Carey is among a handful of entertainers who were paid handsome fees to give exclusive private concerts. It was later revealed the people behind those concerts were the family of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, whose country is in an open revolt against him and who faces an investigation for possible war crimes.
This week, Nelly Furtado announced she is giving the $1 million fee she was paid in 2007 to charity; Beyonce said in a statement Wednesday that she donated her fees for a 2009 New Year’s Eve performance in St. Bart’s to Haiti earthquake relief once she discovered the Gadhafi link.
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Carey performed in St. Bart’s in 2008, but in a statement released to The Associated Press on Thursday, she said she didn’t know she was performing for an infamous family.
“I was naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess,” the 40-year-old singer said. “Going forward, this is a lesson for all artists to learn from. We need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows. Ultimately, we as artists are to be held accountable.”
Carey’s representative, Cindi Berger, would not comment on how much Carey was paid for the performance. But she noted that Carey has donated millions throughout the years to charity, from royalties from her hits “Hero” and “One Sweet Day” to her own foundation, Camp Mariah.
Berger said Carey will also donate royalties for the song “Save the Day,” which she has written for her upcoming album, to charities that create awareness for human-rights issues.
“Mariah has and continues to donate her time, money and countless hours of personal service to many organizations both here and abroad,” Berger said.
The album is not due out anytime soon; Carey is pregnant with a boy and girl, and she and husband Nick Cannon are expecting the babies in the spring.