Whether you're negotiating a raise, a home loan, or just a great price on that garage-sale knicknack, you need to think like a pop star: Be bold, and insist on getting exactly what you want. To give you an idea of what we mean, take a look at some of the specific (and, in some cases, outrageous) demands Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Busta Rhymes, and seven other musical prima donnas have written into their contract riders before they'll agree to appear in concert. (These and many more actual contracts can be found on TheSmokingGun.com.)
MARIAH CAREY When it comes to dealmaking, Mariah is without peer (witness the $68 million she recently earned for being dropped by one record label and signed by another). On the road, though, Carey's needs are not quite so upscale. Sure, she asks for a tea service for eight, along with champagne flutes and wine glasses. But she also has the common sense to insist on bendy straws to sip from.
JENNIFER LOPEZ When J. Lo attended the recording session for the charity single ''What's Going On'' last fall, she still submitted her standard rider, demanding a trailer at least 40 feet long, furnished all in white (flowers, tablecloths, drapes, candles, and couches), a VCR and CD player, and an ''assortment of current R&B, hip-hop, and salsa'' CDs, for which she offers 43 selected titles. Love don't cost a thing, but being a diva sure can be expensive.
JANET JACKSON In her current tour rider, Jackson requests $75 worth of white flowers (tulips, roses, gardenias, and lilies) and fresh ice for drinks, specifying ''NO FISH ICE.'' She explains, ''If it had never happened, I wouldn't have to write this...'' Ewww, nasty.
BRITNEY SPEARS Spears' 2000 rider demands a private phone line in her dressing room -- but she'll fine the promoter $5,000 if the number gets published and anyone calls her. Otherwise, her tastes are simple: General Foods International Coffee, Cap'n Crunch and Froot Loops, and Pop Tarts. (You are what you eat.)
MARY J. BLIGE: When it comes to getting paid, Mary J. Blige wants no more drama. But in 1997, when she earned $100,000 per show, she required promoters to pay her in cash -- in crisp $100 bills. As that other hip-hopper sang, ''It's all about the Benjamins.''