Dictators pay millions for private celeb concerts: report
On the day toppled Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak had his known assets frozen, news also broke that Muammar al-Gaddafi, the embattled Libyan leader, was handing out cash to his people through the nation’s banks.
The lesson: there’s a lot to consider when talking money and the world’s political tyrants.
Here’s a new wrinkle, though. At the same time dictators are reviled for allegedly swiping dough from their countries, they’re also being outed for their lavish spending patterns. Like, say, $2 million for a private Beyonce concert.
Yes, according to gossip site BLTWY, Gaddafi and his family once paid the Destiny’s Child singer $2 million to perform at an exclusive party in St. Barts in 2009. Jay-Z, Lindsay Lohan, Bon Jovi – they were all there, too.
In fact, the whopping Beyonce price tag wasn’t the first dictator-fan spending spree, nor was it for the Gaddafi clan, either. Members of the Libyan leader’s family also paid $1 million for a private Mariah Carey concert in 2008, this time at the behest of Gaddafi’s son Muatassim (other child Hannibal doled out the $2 mil for Beyonce a year later).
The Beyonce/Carey figures are the only exact dollar amounts we know, but BLTWY reports despots have been paying for private celeb performances for years.
In addition to Usher singing at the 2009 Gaddafi-funded concert, Sting is known to have played for Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov in 2010 and Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers held a concert for Fidel Castro in 2001.
A pay-for-play request was also put in for “Lady in Red” singer Chris de Burgh in 2007, though the British/Irish soft-rocker never ended up jamming in front of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after all.
Everyone loves music, to be sure, and no one should be faulted for catching their favourite acts live. But when the cash needed to make that happen may not have come honest, it’s a tough sell for anyone – even dictators that rule with an iron fist.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Quarmby | Feb 28, 2022 5:52:23 PM
Speaking of crooks, I wonder which rock band, or crooner, Mulrooney hired?
Posted by: Steve | Feb 28, 2022 6:34:34 PM
Nothing new, our business dictators have been doing this for years.
Posted by: francisco trujillo | Mar 1, 2022 12:59:11 AM
get some of your facts straight. Fidel Castro has and never and wil neverl have a private concert for him. Cuba has numerous of some of the worlds top and most respected musical acts/artists around the world who go and perform free for the Cuban people in open concerts in which president Fidel Castro may or may not be present. most surely that welsh group performed in Cuba themselves asking to perform. many american artists have wanted and have had a hard time being able to go to Cuba to perform becasue the United States government does not stand by their own love of freedom and denies their citizens the freedom to freely travel work or trade with Cuba. Do some homework or all your facts about truly despicable despots will be in question by informed people .