Erykah Badu offers $1 online concert and discusses musicians’ self-isolation struggles

“I got a house full of masked engineers, musicians, techs, who are all out of work"

Erykah Badu performed the first of a planned series of online concerts earlier this week, and spoke to fans about the problems she and other musicians are facing due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Fans were charged $1 to watch Badu perform live from her living room on Monday (March 23), where she sang a number of hits as well as offering her thoughts on artists’ struggles during the pandemic. You can see fan footage below.



“I got a house full of masked engineers, musicians, techs, who are all out of work,” she said. “We have a few band members that’s stuck in other states.”

“I called them earlier and told them today, y’all still on the payroll even though y’all not here.”

Explaining why she was charging $1 for fans to watch the show, Badu said: ”

“Artists get about 8 to 20 percent [of record sales], but it’s not paid until the record label recoups the money they loaned to you in the form of an advance.”


“It’s really not designed for us to become wealthy. That’s why we rely on our live shows. We’re not rich people. We just play rich people on TV. This is how we make our living and some of us only have one form of income and that’s shows.”

Last week, meanwhile, Badu hinted that coronavirus lockdown could lead to her working on a new album.

“Shit…look like I got time now,” Badu replied to one fan who asked whether she could release new music, sparking rumours that a new album may surface soon.