Madonna: Première Milliardaire de la Musique Pop?
Aug. 24 2010 - 10:41 am
Clare O'Connor - Filthy Rich
How much would a Las Vegas casino pay to have the Material Girl strutting her 52-year-old stuff across the stage on a nightly basis? If we are to believe the UK’s Sun newspaper, she’d get a $1 billion payday. The tabloid set tongues wagging on both sides of the pond by claiming Madonna is weighing up a billion dollar offer to take up a five-year residency on the Strip.
If this is true, Madonna would become pop music’s first billionaire, joining other female entertainers like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Oprah Winfrey on our billionaire ranks. She would also once and for all show the pretender to her crown, Lady Gaga – who beat her by six spots on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 rich list this year – that she still reigns as Queen of Pop.
So, is it true? Don’t be so sure. The Sun’s report is entirely unsourced - it doesn’t even include the standard “insiders tell us” designation. It also neglects to name the casino thought to be making the offer. Still, that didn’t stop media outlets across the world from repeating its claims. Even veteran connoisseur of the rich and famous Robin Leach seems to believe the deal is imminent, reporting the story on his Vegas lifestyle blog.
Luckily, one local paper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, thought to check the Sun’s math:
"My source did some quick math: If Madonna landed in the 4,300-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace, the most likely suitor, she would have to average $200 a ticket, net $3 million a week and work four or five nights for 50 weeks to make $750 million over five years.
“That’s impossible. She’s not going to work 50 weeks,” said the source.
"Celine Dion, one of the best-drawing entertainers in the world, recently announced a new three-year $100 million deal that calls for 70 shows a year.
I am inclined to side with the Review-Journal: $1 billion, even for a five-year contract, and even for a superstar like Madonna, seems outlandish.
One other small, perhaps pedantic concern: the Sun says this deal is worth £500,000,000, which they’ve equated to $1 billion. This hasn’t been the exchange rate for years; it’s more like $770 million. Splitting hairs, maybe, but if the Sun can’t even nail the current exchange rate, how can we trust their claims?
Live Nation, who signed a ten-year, $120 million touring contract with Madonna in 2007, did not reply to Forbes’ request for comment on this story. Watch this space, though.