On Monday, several prominent music-business sources told Rolling Stone that Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Usher, 50 Cent and others who’ve performed shows funded by Libyan leaders should donate their fees to charity. Today, Beyoncé’s rep is saying she already did. According to her publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, the singer put all her earnings toward Haiti earthquake-relief efforts. “Once it became known that the third-party promoter was linked to the Qaddafi family,” a statement explained, “the decision was made to put that payment to a good cause.” A rep for the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund told the Huffington Post that Beyoncé donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation shortly after the January 12, 2010 earthquake.
Beyoncé performed five songs in a black leotard at a private New Year’s Eve 2009 party for Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi’s son, Muatassim, who is the country’s national security adviser. Muatassim Qaddafi is the brother of Seif al-Islam Qaddafi, who recently warned Libyan protesters on state television to abandon the streets or face “rivers of blood.” Qaddafi’s security forces — who U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently called “mercenaries and thugs” — have been firing on peaceful protesters for days.
Over the past few years, Muatassim Qaddafi has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring prominent western performers to provide music for his private events. In 2008, Mariah Carey accepted a $1 million fee, according to WikiLeaks cables and news reports, to sing four songs for a New Year’s Eve party. 50 Cent has performed at Qaddafi functions in the past. Beyoncé was the main attraction at the New Year’s Even party, which took place on at Nikki Beach, on the Caribbean island of St. Bart’s party. Usher, according to reports, also performed there, and Lindsay Lohan, Jay-Z, Jon Bon Jovi and other celebrities were in the audience.
On Monday, Nelly Furtado promised to give away the money she earned for a similar appearance, tweeting: “In 2007, I received 1million$ from the Qaddafi clan to perform a 45 min. Show for guests at a hotel in Italy. I am going to donate the $.” Furtado was unavailable for further comment. Management reps for 50 Cent, Carey and Usher refused comment as well.
This article has been updated.