Las Vegas, Sin City, Adult Disneyland, no matter what you call it the name of the city makes everyone think of something else. From the showgirls to the Elvis impersonators and the casinos to the luxurious hotels, Las Vegas has a little bit of something for everybody.
In this article, we’ll look at 25 of the best songs about the city of Las Vegas.
1. Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
Viva Las Vegas has to be one of the most iconic songs about the city, especially with how intertwined the legend of Elvis and Las Vegas has become. Originally recorded for his film of the same name, interestingly enough, Elvis only sang the song twice in concert. It’s become one of the most famous songs about Las Vegas, being recorded by numerous other artists and eventually selling over 500,000 copies on the original single disc by 1991.
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2. Waking Up In Vegas – Katy Perry
Las Vegas is known for many things, with all manner of debauchery available and legal loopholes for those who might not reach age limits yet. Katy Perry tells the story of a young couple getting drunk and partying it up in Vegas in her song Waking Up In Vegas, a 2009 hit single from her One of the Boys album. It would eventually reach the top 10 in eight different countries, peaking at number nine in the US and giving Katy Perry only her third top-ten single at the time.
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3. Sin City – AC/DC
Most songs have some underlying meaning, something you can dive into to find or hold onto as something special, but not so much with this song. Sin City by AC/DC is just a straight-up vibe about the city of Las Vegas and the lifestyle available to those who find themselves lucky enough to be there. With extravagance, decadence, and luxury, the song goes into everything that makes Vegas one of the most worldly towns out there.
4. Luck Be a Lady – Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra made a lot of famous songs, and this is no exception. Luck Be A Lady was originally performed by Robert Alda, but Sinatra’s version is the one everybody remembers. It was meant for the musical Guys and Dolls, narrated from the perspective of a gambler hoping to salvage a relationship after (maybe) winning his bet at a casino. It was a signature for Sinatra and one of history’s most iconic Las Vegas songs.
5. Here’s to Las Vegas – Barry Manilow
Many star musicians get tired of touring and want to settle down without stopping their performances. Las Vegas is the city that offers a lot of artists that luxury, allowing them to earn contracts for performances in one place for long periods of time. Barry Manilow is one such artist, spending over a decade in the city of Las Vegas performing, and Here’s To Las Vegas was his ode to the city he ended up calling home.
6. Leaving Las Vegas – Sheryl Crow
Leaving Las Vegas was one of Sheryl Crow’s first big radio hits. She had always found critical success, but this song found regular rotation on radio stations. A staple of her debut album Tuesday Night Music Club, Leaving Las Vegas shares a name with a semi-autobiographical book by John O’Brien. The music video for it was also Crow’s first promotional video shoot, showing all things Las Vegas and Crow driving out of the city.
7. Viva Las Vegas – ZZ Top
Remember how I said many artists recorded Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley? Some of them are big-name stars like ZZ Top. They recorded their version for their 1992 Greatest Hits album as one of the two new tracks added to the album. It was then released as a single, breaking into the top 10 in the UK and Ireland, and used in a 1993 episode of Beavis and Butt-Head.
8. Heaven or Las Vegas – Cocteau Twins
Heaven of Las Vegas was the title track of the Cocteau Twins’ 1990 album. A dream-pop single, it would break into the top ten of the US Billboard Alternative Airplay chart by peaking at number nine and is generally considered their biggest achievement. Today though, it’s best known for becoming a viral trend on TikTok as the background sound for beauty tutorials.
9. Ooh Las Vegas – Gram Parsons feat. emmylou harris
Las Vegas is a wild town, but it isn’t a cheap place to go on vacation. If you’re going, you should expect to lose money no matter how good a gambler you happen to be. Ooh Las Vegas by Gram Parsons sums up the fun side of potentially ruining your life in the city and how easily a poor person can run into real trouble there.
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10. Queen of Las Vegas – The B-52s
The B-52’s Whammy! album was great, but the Las Vegas references in Queen of Las Vegas are all-time great when it comes to the city. The narrator is a gambling addict, praying for strength (luck) and claiming to have a system that will win them the world. A likely story and one that plays out too much in Sin City.
11. Las Vegas Nights – Hootie and the Blowfish
Las Vegas Nights uses Las Vegas more as a style, mentioning the city in the opening lines but not directly talking about it throughout the song. It sees a man pursuing a woman trying to leave him, saying those “Las Vegas nights are calling her,” presumably meaning she wants to be free and have fun. She’s essentially running off to start a new life, something else that the city is known for.
