Remember when Beyonce played a show for Colonel Qaddafi’s son and allegedly picked up a cool $2 million for her efforts? Well, that didn’t go down well with anyone at the time, and it’s coming back to bite her on the ass again as the Libyan dictator comes under increasing pressure to end his rule in the country.
Mariah Carey and Usher are both in the firing lines as well—the former played a New Year’s Eve party for the Qaddafi family in 2009, reportedly picking up $1 million for playing just four songs. “When I saw Beyoncé and Usher and whoever else was out partying with these Libyan criminals … these are people who have stolen tens of billions of dollars from their nation," said former Reprise Records president Howie Klein.
"People put a big paycheck on the table, and people don't consider where the money is coming from, or what they're at least passively endorsing," said David T. Viecelli, who works as an agent for Arcade Fire. Both these comments are taken from this Rolling Stone piece, although their attempt to get quotes from the artists’ reps was met with an unsurprising “no comment.” Where is a ruthless dictator supposed to go for entertainment these days with guys like Klein and Viecelli bearing down on him?