The Liberace Museum in Las Vegas is closing its doors Oct. 17 after 31 years.
Wladziu Valentino Liberace, born in 1919 in Wisconsin to working class Polish-Italian immigrant parents, was a child prodigy who by age 20 had performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Liberace cut his classical concert pianist career short for a life in show business, adding more contemporary music to his performances.
Liberace during one of his performances in Las Vegas, complete with a trademark candelabra and extravagant outfit. He was known for his ability to dazzle audiences as much as for his piano playing.
Liberace, seen here with Elvis, is credited with influencing entertainers from the King to Michael Jackson to Elton John and Lady Gaga.
Liberace and Michael Jackson on March 24, 1984.
Liberace was known as much for his glitzy costumes as his piano playing.
Liberace was a Las Vegas icon for almost 40 years.
During his long career, Liberace acquired an astounding array of prestigious awards, including: Instrumentalist of the Year, Best Dressed Entertainer and Entertainer of the Year. He also earned two Emmy Awards, six gold albums, and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's highest paid musician and pianist. Liberace died on Feb. 4, 1987.