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Published: Thursday | January 26, 2012 ——

Celine Dion - Contributed
Celine Dion – Contributed

Ainsley Walters, Gleaner Writer ——////

CANADIAN superstar Celine Dion graces the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival on Friday night as its biggest-ever star in its 16-year history.

Never mind that the likes of Gladys Knight, Kenny G, Kenny Rogers, Air Supply, Dionne Warwick, Patti Labelle, Al Green, Kool and the Gang, Earth Wind and Fire, Diana Ross, Chicago and Lionel Richie number among the greats who have appeared on the much-acclaimed event that started as the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, Celine Dion is being celebrated as the catch of the festival.

However, unlike some superstars who come with mega demands, Walter Elmore of Art of Music Production has described the rider of the French-Canadian artiste for the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival as “surprisingly simple” for a five-time Grammy Award winner.

Who could forget the 2008 renewal when R&B star Diana Ross drew the wrath of some fans who paid at least $5,300 for entry to the Aqueduct in Montego Bay, but didn’t even see her face on the event’s final night.

Upon Ross’ insistence, all the big-screen monitors strategically placed in the venue were turned off during her act. Responding to the fury of patrons then, Elmore said Ross’ contract never stipulated that her performance couldn’t be magnified to the audience.

Elmore expects no such problem with Dion tomorrow, saying, “actually, she doesn’t have many requests at all, just a nice bottle of white wine”.

“Of all the superstars and big acts I have brought to Jamaica, she’s the easiest, no request. I was surprised when I saw her rider.

“What she needs for herself is very basic, nothing super special. Most acts want Hennessey, this, that or the other. She has no special request, not even a special wine, just a bottle of white wine,” Elmore assured.

Online checks

However, checks online revealed that Dion numbers among the big acts who have made big requests.

In 2008, The Mirror claimed: “The Canadian singer has built up quite the reputation on her current world tour. She has demanded a dentistand a physiotherapist, and 11 bodyguards are at her beck and call throughout the year-long Taking Chances tour.”

Another report, sourced from, “Canadian mega diva Celine Dion is said to have issued an astonishing list of backstage demands for her O2 gigs in May 2009. Among the star’s alleged requirements were Bavarian figs, French cherries and crinkle-free crisps, plus a dedicated assistant to help her squeeze into and out of her elaborate dresses.”

Elmore said Dion might have demands while on tour, but certainly not for tomorrow’s one-off appearance in Jamaica.

“That’s the key, she’s not on tour,” he said. “It’s a one-off special. Her tour rider would be different, but this rider is very simple and modest. When on tour it’s different. When moving from one city to another, the creature comforts are different,” he explained.

Elmore said it will be a short trip from Florida for Dion.

“Coming to Jamaica, she’s not missing much. She’s coming straight from her home in Florida. She won’t be here very long. She flies in the afternoon and flies out after the show, and she is not bringing her children.

“Remember, she works every day in Vegas and took time out to perform in Jamaica. We’re very excited she’s coming but sorry she won’t be spending the night. but when she gets to know us Jamaicans, I am sure she will be coming back soon,” he said.


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