Did Beyonce get paid less than Ariana Grande & The Weeknd for Coachella?

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Beyonce’s Homecoming documentary on Netflix reminded everyone that what Beyonce did at Coachella was epic, time-consuming and amazing. Beyonce prepared for her Coachella concerts for months, and Netflix captured that journey. The doc also made people wonder: did Beyonce get PAID for that? Considering the amount of work she put in, surely she was the highest-paid Coachella performer in history? No, not really. There was some controversy about the idea that Ariana Grande might have been paid more than Bey, but The Blast corrected the record: Ari and Bey got paid the same.

Ariana Grande and Beyoncé got paid the same amount to headline Coachella, despite reports saying the “7 Rings” singer made double. It was reported this week that Grande was paid $8 million for the high-profile gig and that Bey only got $4 million for her iconic performance. Those numbers are only half true.

According to our sources, the Grande number is accurate and Bey did get $4 million … for each show. We’re told the contracts for Grande and Beyoncé were structured exactly the same way — $4 million for the first weekend and another $4 million for the second.

[From The Blast]

I’m glad Ariana didn’t get more than Beyonce, but… did they really deserve the same paycheck?? No disrespect to Ariana, but really?? Also: TooFab reported that The Weeknd made more than Ariana and Beyonce:

It has been revealed The Weeknd may have also made more than Beyonce for his 2018 Coachella performance, if initial reports are to be believed about the “Drunk in Love” singer’s salary.

A trusted source told TooFab The Weeknd was paid more than $8 million to headline last year. The Beyhive collectively lost their minds this week over speculation Ariana Grande made twice as much as Queen Bey for her Coachella performance — with Grande reported to be in the same neighborhood as The Weeknd and Beyonce supposedly only pulling in $3 million – $4 million.

[From TooFab]

That would be the bigger WTFery. And I’m saying that as someone who likes The Weeknd’s music too, but is he more deserving of a bigger paycheck? Why?

Also: Beyonce is getting paid, just not by Coachella. Beyonce’s Homecoming was part of a three-feature/documentary deal with Netflix, and Beyonce inked the deal for $60 million. Good for her. I wonder if Netflix offered her more money than HBO?

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Photos courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment.

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45 Responses to “Did Beyonce get paid less than Ariana Grande & The Weeknd for Coachella?”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I’m not sure that Ariana and Beyoncé should be paid the same, but I am not really familiar with Ariana’s music or performances, so of course I’m biased towards Beyoncé. But at least Ariana wasn’t paid more.

    • Mgsota says:

      I watched Homecoming…which was awesome. It made me tear up a few times. I’m not even a part of the beehive but to watch this woman work so incredibly hard was touching. Just having twins, having a family and putting in the hours and effort she did… pulled at the heartstrings. I kept saying, is she even going to break even?? because obviously millions were spent just getting the show ready…but that Netflix deal. Yah.

    • Lilly says:

      Beyonce had a back end deal, so will make more in the long run than all of them.

  2. Monicack says:

    Tell him boy bye.

  3. Gutterflower says:

    I’m not a fan of Beyonce at all, but she put in way more effort and deserves to be rewarded for that.

    • Michael says:

      They are not paid based on effort. They are paid based on their draw and how much money they can bring in

      • Kitten says:

        True, but does Ariana draw more fans than Beyonce? I know that Ari has a pretty big following but…BEYONCE.

      • Beth says:

        @Kitten. They probably draw about the same number of attendees which is why the contracts were structured the same. Beyonce probably has more devoted fans, but each person still only buys one ticket.

  4. TheBees says:

    No they should not have been paid the same. Period. Now I can see how this happened if they factored in Beyoncé’s home coming footage and music release, which I’m hoping that they had no rights to. but still, there are levels to performances and AG is not near Beyonce.

  5. Taya says:

    I was there for Beychella and Ari. Beyonce was way better. I actually know people who didn’t even bother to stay for Ari’s whole set.

  6. Goofpuff says:

    Who cares about AG? How about the Weekend getting paid more than bey? We need to stop pitting women against each other when it really should be WTF with the men.

    • Loopy says:

      Yeah shocked how the weekend can get more..Beyonce gets even better after 20 years bit atleast she was able to use that performance for bigger deals. Which artist would get 60mil for 3 docs?

    • Wow says:

      If there were women making more than her also it doesn’t really matter if the weekend was paid more. Thats not really an example of pay inequality, more of an example of her representation not negotiating well.

