It’s no secret that celebrities, especially musicians, have often demanded the best of everything from any personal, hotel, or venue employee that crosses their paths. From personal towel holders and drinker fetchers, to limo drivers who also double as babysitters on wheels, to bodyguards who end up being bullied by their spoiled bosses, it’s just one of those facts of celebrity life. Because they have enough money to pay their staff well, they make them do the kinds of things that we can’t imagine are actually part of the job description.
Just how silly it can all get is pretty unreal, though. The entitlement that some celebrities feel seems to imply that they live in some kind of alternate dimension. Naomi Campbell once demanded that a flight from London to LA be delayed because she couldn’t find her bag, and when that didn’t happen, she kicked and spat at a cop who had to drag her off the flight. Reality bites.
While not all celebs are quite as unreasonable, many are still ripe for a bit of gentle mockery just on the basis of how weird some of their requests are. It’s hard for most normal people to imagine a situation in which they’d require their carpets be pre-smoothed for them, or for all possible cracks that could let in the horrible, horrible sun be taped closed before they’d sleep in a room. But that’s fame, which, as The Smiths once said, “plays hideous tricks on the brain. ”
15. Ariana Grande Finds Walking Rather Tedious
Normal, non-famous 20-somethings usually choose to get from point A to B by walking, like they’ve been doing their entire post-toddler lives. Not Ariana Grande. Reportedly, Ariana loves nothing more than to be carried around like a tiny baby rather often, preferably by a big manly male assistant. How sweet, yet strange.
24-year-old pop star Ariana Grande says this is because her feet are simply too precious to touch the floor when they get sore, which isn’t cute at all, frankly. While she’s not discussing her hatred of her fellow Americans and licking doughnuts at a Los Angeles shop, which she was recorded doing in 2015, she’s looking like the most bored human alive in her music videos.
Maybe that sounds a bit harsh, but Ariana’s got a history of being insultingly brusque with fan contest winners, alienating her TV co-stars, and just generally being unpleasant. Don’t be surprised if a staff member “accidentally” drops her one of these days…
14. Lady Gaga Had A Personal Bedwarmer
Lady Gaga isn’t exactly known for being subtle or reserved. “Mother Monster” is apparently a pretty eccentric boss as well, making her former personal assistant act as her personal hot water bottle, literally having her lay in Gaga’s bed to warm it up for her.
Jennifer O’Neill claimed she was on call 24/7 and ended up suing Lady Gaga for $400,000 in unpaid overtime. Besides bed warming duties, she was also required to be in the same room as Gaga when she slept, who would wake her up in case she wanted her water refreshed or a DVD switched in the player. That’s not exactly stuff you can pad your resume with.
Gaga didn’t do herself any favors in court, referring to O’Neill as an offensive name, and who she claimed was ungrateful for the 5-star hotels she got to stay in and the first-class flights she took. To be fair, it’s not like anyone could enjoy chilling in the VIP if all they had to look forward to was making their boss a 4 AM chicken salad.
13. Katy Perry Doesn’t Talk To Limo Drivers
If your job involves driving Katy Perry around, don’t expect to make small talk. The celeb is notoriously shy when it comes to “chatting with the help,” even going so far as to write a rather curiously long list of demands that her limo drivers must follow.
What’s on the list, you say? Well for starters, drivers have to stay behind the steering wheel at all times (a given), the driver can’t start a conversation with Perry (umm, okay) or anyone else in her entourage (this could get impractical), and finally, the somewhat odd statement that, “the driver will never assume, always ask if in doubt.”
So If you’re Perry’s limo driver, never talk to her, unless you have to ask her something. Does she ever get where she’s going, or does the driver just meander around Hollywood until she tells them to stop? Scratch that, we doubt any driving happens period since the driver will be too busy reading the 45-page contract. Seriously.
12. Jennifer Lopez Hates Eye Contact
Jennifer Lopez‘s ascent after her initial success as a dancer on the popular 90s comedy show In Living Color has been meteoric, and with any ascent to fame come rumors of, “diva” behavior and unreasonable demands.
The rumors were so pervasive that J.Lo was even satirized on an episode of South Park as a shallow, egocentric typical starlet. But was it justified? Well maybe, if you consider her staff not being allowed to make eye contact or even in most cases to talk to her.
Other weird rules her staff have to follow? They have to stay between J.Lo and her autograph-and-selfie-seeking fans, as she’s notoriously autograph-phobic. She also demands that her dressing rooms be outfitted with all-white everything, from furniture to flowers to curtains. Maybe she’s allergic to fans and colors?
