The Shuttered Venue Operations Grant was created in 2021 to keep movie theaters, museums and talent agencies afloat during COVID. But the federal program also paid out millions to some of the biggest names in music, despite their touring companies being in little danger. Chris Brown’s company got $10 million, as did Post Malone’s, while Steve Aoki got $9.9 million and Lil Wayne got $8.9 million. Slipknot got $9.7 million, Smashing Pumpkins got $8.6 million, and Nickelback got $2 million.
The Insider report admits that many of these artists employ teams of people who could have benefitted from the grants, but due to poor oversight and few rules attached to the program, finding out exactly how the money was spent is difficult. There is no indication that the payments to big-name artists broke the law.