Toronto billionaires pay $40,000 to hear Tessanne Chin sing
How much is a song from Jamaica’s Tessanne Chin worth?
Plenty it seems, at least to some Canadians. Toronto philanthropists Michael Lee-Chin and Raymond Chang got into an impromptu bidding war to persuade Chin to sing her first song on Canadian soil.
Chin, the winner of Season 5 of NBC’s The Voice, was being honoured at a University of the West Indies fundraising banquet at the Ritz Carlton in Toronto. She wasn’t scheduled to sing on her first visit to Canada. But some spur-of-the-moment bidding at the end of the evening generated excitement for fans of the star.
Bidding started at $1,000 by auctioneer Gordon Cressy and seemed to stall briefly at the $4,000 mark. Cressy then asked Lee-Chin why he wasn’t joining in.
“It’s too low,” joked the billionaire, who astonished the crowd by bidding $10,000 if Chin would sing just one song. The bid was eventually matched by Chang who is the patron of the ball. The stipulation: if only Chin would consent to sing a second song. This was topped by Lee-Chin who offered another $20,000 if Chin would sing a third song, for a total of $40,000. For the record, that’s $13,333 per song. Proceeds go to scholarships for the Caribbean-based university system.
A flattered Chin got on stage at the Ritz ballroom, saying, “I hope you don’t mind if I sing a cappella,” since no band was present, and launched into a soaring version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”