Do Academy Award artists get paid for performing?

With the Oscars coming, you may be wondering whether artists are paid for performing at the award ceremony. Find out here!

2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Red Carpet
2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Red Carpet / Cindy Ord/VF23/GettyImages
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With the Oscars upon us, expect some fun performances of the nominated songs. But are the artists actually paid for these special numbers? Find out here!

Every year, the Academy Awards have their major ceremony, and it's always a great highlight for viewers. Among the big bits are the interspersed performances across the show which are usually for the Best Original Song nominees. 

There are also occasional special performances, from the annual "In Memoriam" piece to sometimes marking a famous performer or film (such as Shirley Bassey singing "Goldfinger" for the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise in 2012). They're always a big deal, given these are often major musicians up for the awards. 

This year looks to be no different as among the expected performers are Becky G ("The Fire Inside" from Flamin' Hot); Jon Batiste ("It Never Went Away" from American Symphony); Scott George and the Osage Singers ("Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)" from Killers of the Flower Moon); Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell ("What Was I Made For?", Barbie) and Ryan Gosling and Mark Ronson ("I'm Just Ken" from Barbie). 

So the question is, do these artists do it just to boost the songs and movies, or is there actually money involved? 

What are the payments to perform at the Oscars?

According to a 2013 Hollywood Reporter story, performers at the Oscars are typically paid a minimum of $3500 to perform. It can vary from $2400 for a solo performer to nearly $5000 for a group performance. As for hosts, Jimmy Kimmel has confirmed he was paid $15,000 for each of his hosting gigs so that's likely the same for other hosts.

It's likely the price has gone up in the years since, with some top acts capable of getting almost $20,000. That includes A-listers like Lady Gaga or Eilish. It's true the huge stars already worth millions don't need what amounts to a drop in the bucket, but for less famous artists, it can be a great bonus.

Of course, the bigger bonus is having exposure before a worldwide audience and performing in front of Hollywood's elite. That can open a lot of doors for a performer and be a boost to song sales. Thus, while the Academy's payments can be seen as low-level for an artist, the dividends for performing at the Oscar can be so much better than cash. 

The 2024 Academy Awards air Sunday, March 10 at 7/6c on ABC.

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