The more a celebrity rises among the Hollywood ranks, the more demanding he or she tends to become. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that—after all, part of being a star is being able to ask for some extravagance of service now and then. Many stars request things such as having a proper green room backstage, maybe some room temperature water to keep their voices steady through a long performance, and so on.
But where would Hollywood be without a little diva-tastic drama? And that’s certainly what some of the most infamous “riders” in the industry tend to shed a light onto. There are stars, and then there are superstars, and their riders alone make that distinction evident.
What’s a Rider?
A rider is what the industry people call the full contractual list of requirements that a talent asks of the event organizers and producers. Often, it contains instructions about certain conditions and requirements, which can range from stage-related needs to backstage needs. And now and then, often with the biggest acts with household names, the backstage demands can be so bizarre that even production staffs who should already be so inured against the most baffling of demands, would still give pause. Below, some of the more infamous demands made by the famous...Jennifer Lopez
Often called the “Holy Grail” of riders, JLo’s high pedigree allows her to demand that everything in her massive trailer be made white. White sheets, white walls, white furniture, white flowers, white candles, white drapery, white everything. And speaking of flowers, you cannot get just any random flowers for her. According to industry insiders who have had to cater to the song-and-dance diva’s demands, there’s even a specific list of flowers that is acceptable to this superstar.
Strangely, the fact that she demands a framed picture of Princess Diana is by far not the oddest thing to find in the pop sensation’s rider. Apparently, you had better switch off your business phone in Brit’s dressing room, as the singer will automatically fine the venue 5,000 dollars every time a phone rings in there. It’s that serious.
Queen Bey of the divine figure, surprisingly, is not quite as demanding, but you’d be surprised about what she asks for: juicy baked chicken, with a very specific type of seasoning—fresh garlic, season salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. “HEAVILY SEASONED!!” the notes say. Bey sure must like that chicken if she asks for it every time.
The “California Girl” star has extremely specific dressing room demands: the dressing room table “must be in the 'perspex modern' style while floor lamps must come in pairs and be in French ornate style.” As if that wasn’t enough, the refrigerator in her room is required to absolutely have a glass door. Maybe Katy likes to know what’s in there at all times. And finally, in all caps, “ABSOLUTELY NO CARNATIONS!”
Those, by far, are just a few of the crazy crazy demands that artists ask for when they go on tour. Other demanding artists frequently make the rounds of the news, to people’s chagrin. But you have to ask yourself, if you were a star of their caliber, what would you ask for?