A totally sanitized performance stage and backstage area, an adjoining room next to his hotel suite retro-fitted with an entire gym and freshly caught fish were just some of the many requirements of the late Luther Vandross before he agreed to grace the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival with his presence and his inimitable voice.
Freddy Jackson and Mary J Blige both wanted lots of roses, but the lady also required a white leather couch backstage. As for the Lady Lauryn, Hill, that is, heading her list of demands was a private jet to take her to Saint Lucia Jazz Festival in 2002.
As for R&B singer India Arie, all she wanted was an opportunity to commune with Nature, judging by the fact that she had requested absolutely nothing from the festival’s promoters. When the opportunity presented itself to soak up the irresistible Anse Chastanet waters, with all the hot bikinis available at the hotel site, Arie dived in wearing only her spotless birthday suit. Hey, now there’s something to ponder throughout the weekend!
From sitters for their babies, accommodation for their personal chefs, fine china for backstage use, to riding only aboard stretch limousines and Escalades . . . these are just some of the needs demanded by some of the artistes who have performed at the Saint Lucia Tourist Board’s Jazz Festival. All of that on top of their pay in United States currency!
And now you’re probably wondering what might R. Kelly require backstage? What about the Jacksons? And Boo? Well, we know Boo always has our young people in mind when he does what he does. So count on it, he won’t be wanting spliffs disguised as Cuban cigars nor for that matter any kind of paraphernalia that produces smoke. Not with the kids looking on. Boo isn’t about to jump into any water with his dingaling dangling, you may rest assured.
This year’s EC$8 million Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival will also feature the likes of Tito Puente Jr, Karen Briggs, Akon, Kassav, The O’Jays, Luther Francois, Tanya Saint Val and Roberto Fonseca and run from April 30 to May 12.
R Kelly will headline the final performance. The folks at the Saint Lucia Tourist Board were understandably not very forthcoming when it came to revealing the special needs of this year’s celebrity bunch but then we never give up. Who knows what we might discover in the days ahead. Stay tuned.