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- Las Vegas Sun's Muhammad Ali-Lou Ruvo special section.
Keep Memory Alive’s 16th Annual Power of Love Gala on Saturday drew Hollywood and sports celebrities to MGM Grand Garden Arena to celebrate boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday, and contributing photographer Tom Donoghue was on duty for these photo galleries of MGM Grand, the red carpet and live and silent auction items.
The star-studded event this year raised funds for the downtown Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Muhammad Ali Center in his hometown of Louisville, Ky. Check back later for official reports from Robin Leach and Senior Editor John Katsilometes, both of whom attended Saturday night’s tribute.
According to the official press release of the event, highlights included “Happy Birthday” sung by Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg leading the crowd in chanting “Ali” during his performance of “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” and legendary boxers Sugar Ray Leonard, Evander Holyfield and Tommy “Hitman” Hearns joining LL Cool J onstage for the rapper’s hit “Mama Said Knock You Out.”
Diddy, Samuel L. Jackson, Terrence Howard and David Beckham gave remarks and remembrances about “The Greatest,” and Lenny Kravitz, Cee Lo Green and Kelly Rowland performed for Ali and the sold-out crowd of some 2,000. “Ali 70th From Las Vegas” airs on ABC and ESPN2 on Saturday, Feb. 25.
Other performers and celebrity attendees: Cindy Crawford and Randy Gerber, Larry King, Quincy Jones, Ken Jeong, Buzz Aldrin, Anthony Hopkins, John Legend, Chris Cornell, Joe Perry, Slash, Kris Kristofferson, David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy, Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Jim Brown, Randy Couture, Brad Garrett, Kelly Rowland, Dave Koz, James Gandolfini, Steve Schirripa, John Paul DeJoria, Tony Danza, Raphael Saadiq, Haley Reinhart and Sammy Hagar.
Other boxing icons in attendance: Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, Ken Norton, Earnie Shavers, Leon Spinks and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini. The gala featured dinner by chefs Tom Colicchio, Scott Conant, Michael Mina and Wolfgang Puck. The tribute included a Dom Perignon reception and auction items such as Ali’s boxing gloves he wore to defeat Floyd Patterson in Las Vegas in 1965 and a vacation for two couples on Copperfield’s private island Musha Cay in the Bahamas.
Be sure to check back for Leach and Katsilometes’ reports, and thanks also to Steve Marcus of the Las Vegas Sun, Curtis Dahl of Dahl Photographers and Ethan Miller of Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive for their photo galleries.
Don Chareunsy is editor of VegasDeLuxe.com and arts and entertainment editor of LasVegasSun.com.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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