Happy Birthday, Mr. Dictator. On Saturday night, Jennifer Lopez stirred up controversy by performing at an event in Turkmenistan where she sang "Happy Birthday" to authoritarian leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. According to Human Rights Watch, the former Soviet Republic's government is "among the most repressive in the world," with President Berdymukhammedov imprisoning and torturing citizens who have criticized his regime.
During the event hosted by the China National Petroleum Corporation, J.Lo performed her hit songs and shimmied away onstage at a lavish $2-billion resort on the Caspian Sea. According to the New York Times, she "graciously obliged" to sing to the country's dictator to celebrate his 56th birthday. The singer was reportedly paid $1.4 million for her performance — guess it's not true that "Love Don't Cost a Thing."
J.Lo is by no means the first celebrity to have performed in countries or for leaders with human rights violations. Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado, Usher, and 50 Cent have all performed at parties for family members of the oppressive Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Hilary Swank attended a birthday party for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been "linked to a litany of horrific human rights abuses." For the most part, these celebrities apologized profusely when they learned that these leaders were connected to serious human rights violations, from brutal torture to acts of terrorism. They also donated their performance earnings to charity.
But some celebrities have shown no qualms about their associations with suspect political figures. Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, and Kevin Spacey were never shy about their friendships with controversial Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Michael Jackson was close with and accepted money from Prince Abdullah al-Khalifa of Bahrain, whose family has quite a track record of human rights violations. Steven Seagal is a pal and supporter of Vladimir Putin, and he has allegedly signed on to be the face of Russian weaponry abroad. Seagal has also been known to defend Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov — yep, the same guy whose party Hilary Swank "deeply regrets" having attended.
Hey celebs, do the world a favor and make sure you've done some research before you legitimize brutal leaders who violate human rights. Thanks.
Follow Caroline on Twitter @carolinesb | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
More:Hilary Swank 'Regrets' Attending Chechen ConcertJennifer Lopez to Star in Chilean Miner Drama 'The 33' with Antonio Banderas'Unflattering' Jennifer Lopez Photo Sparks Controversy
From Our PartnersStars Pose Naked for 'Allure' (Celebuzz)20 Grisliest TV Deaths of 2012-2013 (Vulture)
Thought the raging house party-turned-teenage-riot in Project X was out of control? Wait until you near the pitch for the next big party movie — it's whole new level of debauchery.
The as-yet-untitled movie pitch 20th Century Fox just acquired focuses on the electronic dance music (EDM) scene and will involve one of EDM’s biggest artists, Diplo, Deadline reports. Diplo is an American DJ and music producer and has worked with M.I.A., Beyonce, No Doubt, and Usher, and comprises half of the Major Lazer duo.
Diplo and his business partner Kevin Kusatsu are teaming up with Underground to executive produce the movie that's being described as "8 Mile meets Project X in tone." It will follow three teenagers as they attempt to get into Diplo's electronic music festival.
So basically a grittier, louder, bigger party, with more naked women, drugs, and alcohol, higher stakes, and better music? Bring it on. We just hope entire city blocks don't get destroyed in this movie.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
More:New No Doubt Track Produced By Diplo
From Our Partners:Eva Longoria Bikinis on Spring Break (Celebuzz)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
Get ready for some glitter.
Ke$ha, along with Usher, No Doubt, and Justin Bieber, will perform at the 40th annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 18. They will take the stage with previously announced acts Pink, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Pitbull and Linkin Park. More artists will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
This year's fan-voted event will make history with the introduction of the new category for Electronic Dance Music (popularly referred to as EDM). Nominees include DJ's/producers such as grammy-winning Skrillex, David Guetta, and Calvin Harris.
The AMA's will air live on ABC from L.A.’s Nokia Theatre at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Nov. 18. If you want to see the star-studded event in person, you can still buy tickets via Ticketmaster.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Dominic Chan/WENN]
'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Recap: Beware the New Bitch
‘Glee’ Casts Aisha Tyler As Mama Puckerman, But Who Else Needs Parents?
'The Walking Dead' Tragedy and 15 Other Moving TV Deaths
From Our Partners:
Katy Perry Moves Forward at Barack Obama Rally in Wisconsin (PHOTOS)
Russell Brand Talks Awkward Encounter With Ex-Wife Katy Perry and Addresses Geri Halliwell Dating Rumors (EXCLUSIVE) (Celebuzz)
UPDATE: Reports say that following the tirade, Billie Joe has checked into a rehabilitation center. Developing...
PREVIOUS: When Green Day's set was reportedly cut 20 minutes to make time for Usher at the iHeart Radio Festival in Las Vegas, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong had quite the reaction. Not only did he smash his guitar at the end of his band's set, but the singer inexplicably screamed "I’m not f------ Justin Bieber, you motherf------!" And that was just the tip of his intense tirade. Watch the whole NSFW meltdown take place here:
Additional reporting by Alicia Lutes
Follow Anna on Twitter @thebrandedgirl
Green Day Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong Rushed to the Hospital
Fiona Apple Makes Bizarre Statement After Arrest
Unhappy Hour: Lindsay Lohan's in Trouble... Again and 8 Other Reasons to Drink