Celebs' Most Ridiculous Backstage Demands
When you're rich and famous, you can not only get away with everything, you can GET everything.
Mary J. Blige
Nobody likes a dirty toilet, but Mary J. Blige isn't taking any chances when she's on tour. Blige requires that each venue install a brand new toilet seat in the dressing room before she arrives. And while Mary's doing her business on the new seat, she expects privacy, which is why she has a "Do Not Disturb" sign punctuated with 26 exclamation points.
Rihanna has quite the checklist for her dressing room furnishings. Her couch has to be "wide enough for her to stretch out on and sometimes take a nap." She needs "6-8 throw pillows for couches – animal print (cheetah, leopard) (NO sequins). And her large throw rug "must be CLEAN, as she will walk on it barefoot."
Van Halen is arguably the group responsible for the public's interest in outlandish backstage riders after they famously demanded a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed. For years, people assumed this was just another example of rock excess and arrogance, but the band maintains they included the stipulation to see if promoters actually read the rider. If brown M&Ms were in the bowl, then how could they trust the gear or sound levels met their specifications?
In homage to the rock gods who preceded them, the Foo Fighters decided to have some fun with their 2008 rider, which is peppered with jokes about "fat roadies," farts, and Johnny Depp's butt. The band continued the hilarious trend in 2011, this time providing an illustration of appropriate meals. (Note: Sandwich with a side of rocks = lame, steak and baked potato = awesome.)
For having such an over-the-top image, Lady Gaga keeps her rider requests pretty tame. She does insist on having a whole roasted chicken backstage, and if there's going to be cheese, it's gotta be "non-smelly, non-sweaty, [and] ON ICE."
Adele balances her demands with philanthropy. According to her rider, any fan or journalist receiving free tickets to her show is required to donate $20 to a charity of her choosing. As for what the British powerhouse wants on her tour bus, only the "very best quality red wine" and "best quality European lager beer." Better not confuse the "European" part. Adele adds "North American beer is NOT acceptable." Come on, Adele, it's not all Budweiser and Coors. This is the land of microbrews!
When Sarah Palin is raking in six figures on her public speaking rounds, her travel requirements set the bar pretty high. If Palin isn't booked in first class, then a private jet is the only other option, and not just any old jet either. The "private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger.
It's safe to say without Jersey Shore, Paul "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio would not be pulling in tens of thousands of dollars to spin at various nightclubs. Yet Pauly's rider states, "ABSOLUTELY NO use of MTV name/logo and Jersey Shore logo in any and all promotional materials" under the penalty of "immediate cancellation... and forfeiture of deposit."
Cher's hair needs its own room. According to the singer's rider, there is to be an entire room devoted solely to her wig collection. And you won't see Cher wearing one of those laminated backstage passes around her neck. She simply refuses. Also, the diva has something against Kendall Jackson — it's the only wine she does not allow in her dressing room.