 and the standard nightclub appearance three-song medley. What they ended up getting from the 28-year-old Canadian rapper was close to a dozen of his biggest hits, including "Started From the Bottom," "We Made It," "Trophies" and "All Me."
"This is how this it's going to go," Drake said, dressed in a perfectly fitted vest and bowtie. "They asked me to do three songs, but I want to take you on a journey."
He handed out shots as bundles of money were dropped onto the crowd like confetti, and he shared his wish for the evening: “If you love somebody, you’ve got to show them some love right now. This is the time."
He then took it to the next level by ascending a drawbridge above the crowd, where he performed a few more songs and affirmed, “I had a great 2014,” and alluded to another great one expected for 2015 thanks to his forthcoming album Views From the 6.
Drake wrapped it up with a nod to his mentor, Lil Wayne, leading the crowd in a “Weezy” chant: “If it wasn’t for Lil Wayne, I wouldn’t be here.”
Closing the almost hourlong performance, he brought his whole crew onstage, including fellow rapper Future, members of his OVO record label team and his dad, Dennis Graham, who was appropriately dressed for an evening of revelry in a gold-stripped suit.
The party continued throughout the casino into the wee hours of the morning. Spotted late night at Vesper Bar, Graham made an appearance with members of Drake’s entourage and Lady Gaga (who performed with Tony Bennett at The Cosmo’s Chelsea theater) and Taylor Kinney hit the craps tables to cash in on the new year's fresh luck.
Around town, Jennifer Lopez brought down the house at Caesars Palace’s The Colosseum at a private event titled “The Best Is Yet to Come.” Rumors have been swirling about her taking a 2016 residency at the Axis Theater inside Planet Hollywood, currently home to Britney Spears’ "Piece of Me."
Miley Cyrus, Patrick and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello all attended Spears’ New Year’s Eve show.