Audrey Brown

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Music: Music Stars Pressured to Donate Gaddafi Concert Payments To Charity

Stars Under Pressure:  Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Usher and Nelly Furtado
Following the recent uprising in Libya and the worldwide condemnation of leader Colonel Moammar Gadaffi. A number of famous singers such as Beyonce, Usher, Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado and rapper 50 Cent have recently come under fire from music peers and the media for pocketing millions received from concert performances for the Libyan dictator and his family. Singer Nelly Futardo was first to announce on Twitter on the 1st March that she recieved $1 million for a private performance for Gaddafi's family in Italy in 2007 and will now be donating the money to charity, although she has yet to specify which charity.

The following day, Beyonce's rep issued a statement claiming that although Beyonce performed at Gaddafi's family New Years Eve party in 2009 all payment in the region of $2 million was donated to help the eathquake relief in Haiti at the time. Although, at the time, this was never made public and Beyonce has never commented on the star-studded celebrations before, which included hubby Jay-Z, Usher and Lindsay Lohan. Beyonce's rep Yvette Noel-Shure spoke to the Associated Press stating, "Once it became known that the third party promoter was linked to the (Gaddafi) family, the decision was made to put that payment to a good cause."

Reports also suggest that the US State Department has confirmed that Mariah Carey, 50 Cent and Timberland received payments for private concerts organised by Gadaffi's son, Mutassim Gaddafi. As yet there have been no comments or confirmation form these artists to suggest that payments from the Libyan dictators private concerts have been donated in full to charitable causes. It is also worth mentioning that just because a singer or their publicist states that monies were donated to charity, unless a receipt is provided, in my opinion, that is all it is, a statement, not a fact.

I also find it hard to believe that none of these artists knew the history surrounding Libya and the dictatorship of Colonel Gadaffi prior to signing the dotted lines for the millions they would receive in  payments. I gather that whether they knew or not the million dollar payments were enough to convince them to turn a blind eye and boost their bank balances. I also find it bewildering that neither Beyonce or Nelly Furtado considered donating their payments back to the citizens of Libya or a likewise charity, since presumably it is these people that were robbed initially to pay their concert payments in the first place.

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