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Nelly Furtado and Beyonce proved this week that artists can bring in big bucks even when they aren’t headlining a major world tour.
Both singers have scored a cool $1 million for performing for family members of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi (amid pressure, they handed the money over the charity).
The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the shocking amounts of money other musicians have made off private performances:
Mariah Carey raked in $1 million to sing just four songs at a Gaddafi bash on the Caribbean island of St. Barts after New Year’s Day 2009, The New York Times reported. Carey’s rep, Cindi Berger, would not comment on how much Carey was paid, but the singer said in a statement: “I was naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess.” (She plans to donate royalties for the song “Save the Day,” which she has written for her upcoming album, to human-rights charities.)
Last year, Christina Aguilera reportedly earned a cool $1 million to perform – for an hour! – at investment guru Charles Brandes’ Halloween party. And that $16,666 per minute didn’t include hair, makeup, travel and other related costs!
David Bonderman, a well-known investor from Texas, opened up his wallet in a big way in 2002 when he paid The Rolling Stones a whopping $7 million to play for an hour at his 60th birthday.
Celine Dion is rumored to enjoy 2-3 private U.S. gigs a year at a price of $6.5 million per show.
In 2007, Russian billionaire Andrei Melnichenko forked over $2 million for Jennifer Lopez to perform at a joint birthday party for himself and his wife. Lopez’s 40-minute set included such hits as “Jenny From the Block.” He paid another $800,000 to fly the singer, her husband Marc Anthony and their entourage from the U.S. to his 27-acre estate in Surrey, England. He even put them up at the Mandarin Oriental in London.
Guns N’ Roses reportedly raked in $1 million last year to play a private show in Moscow for Alexander Chistyakov, deputy chairman of the management board of Federal Grid Company (FGC).
Headline-grabbing “Rehab” singer Amy Winehouse scored a little under $1 million to belt out tunes at a Russian oligarch’s annual corporate party in Moscow last year, according to British news reports. Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart and Sir Elton John have all been known to command the same price tag per private show.
British reports swirled last year that Sir Tom Jones walked away with $3.1 million after performing at a Red Cross charity concert. (A spokesperson for the event was quoted by the Britain’s The Mirror as saying: “He was worth every euro.”) He is said to have donated much of his earnings to charity.
In 2005, then Point Blank Solutions Inc.’s CEO David Brooks threw a lavish $10 million bat mitzvah for his 13-year-old daughter, hiring Aerosmith, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Kenny G and the Eagles. Published reports claim he even paid Aerosmith $2 million so his nephew could play drums with the band! (Later, Brooks was charged with fraud for allegedly bank rolling performances on the company dollar.)
George Michael once earned $3 million an hour singing for a Russian mining and lumber magnate. Time on stage: 75 minutes!
Miley Cyrus commanded between $200,000-$500,000 to perform at a Christmas bash for the Lanier Law Firm in Houston, Texas. That was in 2008. Her going-rate has surely since increased.
Which band has broken the bank the most? The Eagles. They were once paid $6 million by an unknown benefactor to play one song, “Hotel California,” at a private bash in NYC. That’s almost $1 million per minute.
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