Shaquille O’Neal Wants to ‘Get Sexier’ in 2023, But First, He’s Hosting a Massive Virtual NYE Party

One of the hottest New Year’s Eve parties of 2023 is available to attend from the comfort of your living room. On Dec. 31, at 3:30 p.m. PT, noted music fan and party purveyor Shaquille O’Neal is appearing in virtual reality with a gaggle of high caliber pals — Cardi B, Ludacris, Lil Yachty, Rob Gronkowski and his girlfriend Camille Kostek, Killer Mike, Whipped Cream and, of course, Shaq’s DJ alter-ego DJ DIESEL — for an hourlong rager to ring in 2023.

And because VR offers no limits on the type of fete one can throw, this bash — The Shaq’tacular Spectacular — will include a rollerskating rink, a marching band, a basketball court and a lot of other bells, whistles and assorted confetti blasts. The show will premiere exclusively in VR in Meta Horizon Worlds, on Meta Quest TV, on O’Neal’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and Messenger’s Watch Together. (Attendance requires a Meta Quest 2 headset, so hopefully, you got one for Christmas.)

Here, Shaq shares the secrets to a blazing hot lineup, who will be playing when the ball drops, and why his New Year’s resolution is to “be sexy.”

This party, like all your parties, has a really stacked lineup. How do you assemble a collection of high-caliber artists like this?

I’ve been in the business for a long time and I meet a lot of people, and if I’ve noticed you are just nice to people, people are nice to you … When I meet superstars and they do something for me, I just tell them thank you. Hopefully I do the same for them, or I continue to do the same for them. It’s about mutual respect. It’s about showing love and receiving love, and I’m just grateful that they’re part of the Shaq’tacular Spectacular.

You’ve said before that you love the energy of live music — and dance music specifically obviously with your DJ Diesel project. How do you make sure an event in VR has that same massive energy that you so love?

You just have to have the right people there. Ludacris, from Atlanta — hot. Lil Yachty has one of hottest songs of the year — hot. Cardi B, beautiful, gorgeous — hot. DJ Diesel — hot. Rob Gronkowski — hot. I’m not going to say his girlfriend’s hot because I don’t want to have problems with him, but she’s hot. And Whipped Cream — hot.

If you put all hot ingredients in front of people, they can’t do nothing but enjoy it. It’s like a hot meal. There’s not really any rocket science. A lot of people would overthink, but when you’ve got 10 hot people, you just let ‘em do their thing and you put it together.

So a hot menu is the secret.


Tell me about making live events more a part of your business and how this has been a progression for you.

It’s just something that I wanted to be involved with, especially on the new year. I wanted to bring my friends and have it be a one-hour special, custom made for VR. And don’t worry if you’re not able to join right away, because the show will be on loop throughout the evening and you join at anytime from the start of the celebration.

The Shaq'tacular Spectacular
The Shaq’tacular Spectacular

Who’s going to be playing when the clock strikes 12?

I’m not going to tell you that! But it’s going to be hot! Oh wait … I think it’s me!

So what song are you going to play at midnight?

I’m not going give you that information. Just be ready to put your hands up.

What’s your best New Year’s Eve memory?

I have a lot of them, but just being able to celebrate with family and friends. I remember all the way back to when I was 19, and I’m going to be 51 after this New Year’s, so time is going by too fast. I kind of want it to slow down.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

Just continuing to be healthy. I want to get sexier. I’ve already lost 40 pounds and I need to lose about 30 more pounds, then I’m going to start taking my clothes all the way off. I want to be the Black Mark Wahlberg. Show my nine-pack, all that stuff.

Katie Bain