Music Business

Are Africans Just VERY Naive? Why Does Kilimanjaro EVENTS Pay Chris Brown $1Million to Perform in Lagos?


Chris Brown and Wizkid in LagosChris Brown recently performed in Nigeria and according to the rather authoritative reporting from, he was paid a cool $1million to perform on December 22nd, 2012 at the Eko Hotel & Suites. The organizer of his event was Kilimanjaro Events,  a promotions company who have a knack for bringing American music stars to perform.  Brown was also housed in a larger than life home of a Nigerian billionaire. The house was so huge, Chris took to twitter to express his shock. Brown, enjoyed himself, performed, hung with his new friend Nigeria’s Wizkid, and later tweeted Wizkid’s song to his fan base.

The question I have is, should Chris Brown have been paid the alleged $1million to perform in Lagos? Keep in mind the likes of Rick Ross, Usher  and Nas don’t even come close to commanding $1million per show when dealing with African concert promoters.

Also, Nigerian music celebrities and African celebrities, in general, regardless of global recognition cannot even get American concert promoters to pay them in the high double digits i.e. $10,000 onwards, much less $1million. Are Africans just naive or is this just a deliberate showing that Africans are not as poor as the Western media makes them out to be?

I doubt the $1million figure reported by is accurate, rather than just hearsay. Assuming it is, do Nigerians, in particular, have their priorities misplaced? When you pay that much for an overseas artist to perform in your country, what does that say about how you value your local artists and your local music industry? You can’t even get local organizations  that use the music of local artists to pay them, yet you are willing to pay $1million to have Chris Brown perform. Why?

Chris Brown is talented, however, as I wrote before his scheduled visit to Lagos to perform on December 22nd, 2012, in many places, he has been forced to cancel his concerts because of immense protests by women rights organization over his domestic violence situation in 2009 with Rihanna. In my last write up on him, one of the larger South African radio stations wouldn’t even dignify him with an interview, a stance I disagreed with.

So, how does he go from all of that to receiving a cool $1million for a performance in Nigeria? That fee does not include travels, accommodations and meals for himself and his alleged 15 men crew. Lest we forget, Kilimanjaro had a concert hall to pay for, security, supporting musicians and so much more that goes into staging a concert like the one at Eko Suites & Hotel.

Finally,  Nigerian A-list celebrity artists in Nigeria are said to average between $40,000 to $60.000. P-Square, I understand, is one of the few that now commands $200,000 per show, at least outside of Nigeria.

While you all ponder the above, a recent article authored on November 28th, 2012 by breaks down the actual rates many American rap artists make, per concert and/or private show.

What’s interesting is some of these people on the low end of the pay scale have done business with Nigerian promoters/event organizers and they have received a lot more than their typical rates, per show. I guess Africa ain’t so poor? Either that or misplaced priorities?


“#1 Kanye West – $3 million sweet 16
#1 Jay-Z – $3 million sweet 16
#2 Eminem – $3.3 million for two nights at UK festival ($66k per song)
#3 50 Cent – $2 million for Gadafi’s son (later donated to charity)
#4 Rihanna – $800,000
#5 Lil Wayne – $500,000
#6 Drake – $155,000
#7 Nicki Minaj – $150,000
#8 Akon – $120,000
#9 T.I. – $110,000

#10 Snoop Dogg – $105,000
#11 Rick Ross – $100,000
#12 Ludacris -$90,000
#13 Pitbull – $85,000
#14 B.o.B – $80,000
#15 Wiz Khalifa – $75,000
Cam’Ron – $75,000
J. Cole – $70,000
Young Jeezy – $60,000
The Game – $60,000
NeYo – $60,000
T-Pain – $60,000
Mac Miller – $55,000
Lupe Fiasco – $50,000
Mike Posner – $50,000
Souja Boy – $45,000
Plies – $45,000
Big Sean – $40,000
Taio Cruz – $42,500
Wale – $40,000 . . .”

-Celebrity Networth has the full story.

-Chris Brown tweeted image of Wizkid & Brown in Lagos

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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  1. tobi says:

    Apparently, Chris Brown is paid 500k an Hour in any show he performs worldwide, he himself said it in a track in his Fortune album. so 1m for 2hours is no surprise at all.

  2. Well as you said, Africa aint so poor as you all think. Nigeria most especially. Our glorious name is just battered by the media. We dont give a f though.

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