What The Weeknd Wanted Before He Agreed To Headline Coachella

We're just a couple weeks shy of the long-awaited return of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, but headliner Kanye West spectacularly pulled out of the event earlier this week. TMZ confirmed that West, who legally changed his name to Ye, would no longer be playing the closing night of the two-weekend event. Nor will Travis Scott, who was reportedly due to accompany him onstage.

According to Variety, an insider alleged that the troubled rapper had yet to even begin rehearsing. He previously pulled out of the 2020 festival, but that year's Coachella was postponed until now anyway due to COVID-19 restrictions. The festival's organizers shared that The Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia would be taking over West's slot on Twitter. The likes of Harry Styles, Meghan Thee Stallion and Billie Eilish are slated to perform, too.

A source confirmed to Page Six that "it would be virtually impossible for him [West] to get it together" at this late stage. The "Donda" rapper has had several very public scuffles in recent weeks with the likes of his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, her new boyfriend Pete Davidson, and even "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah. Thus, West is reportedly focusing on getting help for his issues rather than committing to a major performance. There was also an online petition to remove him from Coachella.

Although The Weeknd has agreed to take the rapper's place, he had one major stipulation for doing so.

The Weeknd reportedly felt he was worth just as much as Kanye West

The Weeknd was willing to be a last-minute replacement for Kanye West at Coachella — but only if he received the same massive payout. Per Page Six, the "Blinding Lights" singer threatened not to go ahead with the show unless promoters agreed to pay him the same amount as West, who was reportedly set to earn $8 million for the show with a production budget of $500,000.

Although several outlets reported that The Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia agreed to occupy the two Sunday spots left open by West, an insider clarified the deal had taken a while to figure out. "Phil Anschutz [who owns the Coachella Festival through AEG Live] wanted to hold on to Kanye's money and pay The Weeknd far less, just a few million. The festival would pocket the rest," they explained.

The Weeknd's management fought hard with Coachella producers to get him what he deserved. According to the source, the "Can't Feel My Face" hit-maker was prepared to walk away if his demands weren't met. Finally, they "caved and agreed to pay The Weeknd the same money."

It's worth noting the R&B star wasn't paid for his 2021 performance during the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which inspired a hilarious meme. Instead, as The Independent reported at the time, The Weeknd invested $7 million of his own money into the show. Maybe he's simply looking to recoup the bill?