By Steve Wiseman

Sir Paul McCartney may be Britain’s highest-paid performer, according to UK’s Sunday Times, but he earned nearly nothing for his performance at the Olympic Opening Ceremony in London last Friday (July 27).

Macca reportedly made a mere $1.57 (or one British pound) off the Olympic gig, as did fellow performers Arctic Monkeys, Emeli Sande, Dizzee Rascal and Mike Oldfield. Needless to say, that’s quite a bit less than what McCartney usually makes for a gig: In 2011, he earned $6.2 million off playing just six concerts in America, Billboard reports.

So why pay them at all? Monetary compensation was offered in order to make their contracts binding.

For those who weren’t glued to their TVs on Friday night, McCartney closed out the Opening Ceremony with performances of Beatles classics “Hey Jude” and “The End. The Beatles tribute didn’t stop there: UK rockers Arctic Monkeys also covered the Fab Four’s “Come Together” shortly before Macca’s performance.

Other performers included tongue-twisted rapper Dizzee Rascal and soulful singer Emeli Sandé, whose touching tribute to victims of UK terrorist attacks was cut from NBC’s US broadcast. The Opening Ceremony, which aired stateside on NBC, was helmed by British director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting) with musical direction from electronic group Underworld.

This all leads us to wonder: What could Paul McCartney buy with just a buck and half? Just one Beatles song on iTunes, which run a $1.29 each – and he’d still have some leftover! Then again, if you’re Paul McCartney, you want for nothing.

– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local


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