February 1, 2016


Timbaland Phones In Flint Benefit Show After Champagne Dispute: Report

Paul Warner/Getty Images
Paul Warner/Getty Images

Flint, Mich.'s tainted water crisis has seen major donations (in both $$ and H2O form) from artists including Pearl JamMeek MillCher and Big Sean. On Thursday (Jan. 28) Timbaland was booked to play a Detroit-set benefit but the New York Daily News is reporting that he intentionally flubbed the performance over a champagne mix-up. Timbo's crew reportedly wanted Jay Z's Ace of Spades; the venue only had Dom Perignon.

What came next, according to Club Bleu co-owner Mitchell Jaworski, was a letdown. “They had about 15 bottles of liquor and champagne, which is extremely excessive especially for a charity event,” Jaworski told the NYDN; the paper reports that the event raised $3,000 for Flint, a scant-looking figure next to the list of booze consumed. “They seemed more concerned about getting every drop of liquor.” 

At the end of the night, Timbaland's set—billed as a half-hour DJ set and a performance of five to eight songs—fizzled completely. A since-deleted post on Club Bleu's Facebook said Timbaland "just stood there" once he hit the stage at 1AM, neither performing nor DJing.

Timbo's rep tells Billboard

"Unfortunately, the statement made by the promoter in Detroit is simply not true. [Timbaland is an] extremely generous person who agreed to a much lower fee for this event to raise money for the Flint, Michigan's water crisis. The promoter was fully aware that this was not a full band performance on stage, yet still promoted it as such. The club was still able to raise money for charity, which was our goal in doing this event all along."

Club Bleu's extended version of the event, on Facebook, was:

“His management [took] classlessness to a new level when they said Timbaland did ‘not feel like’ performing. They then insisted that we show them the signed contract for the night and where the stipulation was for the ‘live’ performance. Finally management relented and literally had to wake Timbaland up so he could proceed to stand behind the decks and nod his head for 30 minutes.”

Timbaland was reportedly paid in advance of the event. Similar complaints arrived after the super-producer's concert in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Jan. 27.