Beyoncé reveals that she donated Gaddafi performance fee, while Mariah Carey issues statement: 'I feel horrible and embarrassed'

GaddafiImage Credit: Chris Pizzello/Burhan Ozbilici/Evan Agostini/AP ImagesAs the situation in Libya worsens, the music world’s eyes have been trained on stars including Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Usher, and 50 Cent—all of whom have performed at opulent soirees thrown by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi or members of his family.

Rolling Stone reported earlier this week that these artists have been facing calls to give away the money they earned from their performances. Yesterday, Beyoncé’s publicist released a statement saying that the singer had done just that: “All monies paid to Beyoncé for her performance at a private party at Nikki Beach St. Barts on New Year’s Eve 2009, including the commissions paid to her booking agency, were donated to the earthquake relief efforts for Haiti, over a year ago. Once it became known that the third party promoter was linked to the Qaddafi family, the decision was made to put that payment to a good cause,” the statement reads.

Mariah Carey, meanwhile—who received $1 million after performing for Gaddafi’s son Muatassim in 2008—has issued her own statement on the matter: “I was naïve and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess. 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. Ultimately we as artists are to be held accountable.”

What do you think, readers—do you respect these artists for their admissions after the fact, or believe they shouldn’t have agreed to the performances in the first place?

UPDATE: Carey’s rep reports: “Mariah Carey has written a new song, “Save the Day,” and the proceeds from that song will go to human rights organizations.”

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Comments (45 total) Add your comment
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  • UGH

    Dopey broads. Now they grow a conscience?

    • Luddite

      Usher. 50 Cent.
      In other words, can we keep gender out of this?

    • Daniel

      I’m a nobody–an untalented, ugly, not rich American–and I’ve known since I was 12 (in the 80s) that Gaddafi was a crazy lunatic despotic dictator. Shame that none of them (or their handlers) could not take one sec to wiki the guy.

      • Karen

        Let’s jump to the mid-2000s and realize that George Bush restored diplomatic ties with Gadaffi and Libya. You want entertainers to be political geniuses.

    • Jason

      They have only grown a conscience because they got called out. And don’t believe for a minute they are actually donating their 1 million paycheck. None of them who have claimed to have donated their money have offered up any sort of proof.

      • Penelope

        It has already been confirmed by the Bush Clinton Haiti Fund that Beyonce donated the money.

  • hail-storm

    Can’t say I’m surprised that Mariah Carey kept the money.

    • K

      It doesn’t say that she did.

      • HD

        It also doesn’t say that she did.

      • HD


      • Tom Tom

        She also didnt say she gave it back or donated it either. That should have been her first statement!!!

  • Lauren

    Celebrities are people too, and they make mistakes. I’m glad Beyonce and others are donating their funds from the performances to charity. But I am not going to fault them for doing that in the first place. Not everyone who is attacking these individuals can say they were aware to the extent of these dictator regimes and the oppression. Some were aware of all of the violation of human rights, but not everyone. It has now come to the forefront because of the revolution going on in the Middle East and Tunisia. People are too quick to judge celebrities like Beyonce and Mariah, at least they are admitting that they should be more aware for the future and advocating that for fellow performers.

    • TQB

      I agree. In addition, performers have a varied degree of influence on their own performance schedule. The have agents who book these things… some just show up. What’s nice about Mariah’s statement (albeit not accompanied by a check) is that she acknowledges this, and encourages more artists to not just show up and collect a check in the future.

      • Burning Dervish

        Well said.

  • StephenKC

    If they’re sincere in their comments, then I praise them for taking responsibility and for, at least, SAYING all the right things. But now let’s talk about the REAL travesty from the past few years — Elton John performing for the second most hateful man in America, Rush Windbag.

    • HoneyB

      Yes, that surprised me. Why he would sing for Rush’s wedding after Rush’s comments about gays is shocking, even if he donated the money, Elton’s decision lacked integrity.

      • Red

        Here’s a newsflash: musicians/singers are in it for the money.

