Dozens of wealthy music superstars got $200 million in COVID ‘aid’

By Around the Web

(Photo by Frankie Lopez on Unsplash)
(Photo by Frankie Lopez on Unsplash)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Wire.]

By Adam Andrzejewski
Real Clear Wire

Dozens of superstar music artists like Post Malone, Chris Brown, Nickelback, and Lil Wayne received over $200 million in pandemic relief funds through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, according to Insider.

The program had $14.5 billion from the Small Business Administration to support businesses like theaters, opera houses, and other performing arts venues that were closed due to COVID lockdowns. Qualified applicants could receive up to $10 million in forgivable loans.

Many popular performing artists quickly found ways to game the system. With the help of an asset management firm called NKSFB, dozens of artists funneled the money to LLCs and subsidiaries in their name, where the funds could then be used for “owner compensation.”

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Big names raked in millions, Insider reported. Post Malone and Chris Brown both received the max $10 million in funds, while Slipknot pulled in $9.7 million, and Lil Wayne got $8.9 million. Insider’s analysis found that over $200 million went to “big-name artists.”

These handouts were not the result of fraudulent applications or dubious money laundering. These artists took advantage of a poorly written law. Loopholes allowed this waste to take place. There were no income phase-outs or need-based requirements, artists were included as an eligible profession to receive funding, and they were able to use funds for owner compensation.

This program also could have given businesses low interest loans that would allow them to stay open in the short term, but also ensure the money would be returned and that businesses would have skin in the game.

Thanks to this poorly written law, millionaires got richer at taxpayers’ expense, while small businesses struggled to navigate the complex bureaucracy for limited funds.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.


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