The Weeknd threatens to pull out of Coachella if he doesn't get Kanye's $8.5M paycheck
The Coachella Music and Arts Festival drama continues to play out with The Weeknd, who stepped in to replace Kanye West, threatening to pull out if he wasn't paid the same money as the 'Eazy' star. Kanye pulled out from the music festival less than two weeks before the show because he "wants to get help" after publicly dragging estranged wife Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Pete Davidson on social media.
On Wednesday, April 6, Coachella organizers announced that The Weeknd, 32, and house music supergroup 'Swedish House Mafia' will be taking over Kanye's slots on Sunday, April 17, and Sunday, April 24. However, a music source told a news outlet that the deal wasn’t yet done for the 'Blinding Lights' singer, who is demanding to be paid the same money as West - $8.5 million, plus an extra $500,000 as production fees. Coachella is scheduled to be held from April 15-17 and 22-24 this year.
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The source told PageSix, "The Weeknd came in at short notice to take Kanye’s top spot. But Phil Anschutz [who owns the Coachella Festival through AEG Live] wanted to hold on to Kanye’s money and pay The Weeknd far less, just a few million. The festival would pocket the rest." The 'Sacrifice' singer rebuffed the offer and intense negotiations followed with Phil Anschutz's company Goldenvoice, which produces the festival.
"Even after Coachella announced the new lineup on Wednesday, a deal wasn’t in place for The Weeknd, who threatened to pull out at an hour’s notice if he didn’t get the same deal as Kanye," the source continued. “Finally, on Wednesday — faced with the prospect of a second headline act pulling out of Coachella at the last minute — Anschutz’s company caved and agreed to pay The Weeknd the same money.”
The source also confirmed Kanye's pulling out of the event, saying “Kanye has definitely pulled out of Coachella," before adding, "He hasn’t been rehearsing or putting on a production." The source added that Travis Scott, who shares two children with Kylie Jenner, "was supposed to be joining [West] on stage" but "now it would be virtually impossible for him to get it together. Look for The Weeknd to replace him."
The music source continued, "Kanye is backing out because he wants to stay out of the public eye after all the drama with Kim and Pete; he wants to get help." Last week, after months of publicly addressing his divorce proceedings and co-parenting arrangement with estranged wife Kim Kardashian in interviews and on social media, the rapper reportedly told the mother of his children that he is "going away to get help."
A source close to the Kardashians told PageSix at the time, "For the sake of the kids, Kanye has told Kim he's not making any public appearances or inflammatory social media statements and he will go away somewhere to get better." Kardashian and West were declared legally single in March 2022 amid their ongoing divorce.