Here’s a question: What puts the dollar sign in Ke$ha‘s name? Glitter, of course … lots and lots of glitter. In fact, the “Tik Tok” singer has been known to spend more money in one month to feed her glitter habit than most people pay on their regular mortgage loan payment.
“It’s pretty exorbitant. It’s probably more like a few thousand every month,” she said in a 2011 Vanity Fair interview. “If you come and see a show of mine, there is no shortage of glitter. By the end, everyone from the back of the auditorium to the very front is covered and potentially choking on glitter. I am shooting glitter from glitter guns and out of every orifice in my body. It’s really a big part of what I do.”
But if you think the Ke$ha glitter budget is over the top, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Take a look at some of these other extravagantly ridiculous tabs run up by celebrities. They may seem outrageous, frivolous, self-indulgent and even wasteful — but of course, we normal folk just won’t ever understand why they do it.
Cashing In on Celebrity Expenses
The average American, according to Business Insider, spends $16,600 on their yearly mortgage payments — roughly one-quarter of their annual income. As for celebrities? That’s small change. In a report from last year, BI’s Mandi Woodruff sourced a New York Magazine expose that revealed insider info on the indulgences of some unnamed A-listers.
It’s true: They really do pay $100,000 for their 6-year-old’s personal stylist, and $24,000 on pool maintenance. That’s maintenance, not the actual pool.
Is it for practical purposes, or just for pure spectacle? Like most things celebrities spend thousands, or millions, on, the magnitude of their spending habits increases in accord with their rising Hollywood status. Said Ke$ha about her glitter affectation:
“I started thinking,” she said, “why just do my eyes? Why not my entire body? And at the end of my shows why don’t I put a backpack on that’s like a hand-held cannon and blast glitter at people? So not only do I look attractive, but so does everybody who’s dancing? It’s kind of like become my thing.”
Hey, at least she took the time to explain her rationale. Other celebrities remain enigmatic in their bizarro spending ways.
Image: Windy City Times
1. A plane ticket for Bono’s hat.
The U2 frontman is basically rock ‘n roll’s Gandhi, known for channeling his influence into humanitarian and philanthropic deeds. Though they say, “Once a rock star, always a rock star,” in Bono’s case, “Where the heads have no hats” is more appropriate: On a 2005 tour, the singer was without his favorite hat and paid $1,700 to fly his favorite piece of head wear, first class, from London to Italy. Whatever extra was paid for the hat’s limousine pickup from airport, to hotel, to concert venue, to Bono’s head, is anyone’s guess.
2. Nicolas Cage and his skull.
No, not his own noggin — though we all wonder what the heck was going on in Nicolas Cage’s head with all those bad financial decisions that lead to IRS problems and bankruptcy. One contribution to Cage’s money downfall could be his 2007 purchase of a dinosaur skull to the tune of $267,000, a price that most people would consider luxurious in a new, single family home. The crazy part is that Cage outbid fellow thespian Leonardo DiCaprio for ownership of the fossilized cranium.
Image: Real Estate and Property Blog
3. Beyonce’s $100,000 leggings.
Everyone knows that in show business, bespoke stage clothes can demand a higher price tag, considering they’re not off the rack and all that. But six figures for one garment? That’s what singer Beyonce Knowles paid for a pair of gold studded, Balenciaga leggings. Couldn’t she have just bought some at Target and customized them with some of Ke$ha’s gold glitter?
Image: Guest of a Guest
4. Lady Gaga’s ghost detector.
Or, an “electromagnetic field meter” is more like it. According to MSN.com, the singer, born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is currently being haunted by a ghost named “Ryan,” and recently plonked down $50,000 for the field device to keep the paranormal activity away. What’s scarier than Gaga’s ghosts? Her publicist’s straight-faced response about the paranoid purchase:
“She (Lady Gaga) believes in paranormal activity and won’t take any risks when she is on the road,” they told MSN. “It’s important to her to be safe from spirits.”
5. Harry Potter’s $17,000 bed.
No Hogwarts cot will do for Daniel Radcliffe. Also reported by MSN, Harry Potter himself gets to sleep every night on a nice, custom-made mattress. Not just any mattress, but a lush bed cushion from Savoir, the 100-year-old luxury mattress maker. Radcliffe didn’t exactly use any Harry Potter magic for this one, too — thanks to the films, the $17,000 he paid for this mattress would cover most people’s mortgages or rents for a year, or more.
Honorable mentions: In the late 1980s, actress Kim Basinger apparently purchased the entire town of Braselton, GA for $20 million, with the intent of turning it into a movie hub and tourist trap. The effort failed to garner any buzz, and millions of dollars were lost all around.
According to TheFrisky.com, rapper Bryan “Birdman” Williams recently became the fourth owner of an $8 million German sports car. Not BMW, not Mercedes, but elite automaker Maybach. The company’s halo car boasts 700 horsepower emanating from a 12-cylinder, twin turbo engine.
Celebrities and responsible spending — it sounds like an oxymoron, but some celebrities are mindful of their money. Actress Zooey Deschanel, despite a very comfortable, low-million-dollar annual salary, is known to stick to a budget, save and donate money.
One of the best celebrity role models is rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. Worth exponentially more than his stage name implies, the rapper has carefully helped his $250 million fortune grow through a number of wise, lucrative investments and savings strategies.
Will Ke$ha ever follow the same financial strategy? Unlikely, with her ultimate glitter goal in mind.
“It’s my goal to cover the planet in glitter and take the f— over,” she says. “I can’t do that if I don’t have a s— ton of glitter.”