Van Halen demanded all the brown M&M's be removed from the group's candy bowl. Turns out that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to music stars' backstage demands.
Outlets like The Smoking Gun and Defamer have reported on a variety of leaked backstage documents known as tour riders. A tour rider sets the terms that a venue must fulfill for an artist's performance. We sifted through 20 such riders to see what major musicians want in their dressing rooms. It can get pretty weird.
Some celebrity requests may confirm diva suspicions — as with Kanye West's various requests for a barber's chair and a Coke and Hennessy slushy machine. But we were more surprised by other requests, like one rap star who demanded Lunchables.
From specific scented candles to organic honey bans, see what the biggest artists ask for backstage:
The 20 most absurd celebrity riders
The 20 most absurd celebrity riders
Beyoncé demands her dressing room be kept at 78 degrees and asks for chicken legs "HEAVILY SEASONED" with cayenne pepper and rose-scented candles. And don't have Coca-Cola products anywhere near her — Beyoncé can only be seen with Pepsi products due to a contractual agreement.
1 Large table for catering dressed with white tablecloths.
Dressing room should be 78 degrees
4 Brand New White Towels in bathroom (2 face & 2 body)
Juicy Baked Chicken: Legs, Wings & Breast only (Please season with fresh garlic, season salt, black pepper, and Cayenne pepper HEAVILY SEASONED!!)
Steamed Garlic Broccoli
Lightly Seasoned Green Beans
Lightly Seasoned Steamed Spinach
Beyoncé can only have Pepsi products.
1 Case of Aquafina water (half cold, half room temperature)
1 Hot Tea Set up (Please have NEW Coffee Pot)
Sliced Lemons Wedges
Rose scented candles
Lighter for candles
(Photo by Brooks Kraft/ Getty Images)
Adele's many requests include chicken salad sandwiches, Marlboro Lights, the "best quality" red wine, and six metal teaspoons in her dressing room. She also bans organic honey.
12 Small bottles still (non-carbonated) spring water (at room temperature)
1 Electric kettle for BOILING water
6 Large mugs for tea. All mugs should be new, washed and dried.
6 metal teaspoons
2 "Squeezy" bottles clear honey (not organic)
1 Bottle very best quality red wine (Italian, French or Spanish)
1 Assortment of chewing gum
1 Pack Marlboro Light plus 1 disposable cigarette lighter
1 Small selection fresh fruit, to include bananas, apples, grapes, fresh berries NO CITRUS FRUIT!
1 Small plate of assorted freshly made, individually wrapped sandwiches, to include chicken salad. Sandwiches must NOT contain tomatoes, vinegar, chili or citrus fruit
Among Kanye's previous requests are a barber's chair, Carmex lip balm, shower shoes, and a lot of alcohol. On his most recent "Saint Pablo" tour, West demanded a slushy machine with mixes of Coke and Hennessy and Grey Goose and lemonade.
1 Tub Plain Yogurt for dipping
4 small Yoplait Yogurt
1 Bowl of assorted nuts
1 Bowl of Sunkist Salted Pistachio Nuts (No Red Coloring)
2 Packs of Extra Chewing Gum
1 Bottle of Hot Sauce (Tabasco, Caribbean Type)
1 Box of Toothpicks
1 750 ml bottle of Hennessey Liquor
1 750 ml bottle of SKY or Absolut Vodka
1 Bottle of Patron Silver Tequila
4 Six Packs of Heineken Beer
(Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)
Don't bring Katy Perry carnations. In addition to very specific flower rules, the "Teenage Dream" singer's food list is quite specific, complete with freeze-dried strawberries and Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio.
Arrangement of pink fresh flowers. White and purple hydrangeas, pink & white roses and peonies. If not available, seasonal white flowers to include white orchids–ABSOLUTELY NO CARNATIONS.
