DARCUS SPEED – Songstress credits Las Vegas audiences with her longevity
Darcus Speed is known by many as the Queen of Las Vegas. With a singing style reminiscent of the great Nancy Wilson, she has performed on the Strip for a record-setting 25 years.
The secret to her longevity? Speed points to the Las Vegas audience, which she says is unlike any other in the world. “When I step out on the stage in Las Vegas,” she said, “either in the showrooms or in the lounge, I feel at home and immediately embraced with so much love.”
People from all over the globe come to Las Vegas each year to see the lights and experience fabulous live entertainment. Even in the down economy, the world-famous Strip properties have moved ahead with new developments.
“I am so excited with the recent opening of B.B. King’s club in The Mirage hotel that has a 12-piece orchestra,” said Speed. “I also hear that there might be a jazz club opening in the new CityCenter. So, gradually, I hope we get back to live performances and affordability.”
Grateful for what Las Vegas has done for her own career, Speed is now nurturing the next generation of talent. “I find new artists and develop them in this entertainment business,” she said. “Right now I am working with a new artist named Veronica C. She is 19 years old and phenomenal. She sings very soulfully and (has) a great head on her shoulders.”
Versatile is putting it mildly when describing Speed’s range in singing styles, which recalls artists ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Whitney Houston. She also operates her own business — Lavish Events and Entertainment. “I also write poetry that I am having published for all sistas,” she said. “All women — no matter their color, age or income level — will be inspired by my poetry.”
As she plans for the new year, Speed has revamped her stage show, which now features a five-piece band. She is eager to share it with her most devoted audience.
“Yes, my slogan is, ‘Darcus again in 2010.’ I have the fabulous gowns and I am coming with all the glam Las Vegas deserves,” she said. “I love great songs with wonderful lyrics that tell a story.”