George Michael's Hourly = $2.2 million

Shed no tears for the law-baiting British pop star - the rate he commands for his private gigs makes AIG's bonuses look puny

Planning a birthday or a bar mitzvah? Got to nail down the entertainment first. How about George Michael? You may need to ask him to sign a waiver that he won't get busted in a car full of drugs in your driveway -- or worse -- but otherwise, he's terrific. Really delivers live. And he only charges $2.2 million an hour, according to the Daily Mail.

That may seem high, but -- as nickel magnate Vladimir Potanin knows, who hired Michael to play his New Year's Eve Party -- an hour is thirteen whole songs. Compare that to Kylie Minogue's $4.4 million tab for playing a 10-song set at the Atlantis Hotel opening in Dubai last November -- that's a 50 percent savings! You can totally pick the songs, too. That includes the full Wham! back catalogue. Careless Whisper? Done. Faith? He'll even shimmy his seat like in the video. He's your popmusic monkey. Give him a tiny fez and a hand organ, and watch him go.

Look, George Michael is a bargain, really. He travels with a minimal entourage (40 people) and has his own private jet. And as a noted recluse, he doesn't stick around afterwards and expect food or drink. You don't get that with the Rolling Stones, whose gig rate was $3.6 million in 2007. Keith Richards alone will suck your open bar dry.

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