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Beyoncé Once Got $2 Million to Perform for a Dictator’s Family–This is What She Did with the Money

Aside from performing at award shows and at their own concerts, your favorite musical acts usually earn a little something on the side by doing private shows for wealthy people. Pop diva Beyoncé is no exception.

However, one of her largest private gigs has led her to be criticized by many people.

Private Show

Sodel Vladyslav/Shutterstock: Gaddafi was assassinated in 2011 by rebel soldiers during the Battle of Sirte

Back in the late 2000s, the ‘Formation’ singer was hired to sing a medley of her hit songs at a family gathering alongside other famous musicians.

She was reportedly paid $2 million for the event, which happened to be thrown by the family of Muammar Gaddafi, a former Libyan dictator who was notorious for allegedly committing war crimes against his own people.

The private concert Beyoncé performed at happened on New Year’s Eve in 2009 at a beach in St. Barts. Reports reveal that it was Mutassim, Gaddafi’s fourth son, who organized the event.

Mutassim is said to have regularly hosted such events and invited plenty of celebrities to attend and/or perform. Beyoncé’s rapper husband Jay-Z was also in attendance alongside actress Lindsay Lohan.

Post-Performance Backlash

s_buckley/Deposit Photos: Other celebrities at the New Year’s Eve bash include singer-songwriter Usher

As can be expected, the public didn’t take it too well when the news of Beyoncé’s performance at the Gaddafi family party broke out. People were particularly critical of the ‘Single Ladies’ singer’s acceptance of a multi-million dollar fee from the dictator’s family, especially because Gaddafi was believed to have stolen billions from Libya.

Former Reprise Records president Howie Klein was one of the most vocal critics of the event. He even went as far as to say that seeing wealthy pop stars associate with the Gaddafis made him want to puke.

Fortunately, all of this controversy had a relatively positive conclusion.

Put to Good Use

arindambanerjee/Shutterstock: The earthquake caused up to $8.5 billion in damages and killed around 200,000 people

After finding out that the promoter that arranged Beyoncé’s performance was linked to the Gaddafi family, the singer’s team decided to donate everything she earned that New Year’s Eve to charity.

The now-38-year-old singer reportedly gave away all of her earnings, commissions included, to the relief efforts that were underway in Haiti at the time. It can be remembered that the Caribbean nation was struck with a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake early in 2010.

Beyoncé’s donation was announced a day following a similar one from fellow musician Nelly Furtado. The ‘I’m Like a Bird’ singer reportedly gave way the $1 million she received for performing at another Gaddafi family gathering back in 2007.

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