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The Weirdest Things Celebrities Demand In Their Contracts

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Mar. 11 2020, Published 6:14 p.m. ET

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Being a singer, a comedian or any celebrity who goes on tour definitely comes with its perks. And the best perk of all might be the Tour Rider. This is a document that includes a set of rules and stipulations that must be met for the performer to appear. Celebs can request anything from top-shelf alcohol to gourmet foods or even to luxury furniture. The only limit to what goes in a Tour Rider is a star’s imagination.

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What appears in a celebrity’s Tour Rider is often an example of how pampered the celeb’s life typically is. Katy Perry put it best, "People like to do this like, exposé, like, 'Katy Perry's tour life, she's such a diva.'” “But, I'm sorry, if you lived on the road every single day and were out of different hotel rooms, don't you want comfort? Don't you want some sliced turkey? I want some sliced turkey. And some baby wipes," Perry added.

MORE: Madonna Reserves Separate Seat On Her Private Jet For Religious Books

And sure, many celebrity rider requests are understandable when you remember they spend hundreds of days a year on the road and need to stay in top shape. But some celebrities definitely seem to take advantage of the whole rider system to indulge in their weirdest quirks.

Here are 21 of the strangest things celebrities have demanded in their contracts.

Coldplay: Postcards To Send Home To Their Kids

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Constantly being on tour can mean prolonged periods of separation from loved ones, but Coldplay found a way to make the road a little less lonely. In addition to necessities like beers, snacks and smokes, the British band’s tour rider reportedly asks for postcards from every host city so they can send home to their children while on tour. This is definitely the most adorable and least-weird item on this list.

Katy Perry: NO CARNATIONS

//Katy Perry
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Katy Perry is unapologetic about asking for what she wants when on tour. The "Roar" singer likes snacks, fruits and veggies and water dispensers instead of bottled water. She reportedly likes her dressing room to be draped in cream or soft pink and to have modern furniture. And she’s very picky about her flowers, “White and purple hydrangeas, pink & white roses and peonies.” If those aren’t available, she’ll settle for an arrangement of seasonal white flowers, including orchids.

But under no circumstances is Perry to receive carnations, as her rules outline in ALL CAPS.

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Kanye West: Alcoholic Slushie Machine

//Kanye West
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Hey, when you’re one of the most successful rappers of all time, you can have pretty much whatever you want. And if what you want is a machine that makes frozen Hennessy slushies, like Kanye reportedly did on his Saint Pablo Tour, then a frozen Henny maker is what you’ll get.

Most of Kanye’s other requests involve loads of top-shelf party fuel. But there was that one time in 2013 when he allegedly found his dressing room carpet to be too bumpy and demanded that BBC employees iron it.

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Justin Bieber: Meals Named After His Hit Songs

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Since he’s one of the world’s wealthiest and most successful pop stars, you might imagine Justin Bieber makes extravagant tour requests. And you’d be correct. For his four-day tour of India in 2017, the Biebs reportedly requested, among other things, a jacuzzi to be flown in, a personal Rolls Royce, a private jet and a helicopter on standby and something called an “Indian Yoga Casket” that contained essential oils.

But best of all, the Canadian singer requested meals made by a private chef to be named after his hit songs. The rider didn’t specify what exactly those meals should be, but we’re hoping they included a “Beauty and a Beet Salad,” “As Long As You Love Meat Pies” or “One Less Lonely Grilled Cheese.”

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Michael Bublé: A Puck From The Local Hockey Team

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Michael Bublé’s rider reportedly keeps it pretty simple. The Grammy winner asks for a sizable spread to feed four people, and a bottle of either Macallan or Oban "Premium Single Malt Scotch."

But the crooner does make one unusual request, a puck from a local hockey team. As a Canadian and a diehard hockey fan, this one makes a lot of sense.

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Cher: A Whole Room Just For Wigs

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As a source told The Sun in 2019, “What Cher wants, she gets.” And when the legendary singer played at London’s O2 Arena that year, she reportedly wasn’t shy about asking for everything she wanted, which included a slushie machine and both white and milk chocolate fountains.

She also requested an entire room just to house her wig collection. As a lifelong wig aficionado who incorporates several hairpiece changes into her shows, it’s not exactly surprising she would need that much wig storage. Frankly, it would be kind of weird if Cher didn’t have a wig room.

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Moby: 10 Clean Pairs Of Underwear

//Moby
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Yes, Moby reportedly requests that concert promoters buy him ten pairs of white cotton crew underwear for each show. Honestly, this one leaves us with a lot of questions. Why doesn’t Moby bring his own underwear on tour? Has Moby never heard of boxers or boxer-briefs? And finally, why does he need ten pairs? Is that how many he goes through in a single show? Actually, we may not want to know the answers.

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Kevin Hart: 140 “Cell Phone Roamers”

//Kevin Hart
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As one of the most successful touring comedians working today, Kevin Hart reportedly requires a staggering amount of logistical support. The Jumanji star is famously protective of his material and forbids audience members from recording his shows. And how do you ensure there are no cellphones in an arena that seats thousands? With enough “roamers” to fill a commercial airplane. Roamers are people paid to wander through the audience in search of a phone.

