Singers are turning to performing at wedding parties

  • Collin Rodrigues, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 16, 2014 19:01 IST

Live performances are a common feature at weddings these days. And who better than Bollywood celebs to pull off such acts. But it isn’t just the big film stars who are on the ‘most wanted’ list of the affluent, to shake a leg at their weddings. Their list also features popular musicians, who are often sought-after due to their expertise in performing live.

Sonu Nigam performing

Musicians, like actors, make sure that they cash in on the basis of their popularity. Sources from the industry, and many of those who aspire to dance to Mika or Sonu Nigam’s live performances at their weddings, reveal the fees that some of these singers demand.

According to insiders, the king of Bollywood bhangra, Mika, is believed to be the highest earner in this regard. A source says, “He charges nearly `40 lakh for 90 minutes,” and that is just his fee. His other demands include nearly 15 air tickets, three rooms in a five-star hotel and another five in a three- or four-star hotel. The other popular singer at such functions seems to be Sonu Nigam, who is also believed to charge the same amount, but for a longer duration. “Sonu generally performs for three hours,” we are told by Delhi-based entrepreneur, Kapil Sharma*, who hosted the singer at his brother’s wedding. But Sonu’s entourage compensates for the extra time he puts in on stage. “About 34 people travel with him. He also demands three presidential suites, five rooms in a five-star hotel and 14 in a four-star hotel, plus four business class air tickets. His team travels economy,” says Kapil.

Another big name is Pritam, who allegedly takes home `32-`33 lakh for a two-hour performance. However, his rates are believed to be negotiable. He also asks for 13 economy class air tickets for his back-up singers and business class seats for himself and the main singers, besides a suite for himself.

Singer Shaan apparently demands a lower fee. Namit Chopra*, whose family hired him for a performance, says, “Shaan charges about `30 lakh for a 135-minute act. He also asks for three business class and nine economy class air tickets, as well as a suite and five-six other rooms.”

While searching for the perfect performer, Chopra had also got quotes from other singers. He informs that Sukhwinder Singh is said to charge around Rs 27.5 lakh for a two-and-a-half hours long gig. The singer’s 14-member team has to be put up in three to four rooms at a five-star hotel. Bappi Lahiri, though very senior, still performs at weddings. “He charges `25 lakh for three hours, and needs eight air tickets. He stays in a five-star hotel, while his team is put up at a four-star hotel,” reveals Chopra.

The fee charged by the female singers, however, is said to be nominal in comparison. Mamta Sharma, supposedly takes home `10 lakh for such performances. Hyderabad-based designer Madhu Jain, who wanted to rope in a singer to perform at her sangeet ceremony, revealed that Mamta, besides her fee, had a few other expectations. “She asked for two business and five economy class air tickets, one suite and a single room,” says Jain.

Meanwhile, if you want singer Hard Kaur to perform at your wedding, you’d have to apparently shell out about `9.5 lakh, plus 12.36 per cent service tax. According to Chopra, Kaur also asks for one business class and nine economy class air tickets, one suite and a single room at a five-star hotel, plus four double rooms in a three- or four-star hotel.

So, next time you think it might be more cost effective to rope in these artistes instead of actors, think again.

*Names have been changed

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