50 Cent to donate Gaddafi money to charity

Rapper joins stars including Nelly Furtado, Beyoncé and Usher in expressing regret for performing for the Gaddafi family

50 Cent has followed the example set last week by Nelly Furtado, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Usher, expressing regret for performing at a private concert for the family of Muammar Gaddafi. The rapper announced that he will make a donation to Unicef, supporting their "vital relief [work]" in Libya.

While the Gaddafi family is now at the centre of Libya's brutal domestic conflict, the dictator's family previously had a reputation for extravagant, star-studded parties. Gaddafi's son, Mutassim, threw elaborate New Year's Eve bashes in the Caribbean, hiring performers such as Beyoncé and Carey, while 50 Cent was paid to give a private concert during the 2005 Venice Film festival. Performers allegedly received as much as $2m (£1.23m), while celebrities such as Usher were paid simply to attend the parties.

"In light of the ongoing events in Libya, 50 Cent will be making a donation to Unicef, which is providing vital relief supplies to meet the needs of women and children at risk during this crisis," a spokesperson for the rapper told the Associated Press. 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, has not revealed the amount of his donation, nor whether it is the same as the amount he was paid by the Gaddafi family in 2005.

Furtado is still the only star to have revealed exactly how much she received for her performance, pledging to donate the $1m (£614,703) to charity. Beyoncé claimed she didn't know the Gaddafi family was linked to the 2009 concert, but donated the money to Haiti relief as soon as she found out. Usher said he was "sincerely troubled to learn about the circumstances" of his appearance at the same party, pledging to donate an unspecified amount to human rights charities. And Carey apologised for being "naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for"; she will donate proceeds from a future single.

Despite 50 Cent's charity donation, there are several other acts who have not responded to reports that they received money from the Gaddafi family. Lionel Richie, Timbaland and Enrique Iglesias are allegedly among the performers, while Jay-Z, Lindsay Lohan and Jon Bon Jovi were reportedly guests at the events.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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