14 Celebrities' Backstage Demands: What They're Really Like Off Camera
May 01, 2022 By Harry Evans

Pop stars have a lot to deal with when they take the stage. From curating their wardrobe to the number of drinks they need and how many songs they want out there, no one is completely immune from the absurdities that occur while on tour. However, when you add performers like Taylor Swift and Mariah Carey into your equation, things go up 10 notches in terms of weirdness.

In this list, we're looking at some genuinely crazy requests made by famous people in between sets. Before they've even walked onto the stage, let alone performed. Whether they're pushing the limits of their agents or just having a huge attitude, these 14 stars will always be in the doghouse when it comes to one thing: performing.

1. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga's Meat Dress was one of the most memorable performances that no one really expected to happen. It was also one of the craziest requests she has ever made, which is saying something considering that she won't even sing unless she's wearing sunglasses on stage. But her dress wasn't just for the show; Gaga actually wore it for several days afterward until she could give it away to someone else. This was also the first time anyone had ever worn meat on national television in the US.

Gaga is such a big fan of her own performances that she's even made her own perfume, called Fame. Don't worry; it doesn't smell like a rotting cow carcass. Instead, it smells like vanilla, musk, and amber combined in the best way possible.

2. Chris Martin

Chris Martin, another member of the band Coldplay, is known to be really weird about performing onstage. He's definitely not the most musically talented member of the band, so it makes sense that he'd get nervous and highly aware of what people think about him on stage. But we're not sure that he's being accommodating when he's getting more and more nervous with each passing show.

He's even been known to intentionally hold his guitar just a little bit too long before taking a solo. He knows that it makes him look like he's suffering from stage fright. On top of that, his singing is seriously off-key in the most high-pitched way possible, which doesn't instill confidence in people watching him.

3. Madonna

Madonna is well-known for her unusual costume changes throughout her entire career and even had to cancel several shows during her 1989 Blonde Ambition tour due to latex allergies. But she also has been known to make other strange requests for her performance. For example, she once insisted on being able to sing about eating meat because the meat is considered a sacrament in her religion and refused to do anything else.

On top of that, she just asked people in the crowd if they wanted to play musical instruments during a show by waving them over and asking them if they were "up for it." Then, of course, there's the whole issue of her falling down while performing onstage because Michael Jackson supposedly told her that he would "give her all the strength" if she fell down during the performance.

4. Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake is known for being one of the most musically talented performers in music today, but that hasn't stopped him from being known for his odd requests on stage. He's had to cancel numerous shows because of illness and injury. Still, he's also been known to get up on stage 10 minutes before his concert. He's also been known to request that people along the front row stand up during performances, hoping that it will boost his confidence while he's on stage.

5. Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams is well-known for making a lot of strange requests of people during his shows. One time, he asked the audience if they wanted to be tranquilized and enjoy the music from their chairs in the front row. Another time, he asked every person on stage to wear a costume made out of bubble wrap. And finally, he once requested that each band member wear a rubber dinosaur costume when performing live onstage. While all of these things sound strange, at least it's clear that he's just having fun with his fans and not actually being any more aggravated than usual about anything going on during his performances. He demands 3 dressing rooms for himself and 6 for his staff.

6. Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is a lot of people's favorite bad boy. He's been in numerous scandals, is known for his crazy tattoos, and also goes ahead and changes his hair color every so often for no real reason. But even he has some strange demands during his live performances. For example, he once requested that the entire audience in attendance wear white tank tops because he thought it would help make him stand out while performing onstage. Another time, he asked the crowd if they wanted to see his show with him – so they could get up on stage with him and dance around together – or if they'd rather just watch from the audience seats. During a concert stay in Mumbai, he demanded Rolls Royce throughout his stay. He also asked for Mogul paintings, Kashmiri furniture, and a ping pong table in his bedroom.

7. Kanye West

Kanye West is already known for wanting to make his way through every one of his live shows in a big way. He's been known to perform songs as long as 21 minutes long and even once performed an entire show while getting back surgery. But he's also had some strange requests for real life. During a hotel stay, Kanye demanded 13 expensive liquor bottles. However, he generally has simple backstage demands like a lip balm or a hot sauce.

8. Keith Urban

Keith Urban is one of the most recent and popular country stars to break onto the scene, but he's also quietly known for having a temper. He's been known to throw microphones across the stage and even threatened to quit music during a live performance. However, according to one source, that might all be in his head and might just be a way to get more publicity in the first place. We don't know if this is actually true or not, but stories like these take away from all of his hard work when it comes to making music.

9. Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is known to let the world know how she's feeling during her live performances. And while that's all well and good, she also has a strange habit of asking people in the crowd if they want to turn their phones off. According to her, this will keep them from being distracted while watching her performance onstage. Whether this is actually true or not is up for debate. Still, it's not exactly something you'd expect someone who wants to make music to help people out – and maybe even get a little bit of money out of the deal. According to a copy published in wonderland magazine, the celebrity demanded 12 bottles of Martinelli’s Apple Juice. She also demanded 24 bottles of Dasani water, red bull energy drinks, and a full gallon of lemonade. She also demanded rose decorations of her hotel rooms.

She's been known to make people cry in concert, demand that someone kiss her, and even make people stand up on their chairs during a show. While all of this might seem fun and exciting at first, it could also be considered overkill after a while when you're trying to get people to pay money for a ticket to see you perform in the first place.

10. Ke$ha

Ke$ha is well-known for being a little bit crazy about her live performances. She's been known to throw microphones, break guitars and even run into the audience and demand that people give her a kiss. While most of these things are obviously just for fun, and people should be able to have fun when they're on stage performing, some are taking issue with the fact that this behavior is not exactly professional in nature. For example, she actually went up on stage. She asked everyone in attendance if they wanted to take over as singers while she danced around. And another time, she had everyone stand up so that no one could sit down while watching her performance onstage.

According to Radaronline, the celebrity asked for many drinks backstage. These included Vodka, wine, and tequila. She demanded a minimum of raw food (sushi and steamed vegetables). According to her mother, he is battling bulimia.

11. Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding is a singer who was once known for just putting on a great show with her music, but she's also been known to make some pretty strange requests while performing. For example, she once had a fan try to sneak in and join her on stage – and then had her get arrested. However, other times are arguably more troubling and embarrassing than this one. For example, Ellie has been known to have dancers hold up signs that say things like "Rihanna" or "Jennifer Lopez" so that people would know what she looked like – even though these two women have nothing to do with each other at all. Though, she has been a modest person for backstage demands. According to a story in 2018, she just demanded a scented candle and a kettle during the stay of her live concert.

12. Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus is known for being a little bit out of control regarding her live performances. She's been known to do things considered a bit strange – and even illegal. For example, she insisted on having a police dog under the stage just in case someone tried to sneak into the audience area during her live show. And another time, she had all of the people attending her concert sit on their hands so that they wouldn't be able to smash anything around them while she performed. Sure, we've heard some strange things over the years – but those are some of the strangest ones!

During her Bangerz tour, she demanded 30 red bulls, tiaras for her dogs, lollipops, a large mirror, 5 tops, and 750 pixie sticks.

13. The Weeknd

The Weeknd is a Canadian singer who has been making quite a name for himself with his own music and other projects with different producers. He's been known to be rather strange in his live performances. He has never announced what he plans on doing before the show actually happens. For example, he once decided to perform wearing a mask on stage – thus making him very difficult to see without finding the right place to stare at him. And another time, he decided to go up on stage while wearing a bandana, which people normally would never do. At the Wireless festival, he demanded 100 inches TC screen in his room. He wanted to play "Mario Kart" before his performance.

14. One Direction

One Direction is a popular boy band from the UK that many people consider pretty crazy and eccentric when it comes to their live performances. However, there's no doubt about it – they're one of the most prominent groups out there and have sold more than One Million records worldwide. In fact, they're the most popular boy band globally and make a ton of money from touring around and performing. However, during one of their live performances, One Direction decided to ignore that they were supposed to have reverb on their mic, which made the music seem bad. In a tour for Larry Shippers in March 2015, they demanded 4 dressing rooms equipped with luxury accessories. However, Zayn did not attend that concert.


The demands of being a celebrity are not always what they seem. Behind the glamour and glitz is a lot of hard work. These 14 celebrities offer a glimpse into the backstage demands of fame. What do you think? Are stars held to an unfair standard? Let us know in the comments below!