12. Vegas Lights – Panic! At The Disco
What is life all about? Is it partying and having fun, or are there more meaningful things out there? That’s essentially the theme running through Vegas Lights by Panic! At The Disco, a song that uses the Las Vegas nightlife as a philosophical backdrop of dissatisfaction and excess to talk about what really matters.
13. Let’s Go to Vegas – Faith Hill
A lot of couples go to Las Vegas because the city (and state as a whole) have some reasonably lax marriage laws, allowing for famous things like drive-by and walk-in weddings. Faith Hill takes on those opportunities in Let’s Go To Vegas by inviting her lover to run off to Las Vegas with her and bet on their love by getting married super quick.
14. Snow in Vegas – David Gray
Las Vegas is the biggest city in the Mojave Desert, which coincidently is pretty darn hot. It barely rains in the desert, and even if it does, it’s (basically) never cold enough for it to snow. Snow In Vegas discusses his willingness to do anything for his love, even if it seems as impossible as making it snow in Las Vegas.
15. Vegas Girl – Conor Maynard
Vegas Girl was the second single from Conor Maynard’s debut album Contrast back in 2012. It’s a quintessential Vegas song, mostly owing to the frequent and obvious cliches and odes to the city. It wasn’t a badly-charting song either, making it to 27 on the US Mainstream Top 40.
16. Vegas – Clubstrophobia
Despite being from nearly half the world away, Clubstrophobia nails the vibe of Las Vegas with this song. This probably shouldn’t be surprising, seeing as Las Vegas is known worldwide as a city of fun and sin, but it sure does make for a great song.
17. Night Life – Elvis Presley
Elvis and Vegas have been synonymous with each other for decades thanks to his work in and about the city and the Elvis impersonators that make a living there today. Night Life is another song from his Viva Las Vegas film about how exciting it is to win big at a casino. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Elvis is on this list more than once, though this song might have been performed by him more often than the actual Viva Las Vegas song from earlier in the list.
18. Vegas – Sara Bareilles
There are a lot of songs out there that nail the classic Vegas themes, and Vegas by Sara Bareilles doesn’t disappoint. It’s also interesting as a song because it lies somewhere between a celebration of the adventure of going and a warning about how you’ll often not get what you’re after there. The contrast in the city’s outlook is integral to Las Vegas itself, where your dreams can come true or be crushed depending on how the dice land for you.
19. Big in Vegas – Buck Owens
We talked about how many artists end up retiring in Las Vegas and performing while there, but up-and-coming artists will also often go there to make a name for themselves. Most of these stories don’t turn out well, and that’s the point of Big in Vegas by Buck Owens, a sad song about dreams not matching up with reality for a lot of artists.
20. Vegas – All-Time Low
Sometimes you lose someone because of failing to act. You might be ready to commit, but if you don’t express it, your partner won’t know and might leave. Vegas by All Time Low deals with that topic, wishing they had married in Las Vegas when they had the chance. While I can’t say I agree with quick Vegas marriages, it probably would have stopped their lover from leaving them (at least momentarily).
21. Vegas – Doja Cat
While the famous saying goes, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” Doja Cat warns that the exact opposite will happen, and she will tell everyone how badly the guy (in the song) is treating his woman. Gambling is fun, but when it comes to love, it’s a bad idea and should be avoided.
22. Pretty Vegas – INXS
Pretty Vegas by INXS is another song about how Las Vegas might not meet your expectations. While the city has a well-earned reputation, it’s a challenging place to work, and it’s hard to make it to the top without losing yourself in the process.
23. Married in Vegas – The Vamps
It’s a pretty safe bet that most of the (fast) weddings in Las Vegas aren’t exactly wise decisions. There are plenty of horror stories of drunk weddings and rushing into them without thinking. That’s what Married In Vegas by The Vamps is all about, but it also talks about how exciting it is to take the chance, even if it’s not a great decision.
24. Vegas Skies – The Cab
Some people fall in love with the city of Las Vegas and just yearn to go back there. That’s basically the premise of Vegas Skies by The Cab, a fairly sad song about wanting to go to Las Vegas but not wanting to leave the people you love behind to do it.
25. Shot at the Night – The Killers
Shot At The Night is a slow electronic take on many people’s dissatisfaction. Running off to Las Vegas, starting a new life, and meeting someone new are all very enticing options when life at home isn’t great. That’s why the woman in the song takes a chance at the guy she meets at the casino.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.