Getting Free Stuff Is Cool!

Pampering The Celebs
Whether you’re negotiating a raise, a home loan, or just a great price on that garage-sale knicknack, you need to think like a pop star: Be bold, and insist on getting exactly what you want. To give you an idea of what we mean, take a look at some of the specific (and, in some cases, outrageous) demands Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Busta Rhymes, and seven other musical prima donnas have written into their contract riders before they’ll agree to appear in concert.
MARIAH CAREY When it comes to dealmaking, Mariah is without peer (witness the $68 million she recently earned for being dropped by one record label and signed by another). On the road, though, Carey’s needs are not quite so upscale. Sure, she asks for a tea service for eight, along with champagne flutes and wine glasses. But she also has the common sense to insist on bendy straws to sip from.
JENNIFER LOPEZ When J. Lo attended the recording session for the charity single ”What’s Going On” last fall, she still submitted her standard rider, demanding a trailer at least 40 feet long, furnished all in white (flowers, tablecloths, drapes, candles, and couches), a VCR and CD player, and an ”assortment of current R&B, hip-hop, and salsa” CDs, for which she offers 43 selected titles. Love don’t cost a thing, but being a diva sure can be expensive.
JANET JACKSON In her current tour rider, Jackson requests $75 worth of white flowers (tulips, roses, gardenias, and lilies) and fresh ice for drinks, specifying ”NO FISH ICE.” She explains, ”If it had never happened, I wouldn’t have to write this…” Ewww, nasty.
BRITNEY SPEARS Spears’ 2000 rider demands a private phone line in her dressing room — but she’ll fine the promoter $5,000 if the number gets published and anyone calls her. Otherwise, her tastes are simple: General Foods International Coffee, Cap’n Crunch and Froot Loops, and Pop Tarts. (You are what you eat.)
MARY J. BLIGE: When it comes to getting paid, Mary J. Blige wants no more drama. But in 1997, when she earned $100,000 per show, she required promoters to pay her in cash — in crisp $100 bills. As that other hip-hopper sang, ”It’s all about the Benjamins.”
BUSTA RHYMES Rhymes’ contract shows that he knows how to unwind after a show. The rapper’s rider requests a 24-piece bucket of KFC, six bottles of Moet champagne, and one full box of ribbed condoms.
CHRISTINA AGUILERA: What a girl wants, what a girl needs — sometimes these things are contradictory. Aguilera’s 2000 contract asks for both health food (organic fruits and veggies, soy milk and soy cheese, and Flintstones chewable vitamins) and sugary drinks (Nesquik, Coca-Cola — ”NOT Pepsi, no diet”).
DESTINY’S CHILD The diva trio’s demands are simple, but particular: fine china, two large strawberry candles, and black towels (an oddly common request among pop stars). Also, fresh ginger root is ”very important.”
DIXIE CHICKS Because their audience is largely female, the Chicks’ 2000 contract demands that venues provide extra women’s restrooms, converting some of the men’s rooms if necessary. Also, the talented threesome require a 10 a.m. tee time at a local golf course in each town.
MOBY The artist behind ”Play” and ”18” does the work of 10 musicians by himself. Maybe that’s why his 2000 contract calls for 10 pairs of white cotton crew socks and 10 cotton boxer shorts. Or maybe he’s just a little obsessive.