'The chance of a lifetime' - Barry Manilow axes community choir last minute
They had spent four weeks frantically rehearsing after his management team recruited them. But Manilow, who has a £79million fortune, claimed he did not have a budget to pay choir director Lauren Elliott to prepare the 20-strong ensemble for two songs.
Lauren had forged ahead with rehearsals, realising the opportunity to sing with the 79-yearold showbiz icon, 79, last Saturday was "the chance of a lifetime."
Lauren, 31, said: "I can't imagine what it has cost us all individually."
"This is my job and yet he had no budget to pay us for the time it took to get ready.
"One of our members is a musician who cancelled a number of paid gigs to rehearse and appear. His lost revenue is way more than £500."
Friends and family had also bought tickets in anticipation of watching the choir back Manilow on Let Freedom Ring and It's A Miracle.
His team did not respond to requests for comment but Lauren said she was contacted by the star's husband and manager Garry Kief who said a small donation was made.
Lauren added: "I told him how disappointed we were and stressed how badly it had been handled."
The donation went towards the choir's fundraising for the World Transplant Games in Leeds next month.