A roamer’s job is simply to walk around the venue during the performance and look for anyone taking out their phone. Hart’s rider reportedly stipulates that his roamers must “know what to do if someone is caught with a cell phone out and on.” And it requires them to be vigilant. “Anyone that is caught repeatedly standing or watching the show will need to be replaced.”

Hart also requires women on staff to handle promotional duties specifically, “Five (5) females ages between 21-27 with athletic/sexy build.” They’re required to be “go-getters” and “very approachable/attractive,” and they are $150 per show.

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Beyoncé: Hand-Carved Ice Balls, $900 Straws & New Toilet Seats

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It’s good to be the Queen. In 2013, the U.K.’s Daily Star published what was allegedly a Tour Rider belonging to Beyoncé. It includes several items that prove Beyoncé takes full advantage of her superstar status. Her tour rider reportedly included “hand-carved ice balls that must be made after each show, to cool her throat.” This makes sense when your entire job relies on your vocal cords. She also asked for alkaline water that must be chilled to 21 degrees and must be served with $900 titanium straws. And finally, a fresh toilet seat to be installed at every venue, which isn’t that odd. Other performers, such as Mary J. Blige, have made the same request. But even more specifically, Beyoncé demands red toilet paper. We’re stumped on that one.

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Sir Paul McCartney: No Animal Products Of Any Kind, Lots Of Plants

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As an outspoken animal rights activist, it isn’t exactly surprising that Sir Paul McCartney forbids meat on tour. But the former Beatle’s reported tour rider is particularly thorough when it comes to his “no animal products” policy. He refuses to travel in limousines with leather seats. He won’t allow furniture made from animal print, even if it’s artificial. And no meat is allowed anywhere near him. It’s banned from his dressing room, all backstage areas and even the production offices. However, he did request 24 bars of Ivory Soap, which is partly made from animal fat.

The Liverpudlian also requests an assortment of plants — like bamboo, palms and peace lilies, but he refuses all types of trees or anything with a trunk, preferring plants that are “just as full on the bottom as they are on the top.”

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Eminem: An Entire Koi Pond

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When Eminem performed at the Tennent’s Vital in Northern Ireland in 2011, his rider reportedly included mostly mundane items — dumbbells, a microwave, seedless watermelon and yogurt.

Mundane except for one thing, a wooden koi pond, filled with koi carp. Maybe having a koi pond was the only way the “Lose Yourself” rapper could relax. If so, that’s an expensive way to unwind since koi can cost hundreds of dollars each.

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Mariah Carey: 100 White Doves, 20 White Kittens

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No, Mariah Carey doesn’t require an entire zoo’s worth of animals every time she goes on tour. This was a one-time request for a Christmas light ceremony at a Westfield mall in London in 2009. Unfortunately for the legendary diva, the kittens were a no-go. "We did manage to source the doves that we were going to release into the sky, but the kittens proved terribly difficult," a Westfield representative reportedly told the New York Daily News. "In the end, it was made clear that due to health and safety, there was no way we could have the animals at Westfield. We do not allow pets into Westfield — that rule would apply for everyone."

As if that wasn’t enough, Mariah Carey demanded to be driven to an event in a pink Rolls Royce on a pink carpet leading up to a pink podium. Event organizers had to replace the Rolls six times before the star was satisfied.

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Ne-Yo: A Bottle Of Ketel One, For “Cleaning”

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In his 2011 Tour Rider, Ne-Yo proved to be quite the wine lover, reportedly requesting three different types of wine, three bottles of pinot noir, three bottles of Riesling and two bottles of Ace of Spades champagne.

He also requested another alcoholic beverage, but that one wasn’t for drinking. He asked for one bottle of Ketel One and stipulated that it would be used for cleaning purposes. We’re not sure if the R&B singer actually thinks vodka is a better cleaning agent than a bottle of Simple Green, but it might have to do with the fact that Ne-Yo made $175,000 per performance. Cleaning your floors with top-shelf booze is definitely a baller move.

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Prince: An Entire House Inside The Venue

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Honestly, we could probably make an entire list just about Prince’s tour requests. The Minnesota native was known for taking full advantage of the rockstar lifestyle, but at times his requests veered into the oddly specific. In 2004, Prince reportedly demanded that all his food be delivered wrapped in plastic. In 2008, for a show in London, Prince requested an oxygen bar and a machine that only dispensed black M&M’s. When performing at the Hop Farm Festival in 2011, Prince required a specially built dressing room decorated in purple, and it had to be rebuilt three times before meeting his approval. He also requested a limousine to drive him from that dressing room to the stage, a distance of 25 meters.

But the biggest and strangest request came in 2007 when Prince played at London’s O2 Arena. Rather than staying at one of London’s many luxury hotels, Prince reportedly asked the venue to build him a luxury five bedroom house … inside the arena. At the time, O2 Arena officials explained the reasoning behind Prince’s request, “He has had some pretty wild nights out in London and loves all that the capital has to offer, so it makes sense for him to have a more permanent base here,” they said.

