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Are Nicki Minaj's Backstage Demands Outrageous—or Super Reasonable?

Nicki Minaj, Stupid Hoe Video Cash Money Records Inc.

I just read about Nicki Minaj's backstage demands, like two dozen roses in her room and candles that smell like "baked goods." Is that normal for a pop star?
—Play4Food, via the inbox

For somebody whose debut album went platinum in a month, and whose track record includes having seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time, Nicki Minaj's rider demands aren't even close to diva.

Seriously, she's quite tame:

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First, let's take a closer look at what Minaj reportedly asks for backstage. The list supposedly includes: dried cranberries, almonds and 24 bottles of Dasani water, half on ice, plus fried chicken, throat drops and other cheap odds and ends. Roses sound spendy, but then again, it's only two dozen.

"Not that bad," a music industry insider tells me.

Now. Let's take a look at some other acts and their demands.

A handy source for such intelligence is The Smoking Gun, which collects juicy documents of all manner and class. Such as? Hey, glad you asked. Check out this report on strict vegetarian Paul McCartney:

"Paul McCartney...won't travel in a stretch limousine with leather seats, and will not stand for backstage furniture made of any animal skin or print (even if it's of the artificial variety)," according to information TSG got regarding his 2002 world tour.

Additionally, McCartney insists that all venues be swept by bomb-sniffing dogs prior to his arrival, as well as this:

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"McCartney also provides promoters with an amusing list of plant demands, one that concludes with this underlined admonition: 'No trees please! We want plants that are just as full on the bottom as the top such as palm, bamboo, peace lilies, etc. No tree trunks!'"

And if that sounds picky, check out Katy Perry's reported requests.

The girl brings in big audiences, and with that, apparently, comes a big set of asks, per The Smoking Gun. As in, 45 pages worth. Perry's rider indicates that her dressing room needs to be draped in cream or soft pink and must have two cream-colored egg chairs, "one of which should have a footstool." The coffee table, however, must be "perspex modern style."

"A pair of floor lamps should be in 'French ornate style,'" the Gun's summary says, "and the singer's refrigerator must come with a glass door."

Of course, musicians argue that these demands help ensure that people are paying attention to their contracts and doing their jobs.

But compare to anything in a "French ornate style," Minaj's demands seem modest and reasonable. Just like her hair, right?

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