Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009 | 1:56 p.m.
It was a double reason to party for rapper Vanilla Ice, as the “Ice Ice Baby” hit-maker celebrates his birthday each year on Halloween. The appearance by Ice, birth name Robert Van Winkle, was the penultimate capper of the weeklong Nightmare on 54th Street Halloween celebration.
Rob walked the red carpet at Studio 54 in MGM Grand in his usual all-black ensemble, showing his knuckle tattoos that spell “Wide Open,” and gave an impromptu performance there early this morning from his VIP skybox as Halloween ticked onto the calendar. His show began at 12:30 a.m., and when the 45-minute set ended, he was presented with a two-tier cake in honor of his 42nd birthday at 1:15 a.m., with the revelry continuing until near dawn.
The crowd sang along to his every word, amazing the rapper who told the audience that he couldn’t believe they remembered all the words. Throughout the set, Rob took bottles of water and sprayed the crowd, drenching the dance floor, pouring bottles on himself and dowsing his entourage onstage. He had a circus freaks theme for his show, with a crazy clown taunting the crowd and pulling a bevy of beautiful women onstage to dance and sing every word of “Ice Ice Baby” alongside him.
Our contributing photographer Scott Harrison was on duty to capture this set of candid shots for our photo gallery.
Rob appeared on Surreal Life: Fame Games I hosted and which we filmed entirely here in Las Vegas. When he was eliminated from the show because of a now healed confrontation with porn king Ron Jeremy, Rob totally exploded. His temper tantrum, in which he wrecked the game-show set, hurled a cymbal at me, smashed his drums and damaged the hands of two producers who wrestled him to the floor, has become a TV clip classic.
He says he’s got it all under control these days thanks to anger management classes. I put it down to the well-founded rumor that several years ago, he was hung by his feet over the rooftop edge of a Miami skyscraper apartment tower by a rival rapper.
Ah, Hollywood, and the music business! This morning, though, Ice was perfect manners and gracious to all his fans. We sincerely wish him a combined Happy Birthday and a Happy Halloween!
Tonight, Peepshow star Holly Madison hosts the Halloween party at Studio 54 and judges the crazy costume contest.
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. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.
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