There appears to have been some confusion.
This time three days ago, This Is Insider was throwing Coachella fans an interesting headline. Ariana Grande was allegedly being paid “twice as much” as Beyonce to headline the festival. Ariana’s Variety-reported fee for Coachella 2019 sits at $8 million. Beyonce was paid precisely half that for her 2018 Coachella headline act. The story unleashed a social media storm.
Frederick Joseph, founder of We Have Stories took to Twitter with thoughts.
“Beyoncé was paid $4 million to Ariana Grande’s $8 million. When I tell you white privilege knows no bounds.”
The post has since been deleted and replaced with an “update.” The reason likely lies in newer reports confirming that the alleged disparage in pay is merely confusion. Ariana was “not paid double,” The Metro reported on April 19. The details appear to lie in the timing. Ariana’s $8 million pay is accurate, but the figure reflects performances over two weekends. Beyonce’s $4 million relates to her 2018 Coachella headlining – the Lemonade singer only appeared for one weekend (with her paycheck echoing it.)
Coachella 2019 saw Ariana take a brief break from her Sweetener tour to perform “Thank U, Next” and “Side to Side” featuring Nicki Minaj. Beyonce has not performed this year. The R&B singer has nonetheless made headlines over the festival’s period for announcing her upcoming Netflix release, Homecoming.
Both Beyonce and Grande have made Coachella history. Beyonce is the first black woman to have had a headline act. At 25, Grande is the youngest ever headliner.
As media outlets reported corrections to the initially-suggested pay gap between the two women, Frederick Joseph’s Twitter feed acknowledged the information. The writer and marketing consultant nonetheless maintained an opinion.
“Update: Beyoncé was paid between $8-$12 million according to billboard (via @Fly_Sistah) Which again is the point that she deserves equal or more than Ariana PLUS incentives”
The Billboard mention further compromises clarity on exactly what headlining Coachella actually pays. The upper bracket of $12 million is mentioned neither by This Is Insider or The Daily Mail.
Walking away with millions for a single performance is nothing novel. In 2018, Maxim reported Jennifer Lopez pocketing $2 million for a 20-minute show. MSN reports a fee of between $3 million and $4 million from Beyonce for a likewise one-off performance.
As much about the stage acts as the celebrity attendees, Coachella 2019 has proven a breeding ground of famous faces. Kylie Jenner, Olivia Culpo, Selena Gomez, and Hailey Baldwin have all been spotted enjoying the event.
Neither Grande nor Beyonce appear to have commented on the recent pay stories.