BACKSTAGE RIDER: Divas

Mary J. Blige

If you're considering booking Mary J. Blige for a concert or TV appearance, be prepared to make a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond. That's because the 35-year-old R&B singer's performance contract stipulates that her dressing room include a "private toilet (with new toilet seat)."

Blige is equally demanding when it comes to the rider her people forward to hotels, where she checks in as "Mrs. Jefferson." In that separate document, Blige requires a presidential suite and asks that the hotel not rent a connecting room if there is one. She demands that her "Do Not Disturb" sign be honored by housekeeping personnel, and this is such an important point that it is driven home with 26 exclamation points.

And forget about operating any vacuums or noisy equipment in the hallway outside Mrs. Jefferson's suite. Blige & Co. even want to be apprised of any "construction or redecorating" occurring "in or near the hotel." If such work forces them to decamp, "relocation...will be at expense of the hotel." (3 pages)

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