Mariah Carey was condemned in 2008 for performing for Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, which she later regretted.
“I was naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess,” Carey told US Magazine.
“Ultimately we as artists are to be held accountable. Going forward, this is a lesson for all artists to learn from. We need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows.”
According to The Telegraph, the singer was paid $1 million to perform for Angolan dictator Jose Eduardo Dos Santos last weekend.
Carey also posed for a picture (right) with Dos Santos and his wife.
Human rights groups say Dos Santos, whose official title is “President of Angola,” has executed political opponents and journalists, fixed elections and exploited the country for his personal wealth.
ABC News notes that Carey reportedly told the audience: “I am happy to be here in this room, and I am honored to share this show with the president of Angola.”
However, her concert was condemned by the Human Rights Foundation.
“Mariah Carey can’t seem to get enough dictator cash, reportedly more than $1 million this time,” the Human Rights Foundation’s Thor Halvorssen said in a press release.
“It is the sad spectacle of an international artist purchased by a ruthless police state to entertain and whitewash the father-daughter kleptocracy that has amassed billions in ill-gotten wealth while the majority of Angola lives on less than $2 a day,” added Halvorssen.
In response, Angola’s government-controlled news agency claimed the concert raised $65,000 for the Angolan Red Cross, which is run by Dos Santos daughter, Isabel, who is the country’s only billionaire.
Rafael Marques de Morais, editor of the Angolan website MakaAngola.org, told the Human Rights Foundation: “The presidency was happy to cover the capital in posters of her performance, but on November 23 the presidential guards murdered an activist in custody for posting fliers. Those fliers were a peaceful protest of the murder of other activists disappeared by state police. How does Mariah Carey, the artist and humanist, who so often speaks about human rights, feel about that?”
“The Angolan Red Cross gala raised $65,000, which wouldn’t cover the cost of fuel for Isabel dos Santos’ private plane ride to go shopping in Paris. Mariah Carey’s transportation alone cost several times that number. It’s absolutely shameless,” added de Morais.
If you still recall, the R&B sensation and wife of Nick Cannon made an undercover landing in Lagos Nigeria on December 14, 2013.
The multiple Grammy Awards winner visited Nigeria for the Access Bank’s Christmas Party and Send-forth ceremony for the bank’s Managing Director Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, who reportedly got about 200 top staff laid off for no apparent reasons.
Reports have it that the singer was paid close to a N200m (Two hundred million Naira) to have come from the U.S.
It was gathered reliably that, the Access Bank MD, Aig had been dreaming of hosting this one in town party where Mariah Carey will host few of his very close friends and confidants, even not all Access Bank’s staff were opportune to attend, yet the party was tagged “Access Bank End Of Year Bash”.
It was also gathered exclusively that, in the front burner of the logistics of bringing Mariah Carey is one of Access Bank’s top echelons, Angela Ebagwa, the better-half of billionaire businessman, Jide Omokore.
“I can’t imagine why a whole bank, an institution entrusted in keeping public fund will embark on such a monumental waste of spending such a stupendous amount on bringing a musician from the U.S for just a party, what kind of party are you doing that can’t pay a Nigerian artiste, we knew that was why he sacked almost 200 staff last month to be able to accommodate the wasteful party and launder some funds, the MD is too randy, that was how they’re using people’s money to acquire private jets, this is somebody that’s lobbying to become governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, his days are definitely numbered, we’re compiling documents of some of his financial atrocities to give to the press soon, we must expose them” one of the aggrieved staff had said.
Carey isn’t the first performer who has taken a paycheck for appearing in countries known for terror, death and fraud.
In 2011, Beyoncé sang for Moammar Gadhafi’s sons and Jennifer Lopez performed in Turkmenistan.