New Year's Eve is always a problem. Party? Pub? Jools Holland's Hootenanny? George Michael this week chose to spend it near Moscow performing at a Russian billionaire's house. It is believed the $3m (Â£1.52m) on offer may have provided an incentive. Details of the hour-long concert in front of 300 private guests are sketchy. The unnamed businessman is understood to own a private estate 20 miles outside Moscow. On the land is a sports hall, which the billionaire turned into a nightclub especially for the party. Michael is believed to have performed a condensed version of his recent 25 Live tour, which began in Barcelona in September and ended with a special concert before Christmas at Camden's Roundhouse for NHS workers. The repertoire could, therefore, have included songs including Flawless, Jesus to a Child, Shoot the Dog and Careless Whisper. Alongside Michael were a 20-strong entourage, including his band and backing singers. "It was a fun night and George was back home in Britain by morning," a spokeswoman for the singer said. But she did not know who the mystery moneybags was, nor how Michael normally spent his New Year's Eve. Michael, named gay man of 2006 by Boyz Magazine last week, has been in and out of the headlines in 2006. He admitted what most people know, that he enjoys cannabis, and was filmed smoking a spliff on Melvyn Bragg's South Bank Show. The News of the World caught him looking for sex on Hampstead Heath, London. And he is due to appear at Brent magistrates court on January 11 charged with being unfit to drive a motor vehicle. Michael is far from being the only performer to take private money, although his Moscow engagement appears to have been particularly lucrative and, it is said, has made him the highest paid entertainer in modern Russian history. The Rolling Stones played the 60th birthday party of a Texan billionaire four years ago for Â£2m. Christina Aguilera was reportedly paid Â£420,000 for performing three songs at the wedding of Russian oligarch Andrei Melnichenko in September 2005, with Enrique Iglesias getting the same amount and Whitney Houston a bit more. Destiny's Child and Rod Stewart are said to have performed at the barmitzvah of the son of BHS tycoon Philip Green, while Kylie Minogue was paid nearly Â£1m for singing to executives from Deutsche Bank in 2004. The Sultan of Brunei is a regular hirer and is understood to have had Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Boyzone perform at various bashes. Sir Elton John, the Eagles, Celine Dion and Sir Paul McCartney can all be commissioned, at a price. Bob Dylan upset his fans in 1997 when he played a private gig for a Californian semiconductor company. Not everyone is for hire though. U2 have said they will only perform in front of ordinary fans. And if you are organising a party and Â£1.5m is out of your reach, you could consider Anson Williams, who played Potsie in Happy Days. He is available to mingle at between $3,000 and $6,000, depending on transport home.