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Betting On Divas Can Be Dicey

LAS VEGAS (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — AEG's strategy of putting big names such as Celine Dion and Cher in residencies on the Vegas Strip has been paying off for the promoter in big ways, but alas, all that glitters is not gold.

Cher has been filling seats for AEG. According to Mike Weatherford at the Las Vegas Journal-Review, the performer sold $2.4 million in tickets at the 4,200-seat Colosseum in one week in late August, putting her well into the list of Billboard's top ten grossing concerts.

So Cher does big business, but what happens when she calls in sick, which has happened seven times since the performer started her residency? That equates to more than 29,400 seats and a commensurate number of disappointed fans, many of whom were lured to sin city expressly to see Cher perform.

This disappointment is complicated by the room-and-show packages offered by Caesars who must explain to customers that the casino and the venue are operated by two different companies so only the price of tickets are refundable in the event of canceled shows. While it is likely that the singer will make up for the canceled dates by adding on additional shows at the end of her contract, this does little to console fans who flew in to see her.

Cher called out most recently citing asthma-related bronchitis (dubbed 'Vegas throat' by Cher's publicist) but the rumor mill has suggested a mysterious abdominal ailment. As Weatherford points out, AEG removed the million-dollar stage humidifiers that Celine Dion had requested to protect her throat from the dry desert air when they rehabbed the venue for Cher, leading some observers to question if this may be a factor in the singer's illness. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers