Gwen Stefani didn’t take the stage in Las Vegas to perform at a benefit gala on Thursday night, after rupturing an eardrum earlier this week during a flight.
According to the Las Vegas Journal-Review, Stefani was scheduled to perform at the annual Power of Love gala on Thursday until entertainment manager Irving Azoff informed the event’s organizers that the “Voice” coach was flying back to L.A. on Tuesday when her eardrum ruptured and was taken to Cedars-Sinai Hospital. As a result, Stefani is “under doctor’s orders not to fly or sing.”
As the Daily Mail reports, guests at the event — which this year honoured tennis great Andre Agassi — were informed that Stefani wouldn’t be able to attend, and were then shown a video that she had recorded for the occasion. “I am so sorry that I cannot attend tonight, but I wanted to send a message of congratulations to Andre Agassi and my very dear friend Ronald Pearlman,” said Stefani in her video message.
“I cannot think of anyone more deserving for such a special award. Tonight’s gala supports all the work being done at the Cleveland Clinic and Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which is an amazing organization. Thank you so much for being part of this evening’s wonderful cause.”
The event’s announcer, former “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” host Robin Leach, then announced a special surprise substitution. “In her place, Gwen has sent us a Oscar- and Grammy-winning superstar who is a real ‘Dreamgirl’ herself.” Following Leach’s tease, it was revealed that Jennifer Hudson had agreed at the last minute to perform in Stefani’s stead.
“Gwen’s eardrum news is truly upsetting and many people were sympathetic towards her,” a guest who wished to remain anonymous told the Mail. “Many of us had bought tickets to see her perform. One of the doctors at our table said that the ear drum could take months to heal and she may not be able to sing. In the video she seemed to be OK, but obviously she was talking not singing. To have Jennifer fill in for her was amazing.”
Another guest at the event told ET that Stefani did not specifically mention her ruptured eardrum during her video message. “They did a stage announcement saying that they did have a special message from Gwen because she wasn’t able to attend,” the guest recalls. “On stage, an MC did say that it was due to doctor’s orders that she wasn’t able to be there. They then played this really nice video of her.”
The guest adds, “In the video, she was really enthusiastic and she talked about all the work that the organization does. She spoke really kindly about the institute and apologized that she couldn’t be there. Towards the end of the video, she said something along the lines of, ‘I have a Grammy-winning surprise for you guys, and you’re going to love it!’ It was Jennifer Hudson.”