Entertainment

Photos: Stars performing for dictators

Updated 11:41 AM ET, Mon December 21, 2015
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Nicki Minaj went ahead with a show in Angola, despite a human rights group's call for her to cancel the concert. Campaigners highlighted links between the event's funding and "government corruption and human rights violations." MARK RALSTON/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
In 2013, rapper Kanye West performed at the wedding of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's grandson. Human Rights Watch has previously criticized Kazakhstan for its "serious and deteriorating human rights situation." Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
In June, Jennifer Lopez sang "Happy Birthday" to Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, whose regime was described as "one of the world's most repressive" in a January 2013 report by Human Rights Watch. Lopez is believed to be the first major Western star to visit the isolated former Soviet republic, and her performance caused a backlash. IGOR SASIN/AFP/Getty Images
Beyonce, seen here at New York's Madison Square Garden in 2007, donated the money that she received for performing at a private New Year's Eve party on the Caribbean island of St. Barts in 2009. The party was hosted by family members of then-Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Scott Wintrow/Getty Images
According to The Daily Mail, Sting performed for Gulnara Karimova, daughter of Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov, in 2010. The paper quoted a statement from him in which he said he was aware of Karimov's poor human rights record but "made the decision to play there in spite of that. I have come to believe that cultural boycotts are not only pointless gestures, they are counterproductive, where proscribed states are further robbed of the open commerce of ideas and art and as a result become even more closed, paranoid and insular." Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
Many in the music industry called on Usher to return his fee when it was revealed that, like Beyonce, he had performed for the Gadhafi family at a 2009 New Year's Eve party. He later said he was donating the money to charity. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Mariah Carey had also performed for the Gadhafi family at a New Year's Eve party, but in 2008. She later said she was "naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess." She also said she planned to donate the money to charity. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
Nelly Furtado tweeted that she would donate the $1 million she received for performing for the Gadhafi family in 2007. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Syracuse University