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Dictators, celebrities, and musicians: a sad but not surprising story


Recently, I was researching for an article looking at all the dictatorships in the world (which will soon be published) and I found something that made me interested. This was the conflation of dictators, celebrities and musicians. Some groups have been holding musicians and celebrities accountable for entertaining dictators like the Human Rights Foundation. This article will highlight which countries celebrities and musicians performed at as to show that such people are accepting blood money whether they agree or not.

First off, its important to look at which musicians and celebrities performed in which dictatorial countries. Here’s a list of the top three people who entertained dictators:

  1. Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo) [Turkmenistan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Chechnya]
  2. (the Late) Michael Jackson [Bahrain and Brunei]
  3. Mariah Carey [Libya (pre-2011) and Angola]

There are more dictator-entertainers as I’ll call them, including: Julio Iglesias (Equatorial Guinea), Dennis Rodman (North Korea), Erykah Badu (Swaziland), Kanye West (Kazakhstan) and Sting (Uzbekistan).

And here’s a map where all the dictator-entertainers entertained…

That’s not all… Breaking this down further one can see that Libya (pre-2011), Chechnya, and then-named Zaire (now DRC) brought in the most celebrities and musicians to entertain them.

What does this all mean? Well it means that all of these people took blood money. There are some who have given their money back, but there is really no excuse for performing for a dictator (and maybe their family). These people, as Human Rights Foundation, noted about Jennifer Lopez, have “the right to earn a living performing for the dictator of [their] choice and his circle of cronies.” Yet, such a right means they are greedy, just wanting more money in their pockets even if it comes with the people who are oppressed smeared all over it, as they DO NOT have to perform for dictatorships. These musicians and celebrities must be held accountable for their actions in whatever form they take. For me, I’ll be boycotting all these people and never again listening to their music.

P.S. And please, if you have anything to add, that would be great.

 

Sources for info. presented here:

  1. http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/07/13-pop-stars-who-sang-for-dictators.html
  2. http://humanrightsfoundation.org/news/jennifer-lopez-celebrates-turkmenistans-dictator-00177
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/20121016072534/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/equatorialguinea/9610021/Julio-Iglesias-criticised-for-peforming-at-Equatorial-Guinea-concert.html
  4. http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/02/23/stars-who-hang-with-dictators.html#b68b880c-3800-4782-af0b-dc21cea9be88
  5. http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/cheats/2013/06/29/j-lo-headlines-dictator-s-birthday-party.html
  6. http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/02/23/stars-who-hang-with-dictators.html
  7. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/12993#.U9A9oqbJWb4
  8. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alejandro-tarre/what-celebrities-should-k_b_5297618.html
  9. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8371731/Divas-and-despots-the-stars-who-sing-for-dictators.html
  10. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/07/02/hey_jlo_thanks_for_serenading_that_dictator
  11. http://theblot.com/celebs-who-took-money-from-dictators-775289
  12. http://mariodiazbalart.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/another-american-celebrity-used-as-propaganda-by-brutal-dictatorship
  13. http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/07/jennifer-lopez-turkmenistan/
  14. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/celebrities-who-perform-for-tyrants/2013/07/03/ff05f478-e271-11e2-aef3-339619eab080_gallery.html
  15. http://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/life/music/2013/12/20/stars-who-played-for-dictators/4142991/
  16. http://www.bet.com/news/music/2013/07/16/jennifer-lopez-made-over-10-million-performing-for-dictators.html
  17. https://web.archive.org/web/20130716161554/http://humanrightsfoundation.org/Jennifer-Lopez-HRF-uncovers-more-paid-performances-for-dictators-ignorance-greed-12-07-2013.php
  18. http://www.rferl.org/media/photogallery/25097621.html
  19. http://theweek.com/article/index/249053/kanye-west-and-4-other-pop-stars-who-performed-for-dictators
  20. http://www.eonline.com/photos/3855/celebrities-and-dictators/144759
  21. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/06/stars-dance-tyrants-tunes
  22. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/celebrities-who-entertain-dictators
  23. http://money.msn.com/now/post–performing-for-dictators-jlo-keeps-the-tradition-alive
  24. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/10/entertainment/la-et-music-dictators-20110311
  25. http://radaronline.com/photos/celebrities-dictators-jennifer-lopez-kim-kardashian-dennis-rodman/photo/664063/
  26. http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/10/24/celebrities-chummy-with-dictators-risk-damaging-their-brand/
  27. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/mariah-carey-performs-private-gig-for-angola-dictator/story-fnk822dn-1226787123934

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