Star fees sparkle for office parties
Celebrities busy taking part in annual company gatherings at year end. -China Daily/ANN
Most entertainment stars will raise their appearance fees by as much as 50 percent for private parties during the Spring Festival holiday, insiders revealed.
On a 12-page "celebrity appearance fee list" from a Beijing-based performance company, nearly 400 singers, brands, actors, actresses and cross-talk comedians are listed alongside charges for their popular songs or talents.
The list shows that top-level superstars such as Taiwan pop singer Jolin Tsai and Hong Kong singer Kelly Chen require around 600,000 yuan (S$124,980) to sing their classic songs. The most expensive superstar on the list is Andy Lau, whose name is followed by a fee of more than one million yuan for his signature song Ai ni yi wan nian, or Love you for 10,000 years.
More than 50 percent of the stars on the list require between 30,000 and 50,000 yuan to sing two to three songs. Meanwhile, cross-talk comedians charge much less.
The most popular cross-talk celebrities, such as Guo Degang and Yu Qian, have a performance tag of between 140,000 and 200,000 yuan (S$29,162 to S$41,600).
"These fees relate to normal times of the year. However, during Spring Festival, the prices will be raised by 30 to 50 percent," said a project manager surnamed Li, who works for an unnamed private cultural business.
He told METRO that most entertainment or agent companies have their own databanks, which hold the contact details and commercial performance fees of celebrities from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
"Our clients choose their favorite stars and then we liaise with their agents. Success in a deal depends on the celebrities' schedules and whether they want to perform," he said.
Former celebrity agent Jiang Yin, 28, revealed more.
"Actually, almost every celebrity will go if they are paid enough," she said.
However, Jiang said most top celebrities are reluctant to perform at private parties to preserve their appeal.
"Celebrities need to keep a certain distance to arouse fascination by their fans," she said.
Jiang added that celebrities catering to the preferences of the wealthy might be criticized for bending their talent to suit commercial gain.
Accompanying the risk of coming under fire is news that celebrities earn a minor fraction of the fee.
"Singers who sign their first contract are only allowed to get 10 percent of the total appearance fees. It becomes 20 percent the following year and consecutively increases if they grow in popularity," Jiang said.
In a Beijing-based survey of the party preferences of more than 30 large enterprises in various fields, IT companies were noted to prefer popular singers and cross-talk comedians while real estate companies like sports stars.
A PR officer with Baidu revealed their annual party this year had invited three renowned singers, including Singaporean pop singer Tanya Chua, R&B star Hu Yanbin and last year's Supergirl winner Jiang Yingrong.
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