Russian billionaires: they're powerful, they're flush with profits from semi-monopolized industrial concerns, and they're ready to party. So they think nothing of paying outrageous sums to international pop stars to come play private parties for them and their closest friends. The most recent example is poor drug-addled soul singer Amy Winehouse, who will be pocketing a cool $2 million to play a show for the girlfriend of billionaire politician and businessman Roman Abramovich. All $2 million of which will surely be spent to further Winehouse's ongoing demise. The point is, she's not the only superstar who's been seduced by a gig like this. Soon you won't be able to see anyone from Madonna to Rihanna without a plane ticket to Moscow and tight connections to the vestiges of the Kremlin's power structure. It's a trend!
- George Michael, 75-minute concert on New Year's eve, 2007, for nickel billionaire Vladimir Potanin. Price: $3.5 million
- Rihanna, 40-minute show for billionaire Oleg Deripaska on New Year's eve, 2008. Price: $500,000.
- Jennifer Lopez, 40-minute birthday party show for billionaire Andrei Melnichenko in April, 2007. Price: $1.2 million.
- Christina Aguilera, three songs at Andrei Melnichenko's wedding in September, 2005. Price: $3.6 million.
- And to put it all over the top, Madonna is reportedly considering an offer from "an unnamed Dubai-based tycoon" for a one-night private performance. Price: $10 million.
Fortunately, you can still hire Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens to play in your living room for $2,000.