Just days after singer Nelly Furtado announced that she planned to donate to charity money she received for playing a concert for the family of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, a spokesperson for Beyoncé said that the “Halo” singer had already done the same.
Documents obtained by the WikiLeaks website revealed that stars including Beyoncé, Usher and Mariah Carey had played big-paycheck gigs for Gadhafi. On Monday, Rolling Stone magazine reported that the industry was urging the stars (noting that rapper 50 Cent had also played such gigs) to return the money they earned for the concerts.
“They’ve done it for tons of artists,” an unnamed music-business source told the magazine about lavish parties by Gadhafi’s son, Muatassim, which are reportedly often “jammed” with supermodels. “Those guys are all over the world.”
On Wednesday, a rep for Beyoncé — who played a New Year’s Eve gig for Muatassim with Usher on the Caribbean island of St. Barts in 2009 — told the Huffington Post that the singer had long ago resolved the matter.
“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,” her publicist said. “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 money was donated to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund, established in the wake of last year’s devastating earthquake, and a spokesperson for the fund confirmed that it received the $1 million check in the weeks after the January 2010 earthquake.
According to her official Twitter feed, Canadian pop star Nelly Furtado confirmed on Monday that she once did a show for the dictator’s family and now plans to donate the money to charity. “In 2007, I received 1million$ from the Gadhafi clan to perform a 45 min. show for guests at a hotel in Italy,” she wrote on Monday. “I am going to donate the $.”
The star-studded shows were part of the extravagant lifestyle of the dictator’s sons, whose splashy parties and out-of-control spending have angered their countrymen, many of whom wallow in poverty as the Gadhafi clan benefits from the country’s oil riches.