Madonna had a three-year, $150 million Las Vegas deal on the table five years ago but wasn't ready to make the move.
When that fell through, Las Vegas deal maker Jack Wishna said he moved on to Michael Jackson.
"It was exactly five years ago in August," Wishna told me by text message on Sunday.
A British tabloid, The Sun, is reporting that Madonna has been offered a five-year, $1 billion deal in Las Vegas.
Wishna said Madonna told him she "liked living in England with her kids and didn't want to do a sit-down show in Vegas."
"After she said no, I focused on Michael Jackson in 2006 and created a deal for him."
The deal involving Jackson and Madonna was to have rotating headliners working at one property, "creating the next generation of 'headliner in residence' if you will, but utilizing multiple headliners in one theater. Four major names in one year, one showroom."
That scenario, which involved other superstar names, "is still going to happen soon at a hotel/casino in Las Vegas," said Wishna, who engineered Jackson's return to the United States in late 2006 for a Las Vegas comeback.
The new deal and headliners will be announced when it is finalized, he said.
The plan, Wishna said, "is to change the face of the entertainment industry here once again."
What makes the new concept unique is that it will use the biggest names in music "to help us discover the 'stars of tomorrow' and both would work together on the same stages in Vegas," he added.
Eleven years ago, when Wishna put together Wayne Newton's long-term residency at the Stardust, it represented a break from the multiweek deals given Las Vegas icons Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Newton.
As for the tabloid report of the five-year, $1 billion deal, Wishna scoffed at the numbers.
"No entertainer is worth $200 million a year to any venue or gaming operator," he said, "whether in this economy or the boom years of the last decade."http://www.lvrj.com/