LONDON — Bono passed Paul McCartney as the world's wealthiest rock star this year, thanks to having a 2.3 percent share of Facebook. That's a cool $1.5 billion for the U2 frontman, leaving the former lead singer of Wings in second place with a fortune estimated at slightly over $1 billion.
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So Paul McCartney needs the money, obviously. Yet his biggest gig of the year — the featured performer at the London Olympic Opening Ceremony — earned him … £1.
Which is currently $1.57 in U.S. dollars. Which is slightly less than the price of a quart of milk.
Mike Oldfield, Dizzee Rascal and Emeli Sande are also among the stars who are thought to have been paid the token figure. The big names had originally agreed to play the show in the Olympic Stadium for free, but the inclusion of the £1 figure was to make the contract binding. It means the star names were paid less than 1/20th of the cost of the cheapest ticket for the ceremony. Seats ranged up to £2,012 for the best available.
A spokesman for the Games organizer Locog confirmed the £1 fee, which had been necessary for contractual purposes, although the acts had been happy to perform without any payment.
McCartney was originally offered a payment of "your lovin'" but informed LOCOG that it "don't pay my bills," opting for money, which is what he wants. Oh yeah, that's what he wants...
Many of the thousands of other performers in the ceremony were given a professional wage for their work, including that dude who played the queen. But the headliners agreed to work for nothing, which should help clear up that whole "where was Elton John?" business.
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