|This concert belongs not 100% to
the 25LIVE tour, cause it was a private concert, but for
the timeline it can be counted to the tour.
Michael's private Moscow concert goes up in smoke
Michael's New Year's Eve show ended in disaster after a
large quantity of music equipment was destroyed by fire.
The singer - who is believed to
have pocketed a staggering £1.7 million to perform at
Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin's private party -
lost thousands of pounds worth of equipment when the
blaze began at Potanin's Moscow estate.
A source told Britain's The Sun
newspaper: "Loads of his gear was melted and some
of his band's instruments were wrecked when they were
covered in ash.
"Other kit was damaged by
water from fire crews. But I reckon George's pay cheque
should just about cover it if Mr Potanin doesn't cough
Equipment destroyed by fire
included a 42in plasma teleprompt and a variety of
It has been reported the fire
was started by a crew member experimenting with unused
pyrotechnics from the show.
Michael, 43, was already on a
private jet back to the UK when the blaze began.
The 'Careless Whisper' singer -
accompanied by his lover Kenny Goss and a 40-strong
entourage - was flown to Moscow by private jet to
perform in front of 250 guests at Potanin's 20 acre
Potanin, who is the ninth
richest man in Russia, is said to have personally asked
George to perform and paid him in cash.
The huge fee works out at £23,823
a minute - the most ever paid for a single performance
George Michael has been paid a reported £1.5m for an
hour's concert at a Russian billionaire's New Year party.
The unnamed businessman paid
for George to entertain his 300 guests on his private
estate 20 miles outside Moscow, the star's spokeswoman
The fee is believed to have set
a record for a concert in Russia.
George and his entourage were
flown in on a private jet and despite being reported to
have had "fun" he was back in his London home
The host is believed to have
turned his sports hall into a nightclub especially for
George Michael, 43, has just
finished the British leg of his Twentyfive tour which
included a free concert for nurses in London.
Other stars who have picked up
big cheques include Christina Aguilera, reportedly paid
£1m for performing three songs at the wedding of
Russian oligarch Andrei Melnichenko in September 2005.
his quiet, retiring nature and It-boy status, George
Michael wouldn't seem too out of place among the
Muscovite elite. Indeed the British 80s pop artist
recently got a chance to rub shoulders with an oligarch
or two after he was hired by a Russian billionaire to
serenade him and 300 guests at a New Years
Even party. Michael's fee? That, for 75 minutes of
singing a raft of his hits, was reportedly to the tune
of $3.5 million.
The tycoon host is as yet unnamed, though some reports
have said it was nickel magnate Vladimir Potanin.
The billionair made his fortune after taking control of
metals giant Norilsk Nickel and oil
company Sidanco. Now hespends much of
his time and money on charities.
With Michael's price tag, he's also now set a set a
record for Russian concerts. According to the BBC, the
singer and his entourage were flown in to the city on a
private jet, and then back to London the following
Christina Aguilera is another troubadour who seems to
have picked up a fat check in Mother Russia. She
reportedly was paid $1.9 million for singing just three
songs at the wedding of billionaire, Andrei
September 2005. Whitney Houston, who was also there, got
a share of the spoils too.
Private recitals seem a popular way for billionaires to
spend their cash. Last August Microsoft co-founder Bill
Gates was serenaded by
pop singer Christina Milian at his private party, and
was so enraptured with the gig that at one point he was
the only guest dancing.
Michael's own concert didn't occur without its hitches.
The end of the party was reportedly marred by a fire
that destroyed thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
Musical instruments used by Michael's band were said by
British newspaper The Sun to have been damaged
by water from local fire crews.
Perhaps not the greatest start to 2007, though given his
takings we doubt that'll put the singer off further
requests from Russian oligarchs.