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Like President Obama and the rest of us, Mariah Carey has been following news of the Libyan uprising with horror. But unlike the rest of us, Carey has a personal connection to the ruthless dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi... in that she once accepted $1 million to perform four songs for his family.
Carey is among several A-list stars who unknowingly worked for the dictator in the last few years, including Beyonce and Usher. And now that she understands what was going on in Libya, Carey, 40, vows to pay more attention to who's signing her checks.
"I was naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for," Carey said in a statement on Thursday. "I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess. Ultimately we as artists are to be held accountable. Going forward... we need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows."
In light of Gaddafi's treatment of Libyan citizens, artists who performed for him are being pressured by fans to donate their earnings to charity. Beyonce, who performed for the family on New Year's Eve in St. Barts two years ago, says she has already done so. In a statement on her blog, she writes that every cent she earned for the private concert was donated to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti "over a year ago."
"Once it became known that the third party promoter was linked to the Gaddafi family," writes Beyonce, "the decision was made to put that payment to a good cause."
Singer Nelly Furtado, who also received $1 million for a 45-minute concert (which seems to be the family's standard hard-to-resist offer), wrote on Twitter that she would donate her earnings to charity, as well.
As for mom-to-be Carey, she pledges to donate all the proceeds from an upcoming single, "Save the Day," to human rights causes.