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UPDATE: Lil Wayne NOT hosting New Year's Eve party at Tampa's Club Empire





Guess what? This event isn't happening. Lil Wayne's management says the rapper won't be in Tampa Bay. And the person quoted in this story is NOT Lil Wayne. Click here for all the details. The original story can still be found after the jump, so historians of the future can laugh about what chumps we all were.


On Friday, NBC viewers will be watching Lil Wayne perform on Carson Daly's annual New Year's Eve countdown. Daly will be in Times Square, and Lil Wayne is one of his celebrity guests.

But Weezy won't actually be in New York on New Year's Eve. He'll be in Tampa.

That's right, the fresh-out-of-prison rap icon -- who has already taped his appearance on Daly's show -- is scheduled to headline a New Year's Eve Party at Club Empire in Ybor City.

"I'm baaaack!" Lil Wayne said by phone Monday afternoon. "I will be in Tampa, bringing in the new year at Empire nightclub. We're just gonna show up, do our thing, hang out for a minute."

Given that Weezy spent most of 2010 incarcerated at Rikers Island, he's turning this party into an occasion to usher in a huge comeback year in 2011. "That's how we do it -- looking forward," he said.

It's a major coup for Club Empire, which isn’t especially known for booking A-list celebrity guests.

“I’ve never had someone of this stature” in Empire, club owner and general manager Ken Grossman said Monday. “Outside of maybe Jay-Z, there’s nobody bigger in the industry, period.”

Grossman said he just got the call from Weezy’s people about the appearance a few days ago. “It’s been chaos,” he said. “Everything’s hit me so fast, I haven’t even had time to think. They hit me with this right at Christmas.”

All the details are still being firmed up, but the plan right now is this: Doors will open at 9 p.m., and Weezy is likely to appear around midnight or later. Ticket prices haven’t been set yet, but expect something in the $30-$50 range. Grossman said the club can’t guarantee that Lil Wayne will grab the mic, but it’s a distinct possibility. “We’re certainly not going to be shocked if he performs a few of his new songs,” he said.

It’s not a total shock that Weezy will be in Florida on New Year’s Eve. His protoges Drake and Nicki Minaj are performing Dec. 31 in Miami -- Minaj at Mirage, and Drake at the W.

Grossman said he can understand why people would be skeptical that Weezy will actually show -- he was surprised when Weezy's people reached out to him, too. But he says the gig is locked in. They hope to have Weezy confirm the appearance in his own words as early as Tuesday.

“We’re working with (hip-hop stations)Wild and The Beat to get him interviewed tomorrow on the air, and take calls, just to dispel any rumors that he’s not going to be there,” he said.

For updated details throughout the week, call the club at (813) 247-2582. For VIP information, call (813) 493-2656.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Getty Images.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 30, 2010 3:04pm]


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