11. Kanye West Walks On Pre-Smoothed Carpets
To say that Kanye West‘s career has been ego-driven is probably the understatement of the century. The guy’s claimed in his lyrics that “Jesus walks” with him, and that “you can’t tell [him] nothing.” Kanye’s been able to use his ego as a battering ram against seemingly any career roadblock in his way. At the same time, though, it shouldn’t be surprising that the guy who married Kim Kardashian would place some odd demands on his staff, namely that he asked one to iron his dressing room carpet so that it wouldn’t be “too bumpy,” because that’s a problem non-famous people have.
Don’t get us wrong, Kanye’s a genius and likely has the eccentricities that come along with talent. His former bodyguards’ claims that Kanye doesn’t push his own elevator buttons, and that he was fired for introducing himself to Kim are beyond eccentric, though; they’re just plain weird. Maybe if Kanye stopped drinking so many slushies from his personal backstage drink machine he’d be a bit more reasonable?
10. Justin Bieber Has Staff Who Carry His Pepsi
Widely criticized as a “bad boy” of pop music until fairly recently, Justin Bieber seems to have cleaned up his act as of late. Even though the guy’s musical output is pretty sparse, he’s still stayed on the pop music radar in a big away after a brief time out of the spotlight.
As a result of his fairly intense touring schedule, Justin’s personal assistants have to follow some pretty specific rules and perform some very… specialized tasks, no doubt requiring all of their accumulated skills and schooling, The Biebs has staff who literally fly around the world with him and do nothing but hold his drinks, and/or food items.
The guy’s only got two hands, right? He’s got to sign those autographs, throw up peace signs, and reach into his pockets for the giant wads of cash he’s accumulated over his very brief life. Let’s be honest, though. He probably pays his human cup holders well.
9. Adele Orders Room Service From Another Town
It makes sense that so many rock star behavior stories come from hotel visits. The volatile mix of a burned-out star, their frazzled and overworked management team, and the hotel staff walking on eggshells to please the celebrities makes for a disaster just waiting to blow.
While Adele‘s not renowned for trashing any hotel rooms (yet?), the “Rolling In The Deep” singer does seem to have a penchant for making unreasonable demands, like the time she ordered pizza at the Soho Farmhouse hotel in Oxfordshire… but not from room service.
Staff hard to go over 140 miles away to a pizza place in Kensington to pick up the pie. Besides Adele demanding distant pizza, she refuses to use “low quality” markers to do autographs (only Sharpies will do), and won’t drink domestic US wine, opting instead for European only. And what’s worse is that she didn’t even eat that pizza.
8. Mariah Carey Makes Staff Walk Backwards
Mariah Carey has had a bad go of it over the last little while. Her well-publicized feud with Eminem led to some degree of embarrassment, and her 2017 New Year’s performance was a trainwreck, with Mariah even stopping the proceedings to complain about the audio mix and basically storming off.
Hey, maybe it’s all been karma for some of the weird stuff she’s made her long-suffering staff do. For instance, when Mariah appeared on GMTV in 2009, she demanded that two staffers lower her into her seat to avoid crinkling her dress. Then there were those times she made staff walk backward in front of her, in case she fell over.
Demeaning? Yeah. Totally unexpected? No, considering that Mariah won’t sleep without at least 15 humidifiers surrounding her bed, spends days in absolute silence to save her voice, and regularly bills hotels hundreds of thousands of dollars to redecorate her suites to her personal tastes. Her dog even has its own chauffeur. Mariah may be the queen of divas.
7. Justin Timberlake Is A Germaphobe
Now, OCD is no laughing matter. Justin Timberlake suffers from the condition, and though he says he has a decent handle on it, he nevertheless makes some pretty extreme demands on staff that he interacts with on a regular basis.
For one thing, his assistants and hotel staff must ensure that the doorknob of his hotel room is disinfected every 2 hours. A rumor even went around that Timberlake and his then-girlfriend Jessica Biel got into an argument about the way Timberlake’s fridge was arranged, as Timberlake can spend hours a day organizing his house due to his OCD.
On the bright side, Timberlake says he’s gotten help for his condition, so hopefully, things are going better for him. If there’s an upside to OCD at all, it’s that sufferers are often compelled to excel at their professions, and Timberlake’s certainly had a ton of success.
6. Rod Stewart Has To Sleep In Total Darkness
Rod Stewart‘s basically had a 50+ year career at this point. The guy seems like he’s been around forever. And hey, maybe there’s a reason for that. Ever seen him in front of a mirror? Okay, so Rod’s probably not a vampire, but there has to be some reason he can still rock the house at 72.
