Nicki Minaj booked as a reward
Colorful rap artist Nicki Minaj is a certified “crackberry,” like many other world-famous celebrities.
Nicki is listed among an elite group of BB loyalists (“heavy Blackberry users”) like Madonna, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber and US President Barack Obama, according to Cameron Vernest, country director (for the Philippines) of Research in Motion, the company behind BB.
Thus, Nicki was a natural choice when RIM teamed up with telecommunications giant Globe, in its latest rewards treat for new subscribers (specifically, those who avail of the Blackberry Curve 9220 and Curve 9320 plans).
Globe and RIM will fly in the “Super Bass” artist for an exclusive gig at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on July 11.
Manila is the performer’s only stop in Southeast Asia, said the organizers. She squeezed in the Philippine date in the middle of her US and European “Pink Friday” tour, giving organizers three days—just enough time to fly in and out.
No visit to Boracay or Palawan? “We haven’t received her final schedule,” said Winston Llamas, managing partner of Wilbros Live, the producer.
Did Nicki have special requests for the show? Lady Gaga reportedly asked that her Arena dressing room be done completely in white. What about hot pink for Nicki?
“We haven’t received her technical rider (a list of requests or demands that a performer sets as imperative), either,” said Llamas. “We’ve been fortunate, though; none of the artists we’ve brought in made unreasonable demands.” These included Janet Jackson, Kylie Minogue, Avril Lavigne, even former US President Bill Clinton (for a speaking engagement).
The most unusual request that Llamas has encountered so far is for bowls of M&M candies—of a certain color.
The Minaj concert is predicted to be one of the hottest events this season. Charo Logarta-Lagamon, Globe head of external communications, said tickets to Nicki’s show in Japan sold out in 60 seconds. The European leg was a record-breaker, too.
Aside from her “crackberry” rep, Nicki is the perfect artist for this promo, explained Vernest, because she’s “highly social.” The entertainer is a force to be reckoned with on Twitter (in particular) and in today’s youth culture (in general). She has 12,536,318 Twitter followers, including local celebs Zsa Zsa Padilla, Karylle, Jodi Sta. Maria, Sarah Lahbati and Angel Locsin.
Ready for anything
Organizers are confident that they’ll fill up at least 10,000 seats of the Arena. That’s 10,000 tickets for free, available to subscribers on a first come-first served basis. Barely a month before the show, they are satisfied with sales thus far. “We have exceeded expectations,” said Martha M. Sazon, head of Globe Postpaid.
That said, would they bring in other renowned crackberries for future events? Madonna, maybe? Beyonce? Obama? “Nicki will definitely not be the last,” Sazon said.
Organizers don’t expect protests from religious groups, like those that attended Lady Gaga’s recent concert. Oh, but Nicki went to the last Grammys escorted by a fake Pope.
Said Llamas, laughing: “We are ready for anything.”