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The Miami Herald
March 27, 2007 Tuesday

Shaq celebrates his 35th in style

SECTION: A; Pg. 4
LENGTH: 210 words

The big man of the Miami Heat had a big birthday party -- complete with indoor fireworks -- at Hard Rock Live on Saturday night.

Hundreds of fans gathered outside and even more friends crammed inside the club at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for the bash, thrown by 790 the Ticket and Ocean Drive Media Group, for Shaquille O'Neal's 35th birthday.

Graciously arriving earlier than many guests, Shaq worked the crimson carpet, taking 15 minutes to walk just a few feet, garnering an impromptu Happy Birthdaysong from strangers. His better half, Shaunie, wore a black dress and honey-blond crimped hair.

Rapper Ludacrisperformed for guests, with two hype men still rocking the cornrows Luda retired in '06. Unofficial Heat mascot ''Dancing Joe''jammed onstage with the rapper, prompting a chorus of ''Go Grandpa!'' from guests. Surely, the free-flowing Moet encouraged that.

Guests included Miami Heat DJ Irie, NFL star Terrell Owens,Miami Heat owner Micky Arison, developer R. Donahue Peebles, Star Jones Reynolds and Heat players James Posey, Gary Payton, Michael Doleacand Earl Barron. Interestingly, Big Moe, Anna Nicole Smith'sbodyguard, was denied entrance by guest list czars. We guess height does not guarantee admittance.

-- NATALIE MCNEAL

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