Beyoncé, Mariah, Usher, 50 Cent Urged to Donate Gaddafi Performance Proceeds to Charity
Top American R&B and hip-hop artists who performed at lavish parties thrown by relatives of embattled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi are being urged by music industry insiders to give back the money they earned, Rolling Stone reports. Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Usher and 50 Cent all made big bucks from these performances.
Mariah Carey earned $1 million singing for Gaddafi’s son and Libyan national security adviser Muatassim at an opulent New Year’s Eve soiree on the swank Caribbean island of St. Barts in 2008. Beyoncé and Usher performed for an undisclosed amount on the same island the following year. Rapper 50 Cent performed for Muatassim at a 2005 film festival in Venice, Italy. Managers for the four artists have not commented on the matter.
Muammar Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya with an iron fist since 1969, has backed deadly terrorist attacks on a Berlin disco in 1986 and on Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. That attack killed 270 people. More recently, Gaddafi responded with deadly force to anti-government protests throughout Libya. His days seem to be numbered as opposition forces win control of more and more of the North African nation.
But some believe that the artists in question are unaware of Gaddafi’s brutality. R.E.M. agent Buck Williams told Rolling Stone that “ninety percent of the time the artist has no cue… the majority of my artists, if they knew something was funded by Gaddafi, they would not play it, and morally, it would not rest well with them.” But Dennis Arfa, agent for Metallica, Billy Joel and Rod Stewart opined that “not every artist is a humanitarian. In more cases than not, for people, greed rules.”
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