Tiny Audiences. Massive Paydays.

by | Jan 12, 2007

Christina playing the birthday party of Joe Hardy, founder of 84 Lumber

Los Angeles Times looks at the growing number of super high priced private events where pop stars entertain the insanely wealthy.

Grammy-winning superstars of every stripe are available these days for holiday parties, weddings or bar mitzvahs, whatever, just as long as there’s a boatload of money waiting for them. Actually, make that a yacht-load of money.

Robert Norman, who heads the corporate and private events division for Creative Artists Agency, said last year that his division handled 500 events. Many were $100,000 to $200,000 corporate affairs with acts such as Seal, Hall & Oates, Styx and the Go-Go’s. But about a quarter of the CAA bookings were private social events, a good number of them with staggering budgets.

The volume of business in that rarefied sector has surged dramatically in recent years. It’s now quietly commonplace for A-list stars to sing to middle-aged billionaires as they blow out candles.

The notion of Grammy-winning artists moonlighting as wedding singers at the peak of their careers would have been scoffed at a decade ago. But times and taboos change. Now, according to Norman, it’s rare to find an artist who won’t at least peruse the offer sheet.

According to the article Bruce Springsteen and U2 won’t do it, but just about everyone else will. Including punk band Social Distortion, 1960s icon Bob Dylan, The Eagles, Sammy Hagar, George Michael, John Mellencamp, The Rolling Stones, 50 Cent, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, Joe Cocker, Foo Fighters and more.