Manager Scott Rodger says his client — Matteo Bocelli — did not receive any compensation from the American Icon Awards for his performance.
The event was held in May to honor Al Pacino at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. Long-time friend Robert De Niro opened the night with a lively speech. Quincy Jones and Evander Holyfield also spoke, among many others.
Attendees of the event included Sylvester Stallone, Naomi Campbell, Joe Mantegna, and more. Martin Scorsese served as the event’s honorary dinner chair.
A splashy affair, indeed.
The American Icon Awards describes itself as a philanthropic organization whose mission is to highlight top talent. Many performers and attendees often waive their performance and appearance fees, donating their time to promote the event. According to Scott Rodger, the request to sing for Al Pacino was an offer Bocelli “couldn’t refuse.”
“Matteo was happy to do it in return for the event covering his travel and hotel costs,” says Rodger. “No fee was involved [but] they stiffed us and won’t reimburse the agreed expenses.”
Rodger says it’s not the end of the world, but he wants to bring attention to the issue. Variety reached out for comment from Joseph Clapsaddle, executive producer of the American Icon Awards, who confirmed that Matteo Bocelli has yet to receive reimbursement for his travel expenses.
“We are very grateful for Matteo Bocelli’s beautiful performance at our event as well as the support of his management. His generous participation was especially appreciated by Al Pacino and our other honorees and guests.”
“I guess they assume we can afford it and they don’t have to pay,” Rodger stated. “They shouldn’t be allowed to take advantage of people.”
Other performers at the American Icon Awards included Robin Thicke and Pia Toscano. Both artists performed for free, but they both reside in Los Angeles and needed no travel reimbursement. Separately, one vendor confirmed to Variety they were compensated for their services.