  7. WelcomeToATL says:

    Ariana had more leverage going in to Coachella negotiations, because Kanye had just canceled on them as headlining act. So they were dealing with relatively short notice to find a new headliner, and I’m sure Ariana’s management team knew that and were able to use that in negotiations for a bigger payday than she may have normally gotten.

  8. Chica71 says:

    Gender and pay discrimination. The black female worked twice as hard to get the same as the white gurl with less experience, and both get lower pay compared to the male with one hit record.

  9. Loopy says:

    What’s that saying that a black woman needs to be exceptional to get even half of what a white mediocre one will get.

  10. Alissa says:

    although I think Beyonce is the better performer, I don’t see an issue with her and Ariana getting paid the same given where Ariana’s career is right now. she is the best selling pop artist currently. I have no idea why the weekend would even be paid a similar amount to either of them though, let alone more, and I also like his music.

    • Michael says:

      The Weeknd is hugely popular and had just dropped an album with all sort of references to Selena Gomez and Bella Hadid. It was must see for many people. Not saying he should have gotten more than Beyonce but it is surely not his fault. The Coachella management is probably sexist just like they are homophobic (see their support for anti LGBTQ legislation)

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “it is surely not his fault”

        Is someone is stupid enough to write me check for $5 million to sing at a concert or play football, I will be smart enough to cash it.

    • BchyYogi says:

      We WON’T remember either AG or Weekend in five years; Bey has HISTORY, and quite likely staying power. I blame her negotiator; she took Coachella from a dress up party to a high end venue.

      • Jessie says:

        Nah. Ariana has one of the best voices we’ve seen in literal decades. She’s here to stay.

  11. Feebee says:

    One could argue Beyoncé is simply a bigger name and drawcard and so should be paid more but in terms of performances, it’s Bey’s choice to do things as she does. I could see an event/promoter saying “We’re paying you to turn up and sing. If you want to make it a whole production that’s up to you.” It would be a little disingenuous but that wouldn’t be surprising.

    I don’t know what The Weekend is doing in the conversation. He’s not on the same level.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I would not know who The Weekend is if I was standing behind him in the check-out line at the grocery store.

  12. Lizzie says:

    i like ariana grande enough and i wouldn’t pay as much for a concert ticket for her as i would for beyonce…but that’s not what coachella is. people go in droves regardless of the headliner. and ariana grande is pretty huge right now. the only person bigger is beyonce. no one is in the same category as beyonce but as far as music goes they are certainly in the same echelon, however temporarily. that is just a fact.

    if AG’s manager negotiated for more money – that’s between the managers and the promoters. i don’t like that this is being framed like beyonce vs AG when neither were sitting at the table negotiating. i love beyonce but she most certainly doesn’t write her own contracts. also – i think beyonce does beyonce’s thing regardless of the payday. that’s just how she operates. yes beyonce works harder than everyone but was she expected to put on THAT show? no. probably not. she could have sat on a stool and the coachella people would have been thrilled. she did that for fans, for a documentary deal and b/c that is how she is wired.

    • Monicack says:

      I’m more troubled by your assumption that neither Bey nor AG were at the negotiation table.

      • Lizzie says:

        don’t trouble yourself.

        celebrities have business managers and accountants. beyonce might walk on water but if you think she single highhandedly came up with asking for rights to her performance and inking a deal with netflix outside of “i’d like to do a doc, shop it around” you’re nuts.

        ariana grande barely has an elementary school education. scooter braun does her bidding. she shows up to the gig.

  13. deezee says:

    I watched a little bit of Homecoming and I can see a lot of work went into making a precise performance. Does that mean she should be paid more? No
    Her work ethic and positive word of mouth is good PR for her, but no one asked her to put more effort into the concert than another artist. That was her own decision based on the image she wishes to project. There is nothing wrong with that, not at all. But it doesn’t make her worthy of more money after the fact.

    • Olive says:

      I don’t think she deserves more money AFTER the fact, but Netflix should’ve known from the start the kind of perfectionist and ambitious artist they were dealing with, that she is known for putting a lot of work into her performances and image and should’ve given her more upfront in recognition/anticipation of that.

      • deezee says:

        No Netflix paid her well. It was Coachella that paid her the same as other artists irregardless of the amount of work that was put into the performance.