  • anonymous

    From the article it sounds like Mariah didn’t donate the money (If i’m incorrect, please say so). Stay classy Ms. Carey.

    • Jase

      Her rep confirmed to People that she had donated the money.

  • Stephen

    Mariah used that $$ for that new nursery. Wow, blood on the walls..

  • Stephen


  • Stephen

    I listened to a small sample of Gaga’s other song off her new album… “Government Hooker”.. google it.. Blazing hot!

  • Flip

    Don’t forget Nelly Furtado. She donated her money to charity as well.

  • Ilene Dover

    Good for Beyonce to have donated that money when she found out! And I am glad Mariah has spoken up. Mariah needs to donate that money to the Red Cross…that will help the refugees from Libya. Lets not be too hard on these entertainers…the Bush administration legitimized Libya several years ago as a FRIEND of the US,so they really did not do wrongly when our government and corporations got BILLIONS from that association and returned not one dime.

    • Curtis

      I am glad you mention this(Lets not be too hard on these entertainers…the Bush administration legitimized Libya several years ago as a FRIEND of the US) and keep in mind that Lockerbee happened when his DAD was President.

  • Peter

    I don’t get that how can entertainers be held to a higher standard than politicians and corporations. The entertainers might not even thought it was ok to perform even Bush and most Western leaders have never legitimized Gadaffi and his regime in the first place by restoring diplomacy with them. People want the entertainers to give back. So I guess all the rich CEOs that ran corporations over there need to also because everything had to be ran through the regime before it was done. What next, they’re going to ask the people that worked for those corporations to give back their money, too. I’m sure nobody predicted this outcome so if the law of the land was ok for them to perform at the time they did. Then, I honestly think could’ve kept the money. Good of them to have donated it, though, to a worthy cause.

    • K

      “…nobody predicted this outcome….” Dude, Gaddafi has been a tyrannical a-hole for years. It’s not a matter of current events and how he’s handling the protests right now – it’s how he’s a crazy dictator, has been for a long time, and someone should have known better than to book these artists for him or his family.

      • Curtis

        Like this country hasn’t aligned itself with crazy dictators and leaders who end up becoming our enemies later(i.e Bin Laden and Hussein).

    • Serafino Ficazza

      Well, Peter, I am happy to read someone using his brain in the right way

    • Joan

      Excellent point, Peter. Who cares who Beyonce or Mariah Carey performs for? That’s their prerogative. Why should entertainers have a duty to only entertain good people?

  • timmm

    Come on you dont think that Beyonce didnt know whom she preforming for?? She is known for having her hand on everything she does, this is what makes her so great. Perhaps the money should go to helping people get out of the country.

  • Shane

    Yeah…I mean you don’t see Springsteen or U2 or any artists with serious intellectual heft on that list. Even IF you buy the argument that “agents book the shows and the performers just show up” any person with an IQ over 10 would at least think to ask “uhhh…Gadaffi who??” Come on!!!
    That said, at least Beyonce used the money for something good.

    • TQB

      I think you’re giving a bunch of folks who barely made it out of high school (if that) way too much credit for awareness. I can practically hear the conversation:
      Mariah: “Gadaffi who?”
      some handler: “Don’t worry, he’s harmless. And look, he sent a pretty necklace with butterflies!”

      • Shane

        Well even if that WERE true (and its not for the intelligent artists) there is such a thing as “the google”.

      • X

        That’s not the real Mariah Carey of course. That’s not the woman who hosts a scam network that manipulates trash on the airwaves. That’s not the woman who’s associates are 95% people with large criminal records…

      • Monica

        So you’re the fly on the wall. As unlikely as it sounds to be so politically unaware I think you just nailed it!

  • Lost Password

    Former wife of SONY MUSIC TOP EXECUTIVE, TOMMY MOTTOLA blames naivete for her private performance for and million dollar payment by Gadafi. If any one gets her biz, its Mariah.

  • Darlene

    Many singers aren’t expert politicians, and that’s not their jobs. We did have normalized relations with Libya since 2005 or so. So they didn’t go against the law of our country.

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