Jennifer Lopez Apologizes For Birthday Serenade of Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow
Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, the Turkmenistan dictator president known for his record of human rights violations, over the weekend. Lopez's serenade of the little-loved politician has caused backlash against the singer, who has since apologized, claiming ignorance.
The concert on Saturday, according to a statement by J. Lo’s publicist, was sponsored by China National Petroleum Corp. and “was not a government sponsored event or political in nature,” reported E! News. The statement continued, “The event was vetted by her representatives, had there been knowledge of human rights issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended."
Further distancing the recording artist and actress from the incident, the statement added, “The China National Petroleum Corporation made a last minute 'birthday greeting' request prior to Jennifer taking the stage."
Lopez’s entertainers fee for the event has not been disclosed, nor has it been suggested that she has any plans to donate the money she received for the performance, as celebrities in similar straits have done in the past. Both Usher and Beyoncé donated money they earned performing for Libya’s Gaddafi family, according to The Washington Post. In 2011, Hilary Swank came under fire for attending Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s birthday, and subsequently donated her six-figure earnings to charity.
Lopez performed at Beyoncé's Chime for Change, a charity concert that raised money for education, healthcare and justice for women, earlier this summer. Ellie Goulding, Florence + The Machine and John Legend also let their voices to the cause.
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