Singer claims her fee’s so low she’s been ‘raped’ by management

Singer claims her fee’s so low she’s been ‘raped’ by management


norman lebrecht

August 17, 2015

The immensely popular and outspoken Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor has posted a breakdown of receipts from her German tour. She got paid 500 Euros for three shows. The agents took 12,000.

Here’s the receipt. Below is Sinead’s rant. Couldn’t happen in classical, could it?


sinead receipt


Sinead: Observe below… What I got paid for three shows in Germany, FIVE HUNDRED EURO as compared to what everyone else got paid. The last two figures on this list amount to what the agent Rita Zappador and Modus In Rebus got, €11,700.00.

The €47,700.00 is the total of what my four and a half hours’ work generated. Pls note the document is page 9 of 7! This is the type of dodgy documents we are being provided with. This is the sodding insurance document !!!

In the end the agent didn’t even pay me the five hundred. SHE DOCKED ME FOUR THOUSAND! So my work generated almost €48k but cost me €4k. Pls note bands do not arrange these things themselves. One’s business managers and agents do. One trusts one is not being lied to when one is seduced to go on tour by being assured of earnings. Our job is to shake our asses and sing nice. Management’s job is to fight off every cunt that wants to rip us off. MASSIVE negligence cases to be brought by me against every member of my now ex management team.

Not only for the below but for several even more appalling and wreckless negligences, which have cost me hundreds of thousands of euro which I was illegally told was my obligation to pay, and it was NOT my legal obligation. In short I have been ass raped by Rita Zappador and Modus in Rebus with the full (written, and totally behind my back, without my knowledge) support of Simon Napier Bell, Bjorn De Water and my now ex accountant. ALL of whom need to lawyer up, and get ready for the fraud squad.


Musician Sinead O'Connor arrives at amfAR's Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011.  The Gala benefits AIDs research worldwide. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)


  • Martin says:

    For those reasons every deal signed should be going through the artist.

    The agent negotiates, the artist signs. The artist gets paid, then the artist pays the agent, respectively the agent fee gets paid at the same time as the artists fee.
    Everything else is bound for trouble.

  • John says:

    Caveat emptor!

  • Ann Summers Dossena says:

    This is truly outrageous and puts us back decades in manager/artist relationships. The organization in the UK, IAMA and NAPAMA IN North America should be contacted. Any artist looking for managers or agents should select from these organizations who believe in ethics codes. Ann

  • Dave T says:

    I’m may be treading where I don’t belong, but…

    For three shows– or is it “7 shows (all indoor)”– 47,000 does not put one into the “immensely popular” category. Still, band musicians have to be paid (we’re all for that, right?), hotels have to be booked, and there are “production costs”. Not sure what those are– lighting? sound? other? That may be a corrupt slush fund, or it may not. In the end 10% for the agency doesn’t strike me as out of line.

    Perhaps they need to negotiate better fees from promoters, if the market would bear it. Or perhaps they need to trim their expenses, like traveling in vans and staying in motels, like back in the good ole days.

    I don’t know all that much about Ms. O’connor, nor do I care. I do recall that she has been known for an outrageous outburst or two. She, also, sadly suffers from bi-polar disorder. I suspect that there is more to this dispute than her claim.

    • Una says:

      Lots of people have bi-polar and get treated well for it and live a more normal life than some of us! But no excuse for being treated like this. I thought she’d become a ‘priest’ and had given up singing – just shows you how much I know as a classical singer. Mercifully I never had to travel in a van to go and sing!!!

  • John says:

    Presumably she has an agent who saw the contract ahead of time. I’d assume she signed the contract. It sounds like she got the shaft really badly, but again, who’s fault would that have been?

  • Alvaro says:

    A friend and great artist posted this on FB so I’ll do an abridged version.

    To victimize the artist is precisely the problem – in classical, top artists make more revenue than the entire agencies that represent them

    Two very simple things: if the manager committed a crime, take them to trial and they will clearly win. If not, then O’connor was yet another dumb artist who signed stuff without reading – probably because all their teachers and acquaintances told her she should ONLY focus on music and thats it.

    Stop it already with putting management as the culprit, when the artists themselves are the ones who should take responsibility for their finances. But you wouldn’t want to teach that in a conservatory, right?

    From the times of mozart to now, clueless artists have been taken advantage of. If they are so dumb to allow this to happen, they deserve it.