Jennifer Lopez performed for President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan on Saturday.
At the end of the concert the pop star sang ‘Happy Birthday’ for the dictator.
Today she apologized after activists reminded her that President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has one of the worst human rights record on the planet.
The LA Times reported:
Jennifer Lopez on Sunday was apologizing for singing “Happy Birthday to You” to the president of Turkmenistan at a concert Saturday night in that country.
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Seems the concert was put together on behalf of China National Petroleum Corp. for the entertainment of their executives working in Turkmenistan, according to a statement from J.Lo’s rep obtained by E! News, and “was not a government sponsored event or political in nature.”
“The event was vetted by her representatives, had there been knowledge of human rights issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended,” the statement continued. However, the corporation folks made a last-minute request for a “birthday greeting” before the singer took the stage, and President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov got a 56th birthday serenade.
The Human Rights Foundation criticized the performance in a strongly worded statement released Sunday, prompting the apology. According to the nonprofit, Berdymukhamedov has “ruled the country with an iron fist since 2006.”
She did not return the concert money, though.