Incarcerated Dancehall superstar Buju Banton could easily collect gig fees in excess of US$100,000 ($J12.5 million) at main music festivals after being released from prison later this year.
The heavy price tag is sparked by the high demand for the Grammy Award-winning musician who has been behind bars, serving a drug trafficking sentence, since June 2011, according to music industry insiders.
“If Popcaan can demand US$80,000 to US$100,000 per show, why can’t Buju?” an agency told media reporters.
Donovan Germain, Buju’s former manager, who produced several of the singer’s biggest hit songs, agreed.
“Buju Banton is worth it, if Buju asks for US$100,000, he can command it because people want to see him,” Germain asserted.
“Look at the big hoopla when the T & T show was announced. Buju Banton has the songs and the promoters know that he can bring people to the venue because, ultimately, it is a business, and if promoters figure that he has the pulling power at the turnstiles, they will pay,” he added.
Germain also charged that the incarcerated singer’s first official performance should be in Jamaica despite an announcement in March that indicates Buju’s first show following his release from a US jail on December 8 would be held in Trinidad & Tobago.
“It must be Jamaica,” he said.
“The first show must be in Jamaica, he couldn’t perform somewhere else first, he could not diss his Jamaicans fans like that…that would be like committing suicide,” he insisted.
He revealed he did not know what sort of plans Buju Banton had for a concert in Jamaica.
“I don’t know if he will be keeping the show himself or working with a promoter, but the first show has to be here in Jamaica,” he said.
Germain also disclosed that Buju Banton’s bookings are being handled by Best of the Best Entertainment, who are now hosting the Love and Harmony Cruise alongside Massive B.