Craziest artist riders, part two

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Dressing room

Last time, Mike presented some of the craziest artist riders, which included Katy Perry, Iggy Pop, Van Halen, and the Foo Fighters.

While Katy Perry demanded "ABSOLUTELY NO CARNATIONS," the Foo Fighters took a lighter approach with odd and funny requests like "one bag of Pirate Booty (but not Johnny Depp's), 24 large bath towels (under threat of a wedgie), 75 pounds of ice, and vegetarian soup (lest there be flatulence among the road crew)."

Since it's public knowledge that some celebrities go a bit over-the-top when it comes to creating a list of requests, it should come as no surprise when I say here are five additional crazy artist riders, plus three of the most reasonable.


You know I love Beyonce. Given that she's kind of a big deal, I'd expect nothing more than extravagant requests for her tour. A few weeks back, the rider for Beyonce's Mrs. Carter Show World Tour supposedly leaked, and here are some of the items on it.

  • Freshly painted white walls
  • A new toilet seat
  • Hand-carved ice balls — AKA ice cubes
  • Red toilet paper
  • No junk food
  • 100% pure cotton clothes for her staff — obviously Queen Bey thinks of others
  • Titanium drinking straws — a cool $935 each

I don't even know if these are true, but what Beyonce wants, Beyonce gets.


Considering he's one-half of one of the most influential celebrity couples of our time, I would expect Jay-Z, like Beyonce, to have a long list of things he'd like in his dressing room. His rider is from 2009, when he performed at the University of Arizona and made nearly $1 million for his set. A few things he requested, and got:

  • Dressing room temperature set at 72 degrees
  • "Good quality" peanut butter and jelly — none of that combined peanut butter and jelly in one jar for Jay, thanks
  • One late model of a large, black SUV with tinted windows
  • One 15-passenger van
  • One cargo van with no seats
  • A carpeted dressing room, sans fluorescent lighting, with "tasteful" furniture
  • Peppermint Altoids

Some things Jay-Z requested, but didn't get, because this event was taking place at a school after all:

  • A late-model black Maybach with tinted windows
  • One martini shaker
  • 12 shot glasses
  • One pack of Marlboro lights
  • Sapporo beer, vodka, tequila, and two bottles of $300 champagne

So he didn't get any tobacco or alcohol or that $400,000 car he requested. Other than that, I don't find all of these requests unreasonable. After all, nobody likes fluorescent lighting. Not even Jay-Z.

John Mayer

This rider is technically from John Mayer Trio, which is led by John Mayer, so it's as good as his. Although he has plenty of "normal" requests, like sandwich items and fruits, he also wants a couple of items that seem quite specific. And they all relate to his mouth area.

  • Four "soft head" toothbrushes
  • One bottle of Listerine
  • Two packages of Altoids
  • Two small tubes of mint-flavored toothpaste, specifically Sensodyne or Tom's of Maine
  • Four organic lip balms
  • One box of "kid" cereal, like Cap'n Crunch, Count Chocula, Lucky Charms, Cookie Crisp, or Cinnamin Toast Crunch

Kid cereal? I'd totally be on board with that. And the four lip balms may seem excessive, but those things tend to get lost. A lot. I have yet to meet someone who has needed a new lip balm because they finished their last one. You buy a new one because you lost the handful of others you had lying around.

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera has long been called a diva, which I think is a little unfair. Is it really that big of a deal that her rider includes a police escort so she doesn't hit traffic? Traffic is the worst, and if there's a way around it... Truthfully, her rider isn't too bad. She mostly just requests clean, tidy rooms for her and her entourage, but there are a few very specific and/or unusual requests:

  • No Styrofoam OR plastic items can be used during the catering process, due to "the state of our environment"
  • Soy cheese
  • Oreos or chocolate chip cookies
  • Nesquick
  • Flintsones chewable vitamins

I find her requests oddly adorable and optimistic. I mean, we all WANT to eat soy cheese (or whatever healthy food), but given the choice, we're totally going to go for the chocolate chip cookies every single time.

Lady Gaga

Her 2010 rider doesn't include meat dresses, which is thoroughly disappointing. However, Gaga asks for very specific requirements in her dressing room, including a rolling (not stationary) clothing rack, three separate electrical circuits, cable television, five lamps (WITH WORKING BULBS!! so says the list). Apart from that, she mostly asks that certain things not be present:

  • Cheese served with cheese and cracker platter must not be smelly nor sweaty (ew)
  • Ice MUST NOT be served at the venue any later than 30 minutes prior to Gaga taking the stage
  • No political banners
  • No spiked/studded belts or bracelets
  • No crash helmets

Who is the Little Monster that tried to bring a crash helmet into her last show?

Bonus: Most reasonable artist riders

There are a few celebrities who are down-to-earth and still want to be treated like humans when they go on tour. That would probably not be me, since everyone is telling you that you can have literally whatever you want, so I would totally be on board that "gimme everything" train. However, these three artists have pretty humble riders.

  • Kelly Clarkson: Kelly asks for bottle water, hot water, coffee mugs, honey and lemons, sugar-free gum, and some nice towels. Her rider even includes the word "please."
  • Shakira: She humbly requests two trash cans, a box of Kleenex, and a plastic ice bucket. That's it.
  • Selena Gomez: Selena could totally be one of those young divas who asks for everything under the sun. But really, she just wants stuff to make turkey and cheese sandwiches.

What would your rider look like?