The state of Florida reportedly paid hip-hop superstar Pitbull $1 million to help promote tourism in the Sunshine State.
“It’s been an honor to represent Miami and the Sunshine State. I’ve taken Miami and Florida worldwide – WAY before any contract, and will do so way after. I love my home state.” Pitbull wrote on Twitter Thursday. “When asked to take on a New Year’s show, I INSISTED it be live from Florida. #LoveFL since birth . . . and til the day I die. Dale!”
— Pitbull (@pitbull) December 15, 2016
The “Time of Our Lives” singer signed the lucrative deal in July 2015 with Florida’s tourism promotion agency Visit Florida. At the heart of the deal was a $250,000 fee Visit Florida agreed to pay Pitbull to produce a music video for his 2014 hit song “Sexy Beaches.”
When news of the contract began to circulate, a redacted version of the deal was released online. Lawyers for Pitbull’s production company, PDR Productions, claimed the details of the contract were trade secrets and should remain sealed due to a confidentiality clause.
This prompted Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran to sue PDR Productions, insisting that state lawmakers have the legal and constitutional authority to review the contract.
“It is unfortunate that it took litigation to lift the veil of secrecy on this particular contract,” Corcoran said in a press statement. “This was a long unnecessary journey through claims of trade secrets, threats of prosecution, and corporate welfare paid for by taxpayers. The people’s House will not hesitate to use every tool at our disposal to protect the taxpayer and ensure transparency is the rule and not the exception in state government.”
The contract required Pitbull to post positive references to Florida via his massive social media platforms. The singer was paid to promote the #LoveFL hashtag in various video and live performances, including his New Year’s Eve Special which aired live on the Fox Network from Miami, Florida.
Visit Florida CEO Will Seccombe testified before a Florida Senate panel on Wednesday and said that although the confidentiality clause was a mistake, the deal with Pitbull was a net positive investment for Florida taxpayers.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson