On 16 March 2002, Mr. Gest married actress Liza Minnelli in a wedding ceremony that the press regarded as the “Wedding Of The Century” and the most expensive celebrity wedding in history. More than 1,000 guests gathered at Marble Collegiate Church in downtown New York, followed by a party at The Regent Wall Street next to the site of the tragic events of 11 September. Gest felt it was apropos to let people know that life could still go on in an area where such devastation had happened. More than 64 top-name acts performed at the wedding with an 80 piece orchestra. Unfortunately after sixteen months, the couple separated in June of 2003. Mr. Gest was responsible for the amazing comeback of Ms. Minnelli, for whom he created and produced “Liza’s Back!” The shows received critical raves at London’s Royal Albert Hall and at New York’s Beacon Theatre in 2002. He also produced “Liza Minnelli’s Christmas Spectacular” at Town Hall in New York that same year.
In December, 2003, Mr. Gest’s company produced two musical New Year’s Eve events in Hawaii, featuring the Doobie Brothers reunited with Michael McDonald, Chaka Khan, Deborah Cox, Gloria Gaynor, B.J. Thomas and twenty others.
On 6 December 2004, Mr. Gest personally produced and hosted “David Gest’s All-Star Holiday Extravaganza” in Memphis, Tennessee at The Cannon Center For The Performing Arts. Nearly three dozen artists participated including Three 6 Mafia, Lil’ Whyte, The Doobie Brothers, Dionne Warwick, The Emotions, Mya, Deborah Cox, William Bell, Jerry Butler, Petula Clark, Topol, Jane Russell, Patricia Neal, Tippi Hedren, Gale Storm, Barbara Rush, Candi Staton, Martha Reeves, Freddie Scott, Kim Weston, Carl Carlton, Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, The Original Box Tops, Billy Gilman, Alex Chilton, Barbara Mason, Billy Paul, Archie Bell, Gene Chandler and a host of others.
Additionally, on Christmas Day 2004 Mr. Gest personally paid for more than 50,000 homeless, senior citizens, disabled and low income families from Memphis, Arkansas and Mississippi to have free meals in various restaurants in Memphis and Arkansas. This was Mr. Gest’s personal gift to the city of Memphis in which he had recently resided.
On 26 January 2006, Mr. Gest produced the television special “Dionne Warwick: 45th Anniversary Spectacular” at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. The all-star tribute included performances by Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Richard Carpenter, Sir Cliff Richard, Gloria Estefan, Gladys Knight, Olivia Newton-John, Jeffrey Osborne, Della Reese, Jill Scott, Nancy Wilson, Candi Staton, Brian McKnight, Ashford & Simpson, Burt Bacharach, Thom Bell, Shirley Caesar, Da Brat, Deborah Cox, Andre Crouch, Sandra Crouch, Edwin Hawkins, Lynette Hawkins, Walter Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, Cissy Houston, Kashim, Donnie McClurkin, Chante Moore, The O’Jays, The Spinners, Angie Stone, Leslie Uggams, Dee Dee Warwick, BeBe Winans, CeCe Winans and Angela Bassett. The evening received rave reviews from the critics.
Following his appearance on “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!”, Mr. Gest hosted “David Gest’s New Year’s Weekend All-Star Soul Spectacular” at Cadogan Hall in London on 28-31 December 2006 for five sold-out shows. The show starred Peabo Bryson, Russell Thompkins, Jr. & The New Stylistics (the original lead singer of all the Stylistics’ classic hits), Bonnie Tyler, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Candi Staton, Deniece Williams, Billy Paul, Freda Payne, Carl Carlton, Dorothy Moore and William Bell.
Gest’s remarkable life story was chronicled in his Headline autobiography “Simply the Gest”, which was published in April 2007 and received rave reviews. In addition to his own TV shows, Gest has made appearances on entertainment programmes including “8 Out of 10 Cats”, “Never Mind the Buzzcocks”, “The David Gest Playlist”, “Katie & Peter: The Baby Diaries”, “This Morning”, “Richard & Judy” and “Alan Carr’s Ding Dong”. In November 2007 Gest went to Australia on behalf of Foxtel Network who screened the series of “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” in which he starred. It became a ratings smash in Australia and New Zealand.
Gest performed live in 2007 before 14,000 on stage in Dublin with Westlife on their number one hit “Mandy” for which he got a standing ovation. According to Gest, ‘it was quite possibly the worst vocal in music history but one of the most exciting moments of my life!’
In May 2008, Gest hosted the “Legends Ball” starring Whitney Houston in concert for Caudwell Children at the Battersea Evolution Centre in London. Gest was reunited that evening with many of his legendary film star friends whom he invited to attend including Mickey Rooney, Patricia Neal, Tippi Hedren, Jane Russell, Jane Powell, Dick Moore, Carroll Baker, Arlene Dahl, Joan Collins, Sally Ann Howes as well as astronaut Buzz Aldrin and a host of others. He also celebrated his birthday at London’s Royal Garden Hotel where more than 800 friends gathered including Gest’s mates Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal, Matt Willis, Jason Donovan, Heidi Range of the Sugababes, Tito Jackson, Petula Clark, Prince Azim of Brunei, Shayne Ward, Emma Griffiths, Faith Brown, Sinitta, Peter Andre, Katie Price, Gemma Atkinson and cast members from “Hollyoaks”, “Coronation Street”, “EastEnders”, “Holby City” and “Casualty”. The evening raised more than 110,000 pounds for Caudwell Children.