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M.I.A.: Three Dancers Wearing Burkas

//MIA
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The London-born rapper enjoys a mostly typical backstage spread, including lots of snacks and plenty of booze. But in 2012, she raised eyebrows by reportedly requesting that every venue on her tour provide three backup dancers wearing burkas, the full-body cloak worn by some Muslim women. M.I.A. has worn the garment herself for various appearances. More specifically, the dancers had to be between 20 and 25 years old, with the same body type. They were required to have “stage presence,” and were asked to dance on the stage for M.I.A.’s entire performance.

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Van Halen: M&M’s With The Brown Ones Picked Out

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The legendary 1982 Van Halen World Tour rider is the source of one of the most oddly specific requests ever, and it probably sparked fans’ interest in other celebrities’ tour riders for decades afterwards. The rock band famously demanded that their dressing room include bowls of M&M’s with the brown ones removed.

While it might sound like typical rockstar excess or maybe the product of a particularly particular mind, the band had a much more practical reason for the ask — it was inserted simply to make sure concert organizers were paying attention when reading the 53-page document. No, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar didn’t actually care if they were served brown M&M’s, but they very much did care if their hosts had adequately prepared their technical specifications. If a venue did make the mistake of serving them brown M&M’s, Van Halen had the right to cancel their performance without notice.

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Marilyn Manson: A Bald, Toothless Hooker

//Marilyn Manson
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Yes, you read that correctly. No, it’s not a serious request. Marilyn Manson famously loves to shock people, and that’s true even in his Tour Rider, which reportedly requested a “bald, toothless hooker.” Even though it was a joke, at least one arena employee has taken it seriously and called Manson’s management for clarification.

Otherwise, the “Beautiful People'' singer enjoys a surprisingly normal spread on the road, including Haribo gummy bears, mini chocolates, Doritos, cereal, 2% milk, fine cheeses, Cristal or Moët champagne and air conditioning. Oh, and two bottles of absinthe, which feels pretty on-brand.

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Iggy Pop: Seven Dwarves, Bob Hope Impersonator

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Plenty of musicians like to have fun with their backstage requests and demand something silly that they don’t actually want or need. But Iggy Pop beat them all with a concert rider that The Smoking Gun called “the most entertaining ever obtained.”

In the the 18-page document, which was reportedly written by Iggy’s roadie Jos Grain, he requests many of the typical necessities: mineral water, Red Bull, vodka. But even these came with humorous instructions and explanations, like when he asked for a heavy duty fan, "So that I can wear a scarf and pretend to be in a Bon Jovi video."

But he also threw in several off-the-wall asks just to see if venue managers were paying attention. Like a copy of USA Today that contains a specific story about obesity. And a Bob Hope impersonator to tell jokes about Hollywood and Bing Crosby. And finally, seven little people dressed as the Seven Dwarves from the classic Disney film. If the concert failed to find seven little people for the job, the document said a belly dancer would be a suitable replacement.

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Justin Timberlake: Every Door Knob Disinfected Every Two Hours

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Look, we understand wanting to minimize your risk of getting a cold, especially if you’re a singer. But Justin Timberlake crossed into germaphobe territory when he reportedly asked officials at Manchester Arena to disinfect every door knob in his dressing room and all the doors leading to the stage … every two hours. He’s made the request in the past, but it ruffled feathers in August 2018 because the arena had been the site of a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert just a few months prior.

In terms of non-germ-related requests, Justin also enjoys having mirrors installed above his bed in his hotel rooms. Maybe this is an homage to his hit song Mirrors? Yeah, that’s it.

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Madonna: Her Own Living Room Furniture

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Hosting a Madonna concert is an enormous logistical effort. The pop legend reportedly requires accommodations for her entourage, which can number up to 200 people. She also needs 20 different phone lines.

But Madonna’s trickiest request is for furniture. Sure, many other celebrities require the finest luxury accomodations, like designer ottomans or fur rugs. But Madonna takes things several steps further by asking for her own living room furniture. And no, she’s not asking for tour planners to buy lookalikes. She ships her actual furniture to her performance venues. To be fair, she did tell us she’s a Material Girl.

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Lady Gaga: A Mannequin With Pink Pubic Hair

//Lady Gaga
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And finally, the weirdest request of all! During a lawsuit over unpaid wages involving her former assistant, the rider for Lady Gaga’s two-and-a-half year long Monster Ball tour came to light. In it, the “Born This Way” singer reportedly asked for her dressing room to be decorated in a fairly normal, if elaborate, way. Gaga preferred her dressing room to be done up in a “glam rock” style with posters of her favorite rock legends like David Bowie, Queen, Elton John and Billie Holiday.

Also, she required a mannequin with “fluffy pink pubic hair.” Which for sure is strange. But we’re more curious about where you’d even find one.

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