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From: The New York Post
Original Story: Click HereFor Link
By: KATE STOREY

Want to throw your kid a Sweet 16 she’ll never forget?

For a cool $250,000, Usher will turn up and sing “Happy Birthday,” Jeremy Piven will carry out the dessert tray for $50,000 and Dennis Rodman will DJ at the party for the bargain fee of $20,000.

Increasingly, all kinds of celebrities are available for hire — at every event imaginable.

While it was reported this week that Jennifer Lopez has earned $9 million performing for tyrants around the world over the past two years, a growing number of celebs are making big bucks entertaining regular fans at private soirees.

“People love celebrities, and every star has a price,” says New York-based celebrity booker Matt Altman, owner of Headline Booking Group, which connects celebrities with people hoping to brighten their bashes with star power.

 

Not all stars are willing to perform for despots, but many will turn up at your party if you’re able to shell out. Want the Piano Man? Or to be sung “Margaritaville” by the man who wrote the song? Billy Joel or Jimmy Buffett will do it — as long as you can pay more than a million dollars.

In the past five years, the niche entertainment business of booking celebrities for private parties has grown, as elite New Yorkers compete to throw bigger, better, splashier events for their children and other loved ones.

Usually stars don’t brag about their freelance work, preferring to keep any moonlighting hush-hush. But, with social media, details can get out: In June, when Nicki Minaj was hired to perform at a New York bar mitzvah, she later tweeted: “Just left the Bar Mitzvah. Bout to shut NY downnnnn.”

Along with weddings and bar mitzvahs, one-on-one meetings are available, too.

In 2009, an unidentified Iraqi businessman paid about $20,000 for his daughter to meet her favorite pop star, Miley Cyrus, backstage at a concert.

The lucky fan attended the sound check, hung out with her idol and sat front-row for the concert.

The kindhearted Cyrus donated her fee to charity.

But that was small fry. Kanye and Jay-Z scored $3 million each to perform at a Sweet 16 for the daughter of an Arab billionaire in 2011, according to MediaTakeOut.com.

That same year, Kanye turned down former NBC honcho Jeff Zucker when he offered a measly $1 million to play at his son’s lavish Four Seasons bar mitzvah, according to Page Six. Zucker settled for the more modestly priced Drake.

In 2009, Usher made his quarter-million fee when he surprised a birthday girl by emerging from a kitchen at a London club while singing “Happy Birthday,”. Piven, meanwhile, made $50,000 in 2006 for appearing at a San Francisco party for an hour, bearing confectionary treats, according to a DC-based celeb-booking agency.

But it’s not just the super-rich who can book a star for their party — anyone can do it, especially if they’re eager to hang with a reality TV star.

Many Bravo celebs go for less than $1,000 for personal appearances; Erica Gimbel from “Princesses: Long Island” has a low, low rate of $500, reveals another.

One-hit wonders can also keep the checks coming long after they fall from iTunes rotation, but they’re not as cheap as you might think.

Remember Iyaz? Probably not, but you may recall his 2010 song of the summer, “Replay.” The young singer pocketed $30,000 for each of back-to-back bar mitzvahs — one in Manhattan, one on Long Island — according to Esterman.

The legendary Beach Boys, less surprisingly, are very much in demand.

Chey Reynolds, as Verizon’s group manager of marketing communications, wanted to add a little wow to a Vegas conference in April 2010. She Googled “celebrity appearances” and found the legendary ’60s pop band.

“Everyone was blown away. They were as impressed as hell with the Beach Boys. When Stamos came out, it brought the whole thing together, he was phenomenal,” says Reynolds, who has also hired Kool and the Gang for a disco party and Buddy Guy for another bash.

“There’s a little bit of a one-upmanship with trade shows and conferences,” she says. “You see it with the tech companies. It’s amazing who they’ll bring in for a night of entertainment.”

According to one booking agent, the formula for a star’s asking price is their level of wealth plus their level of fame, in addition to the logistics of the event — like how far the performer will need to travel. (All travel costs and accommodations are paid for by the buyer on top of the asking price.)