American rapper Nicki Minaj performed for a company partially owned by the family of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Human rights groups had urged Minaj to cancel the show in Angola, with accusations against dos Santos for exploiting the country’s diamond and oil wealth to amass illegitimate fortune while maintaining control over all branches of the government, military and civil society. Minaj not only performed, she took to the social media and posted Instagram photos draped in Angolan flag to express her excitement. She also posed with the president’s daughter [and one of richest women in the world], Isabel dos Santos.
Nicki Minaj is not the only star who has performed for the Angolan First Family despite protests by human rights activists. Back in 2013 Mariah Carey performed on a show sponsored by Unitel and pocketed a cool $1 million. This show came five years after Mariah had apologised for performing for the toppled Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi was famous for having international artistes perform for him and get paid handsomely. Back in 2007, Canadian recording artist Nelly Furtado performed for Gaddafi’s family in Italy. She later announced on Twitter that she would donate $1 million received from the performance to charity.
Singer Beyonce Knowles also performed for the Gaddafi family in 2009. This was at a private New Year’s party on the Caribbean Island of St Barts. Sources say that Jay-Z, Usher, Lindsay Lohan, Russell Simmons, Miranda Kerr and Victoria Silvstedt were part of the party crowd. Beyonce later released a statement saying she donated her performance fee to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
Back in 1974, The Godfather of Soul – James Brown, blues Legend B.B King, Salsa Star Celia Cruz amongst others performed in Democratic Republic Of Congo, then known as Zaire, at a festival sponsored by dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. Mobutu’s iron fist rule, characterised by looting and human right abuses.
Queen, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias, Black Sabbath, Boney M, Rod Stewart, Dionne Warwick and Tina Turner are among the musicians who performed at Sun City resort during South Africa’s apartheid era despite the many sanctions against the country.