A box of Huggies baby nature care wipes
6 Vitamin waters zero, assorted flavors
Bowl of whole fresh organic grown fruit (apples, bananas, oranges and grapes)
Plate of fresh-cut Crudités (to include cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, snap peas, celery) w/ ranch dip
Snyder's of Hanover Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel
Jar of Salsa
Baked (blue corn if possible) Tortilla Chips
Freeze dried strawberries
2 bottles of Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio
Throat coat, Twinnings Chamomile PG tips and Mint medley tea.
Fuze slenderize assorted flavors
A jar of quality honey
Plastic drinking straws
(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
The singer insists on blue or black drapes layered with "icy-blue chiffon." Rihanna also needs an animal-print throw rug and has a very specific candle request.
5 AC power outlets
Adequate lighting for a "relaxed atmosphere"
White drapes to cover lockers and/or brick
1 Large throw rug — plush and animal print (Cheetah, Leopard) … must be CLEAN, as she will walk on it barefoot.
Pipe and Drape the room in Dark Blue or Black drapes with Icy Blue Chiffon draped nicely on top
6 Candles — Archipelago Black Forest (if you can't get these, please let me know ASAP as we have a 2nd choice of candle for Ri).
4 Small, clear, square vases with White Tulips, no foliage (2nd choice: White Casablanca Lilies no foliage, 3rd choice: White Freesia, no foliage)
(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)
Sir Paul McCartney
The animal-rights supporter bans fur, leather, and meat from his dressing room. The Beatle is also big with plants.
All lamps must be halogen floor lamps with dimmer switch.
Only animal free materials (cottons, denims, velour, etc.)
Do not provide furniture made of any animal skin or print.
Do not provide artificial versions of animal skin or print either.
No leather seating is allowed in the black stretch limousine either.
Arrange for a dry cleaner before arrival.
6 Full and leafy floor plants, but no trees.
We want plants that are just as full on the bottom as the top such as palm, bamboo, peace lilies, etc. No tree trunks!
$50.00 - One large arrangement of white Casablanca lilies with lots of foliage.
$40.00 - One long stemmed arrangement of pale pink and white roses with lots of foliage.
$35 One arrangement of freesia. It comes in various colors so please mix them up. Freesia is a favorite.
20 dozen clean towels outside of the production office.
(Photo by Bill McCay/WireImage)
Mariah Carey's list includes eight "tall, leafy plants," Joe Malone vanilla candles, two vases of white roses, and drapes around every perimeter.
Each room must be draped. Black drapes are fine.
The entry door should open into the living room space, not the dressing room.
Temperature should be about 75 degrees.
1 Three Seat Couch — Plain Color, no busy patterns; black, dark grey, cream, dark pink are fine
12 1 Liters of Fiji Water
3 Bottles Chardonnay — Chilled
12 Diet Coke
12 Vanilla Protein Drinks
6 Sparkling Water (Pellegrino)
12 Melon Flavor Gatorade
6 Red Wine Glasses
6 White Wine Glasses
4 Joe Malone Vanilla Candles
2 Vases White Roses
Fried Chicken (warm)
12 Small Bottles water (room temperature)
3 Whole lemons and honey
The "Rap God" isn't too high-maintenance. Other than fruit, food, and drinks, he just wants access to some weights to work out. Make sure Marshall Mathers also has a CD player that can play burned CDs and some Lunchables.
25 pound dumbbells
24-Diet Coke 16oz plastic bottles
12 Diet Coke 12oz cans
6 Verner ginger ale soda (or Schweppes)
48 Daisani, Poland Spring 12oz bottles "NO Evian"
1 Loaf white bread
1 Loaf wheat bread
6 Lunchables snacks (3 turkeys & 3 ham with cheese)
6 Cans Red Bull
16 Cans Sugar-Free Red Bull
Large fresh jumbo shrimps with cocktail sauce and plenty of lemons
1 Jar of banana pepper rings
The '70s and '80s legend Grace Jones wants oysters and insists that she will do "her own shucking" of her requested molluscs, according to the following excerpt of her tour rider list leaked by Defamer. She also needs a lot of very specific wine bottles.
