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Justin Bieber’s appearance at big Indian wedding under scrutiny

The singer has performed at a ceremony for the son of India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani

Popstar Justin Bieber has triggered controversy in India by charging its richest man, Mukesh Ambani, $10 million to perform at his son’s wedding festivities.

Bieber performed two of his hit songs – ‘Love Yourself’ and ‘I’m the One’ at the sangeet ceremony – an Indian wedding tradition that celebrates the union of two families. Ambani’s son Anant will wed Radhika Merchant in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, on Friday.

However, the performance drew mixed reactions on social media. According to a report, the singer was paid $10 million to appear at the event. Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries conglomerate, is the richest person in India and Asia with an estimated net worth of $123 billion. 

The size of the paycheck has sparked sharp rebukes from both supporters and critics, who question the excessive spending. Another performer – popular Indian rapper Badshah – was paid around $500,000 to perform at the ceremony, according to a report in Business Today.

The ceremony coincided with a hike in mobile tariffs by Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance. With over 460 million users, Jio is the largest telecom service in India and the third largest in the world. “Tariffs have been increased because of [the fee to hire Bieber],” claimed one online commenter.

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Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani (R) at a pre-wedding event in Jamnagar, India.
Ivanka Trump, Bill Gates among guests at pre-wedding for son of Asia’s richest man in India

Meanwhile, the ‘Baby’ singer’s outfit – a white ribbed tank and track pants worn low over plaid Ralph Lauren boxers – also came under scrutiny. Commenting on pictures posted by Bieber after the event, one person said that he was “showing off his cotton underwear at [a billionaire’s] house.” Another suggested that posting pictures from the wedding must have been a part of Bieber’s “deliverables.”

Although the Ambanis have been tight-lipped about who the star performer at the main wedding ceremony will be, reports suggest it could be British singer Adele.

The grand finale on Friday will conclude months of the billionaire couple’s festivities, which have already included concerts by Rihanna, Katy Perry, the Backstreet Boys, David Guetta, and Andrea Bocelli. In March, around 1,200 celebrities, businesspeople, and world leaders attended a pre-wedding celebration held in Jamnagar, Gujarat. 

The guest list included Donald Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka, tech billionaires Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, BlackRock investment company co-founder Larry Fink, and former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Rihanna was reportedly paid $7 million to perform at the event. Altogether, the wedding could end up costing the Ambanis around $320 million, according to reports in Indian media.

The 2018 wedding of Ambani’s daughter, Isha, was equally lavish and featured its fair share of national and international stars.

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July 11, 2024 at 07:07PM
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