Well, there is one thing. The guy obviously needs his sleep to keep going at this point, what with the rigors of touring wearing on guys a third of his age. The solution is to have his staff of personal room darkeners visit every hotel room Sir Rod stays in, and apply tape to every possible area that light could get in.
Apparently, Rod’s quite a stickler for this nocturnal room treatment and won’t stay in a room that hasn’t been sunlight-proofed first. So wait, are we sure the guy’s not a vampire? Someone offer him some garlic shrimp…
5. Steve Harvey’s Staff Rules Aren’t Very Funny
Steve Harvey puts himself across as a pretty funny, lighthearted guy on his daytime talk show. Guy’s a big success as well. But if there’s one takeaway from this list, as well as the rest of the pieces you’ve likely seen over the years about diva-ish or unreasonable star behavior, know that appearances can be deceiving.
Working for Steve Harvey sounds about as much fun as working for a sketchy dictator, as Harvey demands that staff not talk to him, stop “ambushing” him in the hallways (do they set up traps as well?), and not to open his dressing room door, or they will “be removed.”
Well, you have to give it to Steve. He, unlike many on this list, fully admits to the accounting of his staff rules being accurate. But then, he doesn’t really have a choice as they were revealed in a leaked email, which was probably released due to Steve firing almost his entire cast when his show moved from Chicago to LA. Ouch.
4. Morrissey Refuses To Be Anywhere Near Meat
Acclaimed singer and songwriter of The Smiths and his own eponymous solo project, with a career spanning over 30 years at this point, Morrissey has probably earned the right to act like just a little bit of a diva.
However, not only is Moz regularly mocked for his outlandish demands and requests of his staff and assistants, he’s regarded as perhaps the unsafest bet in current live music, with cancellations galore. What does Morrissey demand? Basically, he’s hardcore vegetarian and won’t let meat near him. That includes his entire road crew, band, backstage area, and stage. He’s backed out of shows after finding meat in his deli tray. Like BBQ? You’re DOA.
While the notoriously reclusive singer is reportedly quite well-mannered in interviews, he does have quite a rider for his live shows, and also demands a driver be available to him at any time, as well as a backstage full of flowers, tea, and non-florescent lighting. And of course, no chicken legs, kebabs, racks of rib, hamburgers, etc.
3. Van Halen’s Famous M&M Rule
We’re counting venue staff on this list because some of the things they’re asked to do are just too weird. Case in point: the classic tales of venue crews who have had to pick the brown M&Ms out of Eddie Van Halen and company’s backstage spreads.
There was a method to this madness, though, besides annoying the backstage staff. Many of the huge rock stars of the era did ask for everything and the kitchen sink on their show riders, but Van Halen’s request was made for safety reasons.
VH concerts were lavish affairs, with complex lighting rigs and stage gear, 9 trucks worth when venues were expecting 3 tops. By putting the M&M request at the end of their gear setup checklist, VH made sure the staff had actually read the list and knew how to set it all up. Brown M&Ms still there before the curtain went up? Van Halen bailed on the show.
2. Dick Cheney Likes His Fox TV
What kind of harsh and strict rules does the man often referred to as the Darth Vader of American politics place on the staff that surrounds him during his hotel stays? Well, the website The Smoking Gun released his “rider” in 2006. They’re not so bad, just… kind of odd.
While Dick Cheney is no Cher when it comes to demands, his staff are tasked with ensuring that his suite and his wife’s separate room are set up in a particular fashion. For one thing, Dick insists that all televisions in his vicinity display only the Fox News channel because Dick loves the fairness and balance of their reporting.
He also really likes Diet Sprite (caffeine-free only), a temperature of 68 degrees, and if he can get it, Perrier water only. It’s kind of odd, since you’d figure Dick would avoid all things French, but hey, it’s a popular brand.
1. Professional “Asset Enhancers” Exist, And Pink Has One
Quick, think of the most sought-after celebrity assistant jobs. Would you want to be the personal coffee-fetcher and daily planner? The driver? The bodyguard? Or the person who has to enhance the way a celebrity’s clothing fits their body?
Kind of hard to believe this is a thing, and yet it is. Granted, Pink‘s “enhancer” probably has other duties as well as strict rules to follow.
While it’s fairly bizarre for the everyday person to imagine employing staff to do everything for them, from fetching them frosty diet Cokes to adjusting every article of clothing, at the end of the day, it’s a living – an awkward, awkward living.
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