This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Michelle Johnson, “Las Vegas’ First Lady of Jazz,” performing in “Home! – A Return to Broadway” in Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, September 26 at 6 p.m. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Johnson talks about decision to become a performer full time and the deal she made with her parents; her move to Las Vegas, which started out as temporary and is now permanent (and the reasons why); the challenge of performing in the midst of COVID; and her decision to not only perform, but to operate a successful entertainment production company.
Johnson has performed on Broadway, national television, and across the world with many other artists. She lives in Las Vegas, where she performs self-produced shows at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, in addition to other high-profile venues on the Las Vegas Strip.
Beyond her work as a national cabaret artist and Las Vegas headliner, Johnson also has an extensive resume as a premiere backup vocalist, and has enjoyed touring, recording or making special appearances with mega superstars including Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Gladys Knight, David Foster, Sheena Easton, Wynonna, Slash, and many more. The sought-after singer has appeared on all US major television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, HBO, TBS, etc.) and performed on award shows like the CMA (County Music Awards) and at live sporting events for the NBA, NHL and MLB (Major League Baseball.)
She is a Yale graduate and the recipient of the National Association of Women Business Owners Woman of Distinction Award for her contributions in entertainment. She is also the 2020 Las Vegas Black Music Awards recipient of the Lena Horne Award for Musical Excellence.