Monday, March 3, 2008

Whitney Houston to be paid $3.5m to perform at charity ball

Whitney HoustonWhitney Houston is set to be paid a whopping $3.5m to perform a one-hour gig at a London charity event, it has been claimed.

Houston has been hired by billionaire mobile phone tycoon John Caudwell to perform the gig in aid to raise funds for his Caudwell Children's charity.

The soul diva's huge fee – which works out at roughly $60k a minute – is just the start of her demands for appearing at the glittering May ball.

The 44-year-old 'I'm Every Woman' star has also insisted on being provided with an odd assortment of "extras" on the night, including M&M sweets, pulp-free orange juice, camomile tea, and "cranapple" and "crangrape" juices, as well as peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

Her list also reportedly includes two full-length mirrors with make-up lights, a dozen hand towels, two fans, pumpernickel and sourdough bagels with cream cheese and four one-litre bottles of American spring water, as well as two large banquet tables, clothing racks, flowers and doughnuts for her entourage.

She is also said to have demanded 35 rooms at the $700-a-night Dorchester hotel and another five-star hotel for her team.

Cauldwell - whose estimated worth is $2.4 billion - hopes Whitney's performance will ensure his charity ball is a massive success - and will even pay the star's huge fee out of his own pocket.

However, a spokesman for Caudwell Children said that claims of a $3.5million fee for Ms Houston were "ludicrous". But a source revealed to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, that negotiations started at around $3million.

Caudwell - who founded British phone retailer Phones 4U - covers all Caudwell Children's operating costs so that more money is raised for children with terminal illness and to support the NSPCC's Full Stop campaign against violence towards children.

A source said: "John is hoping Whitney will be worth it. He thinks it's important to raise the profile of the charity, and eye-catching stars such as Whitney Houston are exactly the sort of people he's hoping to attract."

This won't be the first bumper payout Whitney will have received for a single private performance.

In 2005, she was paid a reputed $1.1m to perform for just 300 guests at the wedding of Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko and former Miss Yugoslavia Aleksandra Kokotovic.

By Owen Williams, Mar 03 2008 © Copyright 2008 - Showbiz Spy

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