Beyonce and Mariah Carey sang for the Gaddafis. Now they're changing their tune.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Paul Robeson penned a tribute to Stalin. Bob Marley played for Robert Mugabe. And Paul Simon and Queen performed in apartheid-era South Africa. Chart-topping musicians don't just win Grammys and score endorsement deals - they get paid mega-bucks to perform in unsavory places for unsavory people. Usually no one pays attention.

But not last week. When the big paydays that R&B stars got from the Gaddafi family became public, critics lashed out faster than Naomi Campbell denying taking blood diamonds. Who are the pop stars who have sung for the Gaddafis, how much did they get paid, and - as revolution roils Libya - are they keeping the money?

- Justin Moyer

Beyonce

Where: St. Barts

When: Dec. 31, 2009

How much: "A six-figure sum," according to Britain's Mirror

Damage control: The singer's spokesperson said that fees for her five-song performance at the New Year's Eve bash of Gaddafi's son Muatassim "were donated to the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, over a year ago . . . once it became known that the third-party promoter was linked to the Qaddafi family." A spokesperson for the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund confirmed a $1 million donation; meanwhile, many Libyans have complained that it didn't go to the rebels.

Usher

Where: St. Barts

When: Dec. 31, 2009

How much: Unknown

Damage control: Usher performed on the same bill as Beyonce in 2009, but he has not issued a statement.

Mariah Carey

Where: St. Barts


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