Mariah Carey's manager Jermaine Dupri has defended the pop superstar for accepting a $1 million (£670,000) payment to perform for Angolan dictator Jose Eduardo Dos Santos. The Hero hitmaker came under fire from human rights activists earlier this week (ends20Dec13) following her appearance at a gala for the Angolan Red Cross, which was sponsored by bosses at mobile phone company Unitel. Both organisations are run by Dos Santos' daughter, Isabel.
President Dos Santos was the guest of honour at the 15 December (13) event, and Carey even posed for photos with the controversial leader and his family after her two-hour performance.
The gig sparked a backlash led by the head of the Human Rights Foundation, Thor Halvorssen, who accused Carey of lending her support to "one of Africa's chief human rights violators and most corrupt tyrants", and failing to learn from the criticism she was exposed to in 2008, when she was forced to apologise after headlining a private New Year's Eve show for late Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi.
However, Dupri, who took over as Carey's manager in October (13), remains defiant, claiming they have no reason to apologise.
Speaking to the New York Post on Friday (20Dec13), he said, "I don't feel like we have done anything wrong."
And when asked if Carey regretted taking on the headline-grabbing gig, Dupri replied, "Why should she be?"
The producer's response has prompted Halvorssen to take aim at Dupri, stating, "(He) exemplifies the wilful ignorance of performers who pose for photos at human rights events one day and accept copious amounts of blood diamond money on the next."
Carey, who has jetted off to Aspen, Colorado with her family for their annual Christmas break, has yet to address the controversy herself.
Superstar Mariah Carey has come under fire from human rights campaigners after performing for Angola's president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos last weekend (14-15Dec13). The Hero hitmaker was reportedly paid over $1 million (£670,000) for a two-hour concert on Sunday (15Dec13) at a gala for the Angolan Red Cross, which was sponsored by bosses at mobile phone company Unitel and attended by the president.
The politician's daughter, Isabel, owns Unitel and is the head of the Angolan Red Cross.
Addressing the crowd at the event, Carey reportedly said, "I am happy to be here in this room and I am honoured to share this show with the President of Angola."
However, the lucrative gig, which occurred five years after she performed a controversial New Year's Eve show for late Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi's family in 2008, has landed the singer in trouble with The Human Rights Foundation president, Thor Halvorssen, who claims Carey should have researched the allegations of corruption and human rights abuses against Dos Santos before accepting the job.
In a statement, Halvorssen describes Dos Santos as a "dictator", writing, "Mariah Carey can't seem to get enough dictator cash, reportedly more than $1 million this time. Just five years ago she performed for the family of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Now, she goes from private performances to public displays of support and credibility for one of Africa's chief human rights violators and most corrupt tyrants.
"It is the sad spectacle of an international artist purchased by a ruthless police state to entertain and whitewash the father-daughter kleptocracy that has amassed billions in ill-gotten wealth while the majority of Angola lives on less than $2 a day."
Carey apologised for her Libyan gig after it sparked a backlash, but she isn't alone - Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Usher have all been criticised for staging similar performances for other controversial figureheads in the past.