Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive countries on the planet, one of the harshest places for women, and a horrible abuser of
Today, Carey plays a gig at King Abdullah Economic City in conjunction with the first-ever Saudi International Golf Tournament. DJ Tiesto, rapper Sean Paul
Despite protests by human rights activists–and threats by ISIS to attack the concert because it promotes un-Islamic values–the gig is going ahead as scheduled.
Mariah’s rep defended the situation this way: “When presented with the offer to perform for an international and mixed gender audience in Saudi Arabia, Mariah accepted the opportunity as a positive step towards the dissolution of gender segregation. As a female songwriter with a message of empowerment and equality, she looks forward to bringing inspiration and encouragement to all audiences.”
Mariah has no trouble taking money from repressive regimes and dictators. Back in 2008, she played for the Gadhafi family on New Year’s Eve. “Oops,” she said later.
She’s not alone, either.
James Brown: The Godfather of Soul appeared at a festival in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) organized by the ultra-corrupt Mobuto Sese Seko, a guy who would embezzled $5 billion from his own country.
Queen: When no one would play gigs in South Africa during apartheid, Queen had no issues playing in Sun City in 1984, the casino resort for the white and rich.
Lionel Ritchie: He was hired to play in front of Moammar
Nelly Furtado: She received $1 million from the
Beyonce: She took big money for playing a private gig in St Barts for the family of
Sting: In 2010, he was hired to perform for Gulnara
Kanye West: When asked to perform at the 2013 wedding of the grandson of
Jennifer Lopez: In 2010, she as offered $3 million to play in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus but was shamed into canceling it. But in 2013, she sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan. This guy is almost as bad at Kim Jong-Il in the way he treats his people.
Nicki Minaj: She played a gig in Angola in 2015 to perform for a company called Unitel, shares of which are owned by the corrupt president José Eduardo dos Santos. She got $2 million for the her trouble.
Want to go deeper? What can we say about the Manic Street Preachers (2001), Audioslave (2005) and the Rolling Stones (2016) playing in Cuba?