Singapore Prime Minister Defends Paying Taylor Swift To Not Perform In Neighboring Countries – Forbes

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday defended his country’s decision to ink an exclusive deal with Taylor Swift—who is performing six concerts in the country this week—that prevents the superstar musician from taking her ongoing Eras Tour to any other countries in the region.
Taylor Swift performs during “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour” at the National Stadium in Singapore.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an ASEAN summit in Melbourne, Lee confirmed his government offered “certain incentives” to the singer from the government’s post-pandemic tourism fund, but did not disclose the actual cost.
Lee said his government’s agencies “negotiated an arrangement with her to come to Singapore and perform, and to make Singapore her only stop in Southeast Asia.”
The prime minister called the arrangement “very successful” and said he did not see it as an “unfriendly” gesture towards the other members of the ASEAN group of Southeast Asian nations.
Lee added that if his country had not offered this deal, there was no guarantee that she would travel to any other country in the region.
The Prime Minister’s remarks come after the country’s Culture and Youth Minister Edwin Tong dismissed media speculation that the government paid Swift between $2-3 million per show.
Tong told Channel News Asia that the actual numbers were “nowhere as high as what is being speculated,” with the outlet suggesting the singer may get around $2-3 million for her entire tour.
Last week, Joey Salceda, chair of the Ways and Means Committee of the Philippines House of Representatives, asked his country’s foreign ministry to bring up the matter with Singapore and said such a deal was not “what good neighbors do.” He said “Some 3 million USD in grants were allegedly given by the Singapore government to AEG to host the concert in Singapore. The catch was that they do not host it elsewhere in the region.”
The $2-3 million per show figure was first publicly floated by Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin last month when he claimed that Singapore was paying Swift that amount to secure her exclusivity.
360,000. That is the estimated number of total attendees who are expected to attend Swift’s six concerts in Singapore.
Swift began her tour of Singapore with a concert at the country’s National Stadium on Saturday, followed by two more on Sunday and Monday. Like with other legs of the Eras Tour, her shows in Singapore have drawn several high-profile attendees including actor Barry Keoghan, singer and actress Sabrina Carpenter, K-pop stars Lisa from Blackpink and Minho from SHINee.
Singapore prime minister defends exclusive deal with Taylor Swift that riles some neighbors (Associated Press)

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