Wayne Newton today: Age, net worth, family, children

Elvis Presley became an icon in Las Vegas. However, he will never be “Mr. Las Vegas,” because that name belongs to Wayne Newton.

As one of the most popular entertainers the last five decades, Newton is still enjoying performing in his beloved Vegas. However, the last number of years has been tough on him for several reasons.

So how did Wayne Newton, 81, become a star in the first place? This is his story!

Singer Wayne Newton poses for a portrait in May 15, 1969. (Photo by Martin Mills/Getty Images)

When you’re a teenager, everything seems possible. You have dreams about what you wanted to do in the world, but at the same time, that means getting an education and graduating in your 20s.

But imagine someone told you that when you hit 16, you had already begun your career as an entertainer in Vegas, doing shows for six days each week. To me, it sounds like a dream job, but for Wayne Newton, it was reality.

Newton has been giving the audience in “Sin City” an experience for over 40 years, performing several times each night and many days straight.

The Virginia native was dubbed “Mr. Las Vegas”, and yes, it definitely is a fitting nickname. At 79, Newton isn’t keen on slowing down at all. And still to this day, he looks great.

So how did he even get a gig in Las Vegas to begin with? And why has he stayed for such a long time? This is all you need to know about “Mr. Las Vegas,” Wayne Newton.

Born on April 3, 1942 in Roanoke, Virginia, Newton grew up with his father Patrick Newton – who worked as an auto mechanic – and his mother Evelyn, who raised the children.

It wasn’t always a happy childhood for Newton: Living at the family farm, he was frequently sick. He had bronchial asthma, which caused him to miss school a lot.

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From a very young age, he was destined to be a man of show business. He learned to play the piano, guitar and the steel guitar by ear, and at age 4, he got to see his future with his own eyes.

Wayne Newton’s parents took him to see a Grand Ole Opry show in Roanoke to see Hank Williams and Kitty Wells. He watched on as the two performed – and realized that was exactly was he was going to do.

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“That’s what I want to do,” Newton told his mother. “What?” she asked. “That,” he answered, pointing to the stage.

As Newton mastered the instruments, he became more and more talented. Already at age 6, he and his older brother Jerry had their own morning radio show on WDBJ in Roanoke, and people were impressed.

They performed at several local theaters before movies, and in first grade, Newton and his brother even performed at a USO show for President Truman. Two years later, they won a local talent contest, moving on to audition for the biggest amateur show in the US.

However, things didn’t go as planned.

“There are two people I know of,” Wayne Newton said, “who flunked Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour auditions: Elvis Presley and me.”

Sure, it was a setback and a disappointment for Wayne and his older brother Jerry. But in fact, he had bigger issues to deal with.

Newton’s serious health struggles including asthma forced the family to leave Virginia.

“The minute winter would set in, I would get sick,” Wayne recalled in his autobiography Once Before I Go. “Maybe that’s when my parents started to pay more attention to my brother. They may have felt they should show my brother more notice since they spent so much time nursing me.”

They made a new home in Arizona, where he fully recovered and continued to pursue his career in show business. But even though he’d been given a great opportunity, Newton felt guilt towards his parents because of the move.

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“Even though the hurt was never verbalized, I felt it. It was as if I were a burden. At night I would lie in bed and think how they were giving up everything they ever wanted because of me,” he wrote. “For my parents, it meant tearing up their roots and leaving everything they had known behind.”

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