6 Bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne
3 Bottles of French Vintage red wine (e.g. St Emilion, Medoc, Bordeaux)
3 Bottles of French Vintage white wine (e.g. Sancerre, Pouilly Fuisse)
2 Dozen Findeclare or Colchester Oysters on ice (unopened)—(Grace does her own shucking.)
2 Sashimi and Sushi platters for 8 people
6 Fresh lemons
1 Bottle of Tabasco sauce
1 Fresh fruit platter for 8 people
6 Bottles of Coca Cola
12 Bottles of still and sparkling water
12 Bottles of fresh fruit juices
Wine glasses, champagne flutes, tumblers (all glass, no plastic)
Cutlery and sharp knife
1 Oyster knife
1 Make up mirror (no neon strip lighting, only opaque white bulbs)
Fresh towels, clothes hangers, clothes rail
3-4 Bunches of flowers—prefer lilys and orchids
Sofa and arm chairs
(Photo by Vincent Duterne/Photonews via Getty Images)
According to Complex, Drake requests two specific brands of body care items: Nivea chapstick and Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap, which he says "tingles the body and clears the mind."
Four dozen natural-scented incense sticks
Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap
E-Z Wider rolling papers and a pack of Dutch Master President cigars
Bottles of Jack Daniel’s
Patron Silver tequila
A bottle of Hennesey or Courvoisier
Andis T-Outliner trimmers
Extra sets of speakers
(Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)
Jack White's rider made headlines last year for its explicit "no banana policy" — whichWhite later attributed to an allergy on his touring team — and its inclusion of a highly specific homemade guacamole recipe.
1 dozen chicken wings (buffalo, teryaki, suprise us)
1 bowl of FRESH HOME-MADE GUACAMOLE (recipe below)
8 champagne flutes (real glass)
8 wine glasses (real glass)
8 highball glasses (real glass)
1 hummus & pita chips
iPod player with sufficient volume control
NO fluorescent lighting
PLEASE NOTE: This is a NO BANANA TOUR. (Seriously)
(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Madonna's brief yet complex tour rider list reportedly requires room for her 200-person entourage and 20 international phone lines to call friends in other countries, according to Complex.
2o international phone lines
Her backstage room must look exactly like her own home (that means she ships around her furniture)
Special flower-scented fabric
Personal chef who prepares only vegan foods
Her own dry-cleaning service
Give all the room-temperature Evian (and Aquafina) water to Alicia Keys. The singer asks for chocolate almond milk, tuna sandwiches, and specific Glade candle scents.
7 sets of metal silverware
3 Glade Candles (French Vanilla, Rain shower, Wild Berry, Tangerine Ginger)
3 Cans of Chunk White Tuna
10 Nutri-Grain Bars (Blueberry, Cherry, Apple, Strawberry)
6 Individual Packets of Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal (Brown Sugar and Apple Cinnamon)
1 Assorted Fruit Platter with strawberries, seedless red grapes, bananas, mango, blueberries, cantaloupe and raspberries
2 Cases of beer (one imported and one domestic; brands preferred: Amstel Light, Corona, Bud, Bud Light or local beer)
3 menus for local seafood and Italian restaurants to order meals for Alicia
(Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for MTV.com)
Jay Z's rider requires a confounding seven separate dressing rooms, as well as "good quality" peanut butter and jelly and a clean bucket of ice.
7 Dressing Rooms
Desired room temperature of 72 degrees
1 Love Seat
1 Large Couch
2 Matching End Tables
2 48 Cases of Fiji Water (24 cold/24 room temperature)
6 Cans of Coca-Cola
6 Cans of Red Bull
6 Bottles of Vitamin Water
1 Jar of good quality peanut butter
1 Jar of good quality grape jelly
1 Hot tea service for 4: hot water kettle, ceramic and disposable cups
All requests for alcohol were shaved from the list.
(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
Mary J. Blige
R&B legend Mary J. Blige will not use a "public" toilet, in any sense of the word. Her rider list requires a "private toilet (with new toilet seat)."
