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Age ain't nothing but a number


I WENT to DJ Ironik’s birthday party which was hosted by Lil Chris from Towie and deejays Scottie B and DJ Woody from Choice FM. As a testament to just how popular Ironik is in the industry, as well as his mum and family all being there, other acts like Chipmunk, Russell Kane, Derry from The Risk and lots more in attendance.

It was amazing seeing real party deejays like Scottie and Woody - who always drive crowds into a frenzy whether at carnival, Ibiza, Aiya Napa or at a house party. We partied till we dropped. There was a lot of champagne flowing and Ironik looked like he and his mates were having a ball. It’s great to see UK artists of today’s generation so unified. I recall not too long ago when egos, attitudes and negative competitive mentality ruled. When I mentioned to Ironik that I wouldn’t be staying all night, as I felt slightly older than his crowd, he laughed and said “Jas-don’t be silly my mums here and you’re NEVER too old!”

I ALSO made an appearance on BBC World TV where I was talking about the top 10 live music tours from the past 12 months, which saw Madonna lead the top three lists, bringing in $296million. The youngest act in the top 10 at number four was Coldplay. In comparison, teen sensation Justin Bieber, who played a 35-show tour, failed to crack the top 20, taking in $40.2 million and the number 23 spot.

This led the BBC to question whether “pop music is a young persons game” and “how come the top 10 live music earners are over 40?” Well, let me break it down for you dear readers.

The main thing here is the longevity of the pop star. The more years they’ve been around the more experienced they are, so their shows are brilliant. Older bands know how to create a stadium experience.

For big established older acts that do a much shorter run of shows for much higher ticket prices, their costs for catering, musicians, roadies, security is much smaller.

Barbara Streisand, Madonna and the Stones tickets often start at £500. Younger acts like Rihanna’s start at £27. Rihanna has to do a lot more work to try and equal her elders.


She might get the daily column inches, which of course lead to chart hits as young people run and buy her material, but ultimately she’s more famous than she is rich. So there isn’t always a correlation between chart hits and real money made by the music act. The bigger acts like Madonna and Rolling Stones will perform at massive venues for a shorter period as opposed to Rihanna who will do numerous numbers of nights at the 02. Older acts have fans that have been loyal to them for years and they continue to pick up new fans from younger generations.

Older music fans and audience’s have a much higher disposable income so the older music stars can charge big bucks knowing that their fans are more organised, will book tickets early and pay whatever they are charged. When you are an older act your key appeal is to have an audience with a more disposable income. When you charge £200-£1000 per ticket you knock out the younger fans that don’t have the money. Younger audiences want cheaper tickets for a much more tangible experience.

The figures are staggering. What percentage of those ticket sales do you think the artist gets to keep?

Every single show is different. It depends on the promoter. Pop stars are guaranteed their fee, it’s the promoter who either makes above the odds or loses money.

Some acts will demand millions per show, but then an act like Mariah or Beyoncé can charge anything for a private show and both have been rumoured to have received up to four million for one night’s private show.

So when you next see your average UK pop star in the tabloids day after day, don’t assume they’re wealthy - they’re most likely not, their record label is. Hopefully you can now understand why the older music acts that have been around since the 80s and 90s aren’t past it - they’re rolling in it!

The only unfortunate thing about my whole appearance on BBC World was that just before I was seated in the hot seat, I had been told I had at least 10 more minutes before I was on air, so I moisturized my hands having just come in from the cold. Suddenly 30 seconds later, I was dragged onset and the presenter Peter Dobbie immediately reached out to shake my hand with a smile. I automatically clutched his with my hand all moist and creamy! I saw him inwardly squirm and wipe his hand as discreetly as he could on his chair. How embarrassing! I didn’t even have a second before we went live to explain it was cream not sweat. So my apologies Peter - I’m really not a sweaty Betty!

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