  14. B squared says:

    They say Beyoncé negotiated full rights with Coachella for her performance. She was then paid by Netflix $20M for Homecoming with a $60 M overall deal with them, which includes two additional movies. Issa win.

    https://netflixlife.com/2019/04/22/beyonce-2-more-netflix-movies-homecoming/

  15. Josephine says:

    I just came to say that in that cover photo, Beyonce looks 20 years old. She’s really stunning, doesn’t need all the make-up and costumes to look gorgeous.

    As for the pay dispute, hard for me to worry too much about superstars who must have excellent representation negotiating their deals even if I absolutely agree that women are almost always unfairly paid less.

    • Kitten says:

      I actually clicked to say the same. I’m sure she has *some* makeup on but good LORD she is a stunning woman.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree, she is stunning.

      I’m not huge fans of any of them, but I don’t see any issue in the 3 big headliners being paid the same. If The Weeknd was really paid double, that is so, so wrong, but it may be incorrect reports, like those about AG.

  16. Iknow says:

    Beyonce walked away with the rights to her Coachella performance. That’s why she was able to ink the Netflix deal without nary a penny going to Coachella. That kind of leverage, Ariana doesn’t have. Beyonce isn’t bothered by them getting paid the same amount, she owns the rights, to arguably, the best live performance ever.

    • truthSF says:

      Queen B indeed!👸🏿 Owning the rights to your stuff is owning yourself! I love that a black woman used her star “power” to do just that!!🙏🏾

    • Snazzy says:

      Ohhh that’s a very good point. I came here to be angry about the fact that the Weeknd got paid more but in fact he may have for the show but obviously not really. She really does know her stuff. Queen B indeed

  17. Yes Doubtful says:

    I’ll be the lone wolf here…I love Beyonce, but I wasn’t impressed with Homecoming on Netflix. She only performed maybe 1-2 minutes of each song – even the hits. Was it the editing? That said, I’m torn about the pay issue. Beyonce is an icon and has had a long career, but Ariana is the hottest pop star in the game right now, so I can see why they were paid the same. The Weeknd should not have been paid more than them though. That is the real issue here.

    • Snowslow says:

      I honestly did not understand Homecoming and found it incredibly boring + and slightly out of touch (Ariana is the new hot thing). I am definitely not her target audience but I can still appreciate entertainment and her angry/fierce/self-affirming persona is really not my jam. It’s also weird to me that someone is empowering by being idealised, adored and celebrated just for looking angry/fierce/self-affirming. Nevertheless, I appreciate the fact that she gives PoC in the US a lot of dignity and representation, even if I very honestly am super suspicious of that kind of empowerment.
      Another thing about this ‘but BEY works so hard’. I felt that her film is there to show precisely how hard she works, which again is an American ethos that I think doesn’t translate to Europe. You don’t see Nicole Kidman, Pink (who works her *SS off for her concerts), Nancy Pelosi, Barak Obama and many other people who are so committed to their craft insist on this I’m so special and yet I work so hard kind of thing. I find it so weird and off-putting but totally her profile and her choice – Coachella invites her and she does whatever is her thing.
      The Weeknd earning more than both ladies is a mystery and if true heartbreaking – and I say this as someone who prefers his music to AG or B’s.

      • otaku fairy... says:

        Part of the reason why she may feel the need to emphasize the fact that she works hard may be because people on both sides try to attribute all of her success to being with Jay-Z (putting it mildly there), among other things. Pink is in the same field as her, but people haven’t been half as hateful about her.

    • Slowsnow says:

      @otaku fairy
      I didn’t know she was accused of riding his wave which is deplorable as she really is her own artist and performer. She definitely does not need him. In a way, they make each other which is what I thought people said about them, they are a Power Couple.

  18. Gianna says:

    While whatching the documentary the thought popped into my head “Good Lord it must be insanely expensive to pay 200 performers when they are rehearsing every day for 8 months!” If Coachella was financing all the rehearsals and the cost of the production then Beyoncé’s shows were substantially more expensive so Coachella was technically “paying more for Beyonce”

  19. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    The part of Coachella I saw with Ariana and Nicki Minaj singing together was horrendous. But I don’t know if that was an issue with the performers or the music being off in the background.

    • SK says:

      Tech issues. They plagued her entire set and a lot of Coachella this year. Pretty appalling actually.

  20. Annabel says:

    All this story really tells us is that Ariana Grande has excellent representation. Her management team doesn’t care whether she “deserves” to be paid X; they care about getting the best possible payday for their client. They’re doing their jobs.