10 medium prewashed bath sized towels
NO DAIRY OR PORK OF ANY KIND!!
10 1.5 liter bottles of FIJI water (absolutely, positively must be FIJI)
6 cans of Diet Dr. Pepper
6 cans of Schweeps Ginger Ale
2 packs of Mentos — cinnamon fresh only
6 cans of Red Bull energy drink
6 bottles of Black Cherry Propells in sports bottle
8 sets of silverware
1 tub of clean ice
(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Break out the blenders for Mother Monster. Gaga gets an entire smoothie station in her dressing room.
2 Bottles of white wine with wine opener — Kendall Jackson or Robert Mondavi preferred
1 Pack of Straws
1 Cushioned office style chair
TV with cable and a DVD player
1 Rolling clothing rack
4 Unscented candles
Tea kettle, organic ginger and lemongrass tea and honey are very important.
1 4 pack of Red Bull Light (on ice)
2 Bottles of Green Tea
1 Container of Guacamole
Hot dogs (Yves veggie dogs eaten with toothpicks)
A smoothie station (with frozen berries, fuze and whey protein or non-fat Greek yogurt) Blender needed
1 Plate of cheese (non-smelly, non-sweaty on ice) with whole wheat/healthy crackers
A mix of assorted fresh fruit (cut and must have edible skin OR edible seeds OR citrus)
REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo
Cher's extensive (and dated) list from a 1999 tour demands a "wig room," rooms for her male and female dancers, and one for Dr. Stacey, a massage therapist, among many other things.
1 Wig Room
1 Room for Dr. Stacey
1 bottle of fine red wine (No Kendall Jackson)
1 bottle of fine white wine (No Kendall Jackson)
4 Diet Cokes
1 coffee table
1 end table for the phone to be placed on
TV with VCR with a cable Hook up. Please make sure we can get the following channels: Turner Classic Movies or AMC.
Taylor Swift's tour buses are essentially the equivalent of a dorm room. Just make sure if she's arriving before 11 a.m. you've made a pit stop to Starbucks.
If arriving before 11 a.m., the following from Starbucks:
1 Grande ICED Caramel Latte w/ 2 sweet-n-lows
1 Grande ICED Americano w/ 2 sweet-n-lows with soy milk
1 slice pumpkin loaf
1 Stick Butter
3 Boxes Kraft Macaroni/Cheese
2 Four Packs of Red Bull
1 12 Pack Corona Beer
1 12 Pack New Castle Beer
1 Bottle Welch's Grape Juice
1 Bag of Twizzlers red licorice
1 Case of Smart Water
1 Pint Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
1 Pint Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Brownie Frozen Yogurt
Punk icon Iggy Pop's 18-page rider from 2006 is a monstrosity that includes, among many ridiculous requests, a demand for "Somebody dressed as Bob Hope" to do impersonations of the dead comedian.
A copy of USA Today that's got a story about morbidly obese people in it
6 bottles of Grolsch or decent local beer
F------ loads of good red wines
6 large bottles of good quality sparkling water
3 cases x 12 oz bottles of still mineral water
6 bottles of alcohol free beer
1 case of big bottles of good, premium beer
A bottle of vodka
Cauliflower/broccoli, cut into individual florets and thrown immediately into the garbage. I f------ hate that.
Van Halen's infamous "no brown M&M's" request was reportedly instituted so that concert promoters would be forced to pay close attention to all the items on their extensive list — or else forfeit the profits of their show, due to a contract clause. You can find a sampling of their ridiculous rider below and the full version at The Smoking Gun.
M&MS (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES)
1 large tube of KY jelly
3 packs of Marlboro cigarettes (box)
Herring in sour cream
2 gallons non-carbonated, bottled spring water
3 fifths Jack Daniels Black Label bourbon
2 fifths Stolichnaya vodka
1 pint Southern Comfort
2 bottles Blue Nun white wine