Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Usher and 50 Cent all performed for the son of Libyan dictator (and Muppet saxophone player for the Electric Mayhem look alike) Muammar el-Qaddafi. Rolling Stone reports that the music celebrities are facing calls to donate the money they earned from the regime, to charity.
In 2008 Carey took $1 million to perform for Qaddafi’s son, Muatassim — also Libya’s national security adviser — for a New Year’s Eve party on St. Barts. The following year, Beyoncé and Usher also played on Muatassim’s favorite Caribbean party island for “undisclosed” sums. 50 Cent performed for Muatassim in Venice in 2005. Representatives for the performers all declined comment or did not return Rolling Stone’s calls.
When Rod Stewart and Queen performed for the South African resort Sun City in the 70’s and 80’s they were criticized accepting money from the apartheid era regime, eventually donating money to charities. “I don’t think most artists go into [performing at a party like this] with that kind of in-depth focus, [of] how each country is governed and what goes on inside each country,” Rod Stewart’s agent Dennis Arfa commented. “Not every artist is a humanitarian. In more cases than not, for people, greed rules.”
On a related note, if you missed Jon Stewart’s recent break down of the Libyan situation, watch it below. The Christopher Walken reference is comedy gold: