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Rihanna's toilet must be 'DEEP CLEAN' and her other tour rider demands

Rihana Over the years, tour riders have become almost as reliable a barometer of pop musical greatness as album sales. And you can tell a lot about an act --  how hard it plans to party, primp or act like a prima donna -- by what contractual demands the artist  makes on its tour promoter.

In the early ‘80s, you had Van Halen legendarily mandating that all brown M&Ms be removed from backstage candy bowls lest rock ‘n roll mayhem ensue. Busta Rhymes is known to have contractually insisted upon Moët & Chandon Champagne, a bucket of fried chicken and an ample supply of condoms in his dressing room. And in 2008, the Foo Fighters pushed the rider envelope by threatening to “CALL OUT A CATERING JIHAD” if their demand for red plastic Solo cups went unmet.

Now, into the annals of great tour riders, we must welcome the terms laid out by Rihanna for her “Last Girl on Earth” 2010 world tour, scheduled to begin in Auburn, Wash., in July.

Sure, upon first reading, the Barbados-born “Good Girl Gone Bad” may come off as a diva by insisting upon a dressing room environment that includes Archipelago Black Forest candles (at $37.50 apiece) and the abolition of all fluorescent lighting, as well certain hypochondriac tendencies, necessitating a “SPOTLESS” bathroom with toilet given a “DEEP CLEAN.”

But even with the rider’s Arbitrary Capitalizations (and the strange pride of place it gives animal prints), viewed a another way, the contract can be seen as a declaration of purpose and assertion of Rihanna’s cultural import.

The artist born Robyn Fenty is extremely particular about -- and, apparently, minutely involved in – what materials her dressing room love seats are upholstered, what kind of flowers should be strewn about the place (as well as precisely how defenestrated said plant life should be), even the dressing room’s “icy blue” color scheme.

Courtesy of the Smoking Gun, we know that Rihanna’s tour promoter has been put on notice for:

“6-8 -- Throw Pillows for Couches – Animal Print (Cheetah, Leopard)(NO sequins)”

“1 – 6ft comfortable couch – White, Cloth, Plush (No leather) (wide enough for her to stretch out on and sometimes take a nap)”

“1 – Large throw rug – plush and animal print (Cheetah, Leopard)…must be CLEAN, as she will walk on it barefoot.”

“Pipe and Drape the room in Dark Blue or Black Drapes with Icy Blue Chiffon draped nicely on top/over”

“4 – Small, clear, square vases with White Tulips, if in season – No Foliage (2nd choice: White Casablanca Lilies no foliage, 3rd choice: White Freesia no foliage)

“1 – Clear Vase with Sterling Lavendar Roses (if available)”


-- Chris Lee

Photo of Rihanna in 2009 courtesy of ClickSnap / BuzzFoto / FilmMagic

Comments () | Archives (9)

Such narcissistic nonsense.

It's idiots like this that foists a bad reputation and the perception that artists are loony.

A practical/logical artist

Defenestrate the flowers? Throw them out the window? Is that what you meant?! Also, who's responsible for "lavendar"?

shouldnt a Diva be selling out venues? Why did her promoter (Live Nation) cancel a grip of North American dates? No fanbase? Not relevent?? Wake up to reality homegirl and write some decent material so that you can attempt to justify being a "diva" with a dedicated fanbase.

Nothing beats Ms. Streisand's!

"Hypochondriac" means someone who always thinks they're sick. It doesn't mean someone who is afraid of germs. That would be a "germophobe."

"Defenestrated" means thrown out of a window. Perhaps what you meant was "defoliated."

Don't they use dictionaries at newspapers any more? This is REALLY appalling.

Very often clauses or requests are thrown into tour riders as quality control measures. They provide a way for managers or artists to vet, test and assure whether the production staff at a venue is competent and paying attention to the small details.

For instance, the example of Van Halen brown M&M clause in their rider (from tours during the 1980's) was put into the contract on purpose by David Lee Roth, the band's lead singer at the time. Roth knew that the show Van Halen put on each night was a complicated one with tons of moving parts, pyrotechnics and thousands of places where something could go wrong. There was no way he or his band could check every last small detail before a show, so he needed a quick way to do a quality assurance check.

Because Van Halen's rider, like most riders for popular acts, was three inches thick, the band burried the brown M&M clause into the fine print to see if the production team at any given venue had actually read it. This was the first thing they checked upon arriving to perform a show. If there were brown M&Ms than the band knew the production personnel had read the rider but didn't pay attention to details. Thus, the band would have to be more diligent about checking whether everything was in order technically before taking the stage.

In addition, a lot of the items for an artists dressing room are purchased or rented once at the beginning of a tour and then moved from venue to venue with the lighting and sound gear.

I'm not saying any of this is the case with Rihanna's rider however.

1) She is not asking any of the fans to come in and do any of this for her, so stop hating on her.

2) She is asking the promoter- who stands to make A LOT of money from this production- to provide the little comforts and amenities that will help her attain the state of mind she needs for optimum performance on stage. That is a good thing for all involved, especially the concertgoers, so stop hating on her.

3) J. Sperling Reich- greatly informative post. Thank you. A few more of those and you might start getting hated on around here, too. Seems that some folks around here just can't stand to see others shine.

Oh please, Courtney Kincaid. How exactly is it "hating" to point out how truly ridiculous and downright conceited Rihanna's demands are? How exactly does it help her performance to have a leopard rug, a specific type of candle, a clear vase with lavender roses, and room draped in "Dark Blue or Black Drapes with Icy Blue Chiffon draped nicely on top/over”? She rarely, if ever, puts on a decent performance, so she's being a diva for the sake of it. Same goes for J.Lo's insistence on her dressing rooms being decorated in all white. You're only at the venue for a few hours at most, you're not going to live there, so why is so much attention being paid at how a room looks like? At Van Halen's seemingly trivial demands for no brown M&Ms had a practical basis behind it.


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