LAS VEGAS (AP) - Elton John is returning to Las Vegas for a three-year headlining gig at Caesars Palace.
The five-time Grammy winner was set to perform Wednesday night for the first of 16 shows scheduled through October, the first performances of a new show titled "The Million Dollar Piano."
The remainder of the shows during the three-year run have not yet been announced.
John says it's named for the instrument he'll play during the show _ a piano that took manufacturer Yamaha four years to build.
"It's going to surprise a lot of people," John said of the instrument earlier this year as the show was announced.
"This isn't like the old days," John said of the new show. "It's going to be certainly different from anything you've seen from me before, as was `The Red Piano,'" his previous show at Caesars.
His return comes more than two years after that five-year stint that ended in 2009. The run was originally planned for three years but was extended because of demand.
"The Red Piano" included risque imagery _ with high-tech videos and large, inflatable props _ plus the hits John has become known for during a career that's spanned more than 40 years.
Jason Gastwirth, senior vice president of entertainment for casino owner Caesars Entertainment Corp., believes John's run could be extended again.
"I think it's very possible, both on duration and number of shows," Gastwirth said. "There's been such a large appetite by his fans to come see the show."
John is one of music's most decorated stars, known for songs including "Candle in the Wind," "Rocket Man" and "Bennie and the Jets." He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and honored by the Kennedy Center in 2004 for his lifetime contributions to performing arts.
John won an Academy Award in 1994 for his original song, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," from Disney's "The Lion King."
Oskar Garcia can be reached at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia