Jermaine Dupri Defends Mariah Carey's Angola Performance

Jermaine Dupri, Mariah Carey

Jermaine Dupri Defends Mariah Carey's Angola Performance

Manager responds to criticism, says singer "did nothing wrong."

Published December 23, 2013

Mariah Carey did "nothing wrong" in performing for accused Angolan dictator José Eduardo dos Santos, her manager Jermaine Dupri told the New York Post

Carey was targeted by the Human Rights Foundation following the show in Angola last weekend, criticism which isn't warranted according to the So So Def label head. "The president of the United States took pictures with this guy’s daughter and congratulated this man on his many years of being in office," Dupri pointed out. "If he can rub shoulders with these people then why is Mariah Carey being accused of doing something wrong?”

Dos Santos has reportedly committed various human rights violations, like ordering the execution of politicians, journalists and activists for not complying with his regime. Carey sang at a gala hosted by the Angola Red Cross Sunday (Dec. 15) and was heard saying, "I am happy to be here in this room and I am honored to share this show with the President of Angola," during the ceremony. 

Although the "#Beautiful" songstress was seen with the dos Santos family, Dupri admitted that she was unfamiliar with the controversial leader's reputation and had no confirmation that the president was actually in the room at the time of her performance. When asked if the songbird was remorseful for the show, especially after catching similar heat following a 2008 performance for Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, he replied, "Why should she be?"

Futhermore, the Atlanta native believes HRF President Thor Halvorssen should be the one targeted for blasting Carey. In a statement posted on the organization's website last Thursday (Dec. 19), Halvorssen pegged Carey as money hungry. "Mariah Carey can't seem to get enough dictator cash, reportedly more than $1 million this time," he said. "Just five years ago she performed for the family of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Now, she goes from private performances to public displays of support and credibility for one of Africa's chief human rights violators and most corrupt tyrants.

"It is the sad spectacle of an international artist purchased by a ruthless police state to entertain and whitewash the father-daughter kleptocracy that has amassed billions in ill-gotten wealth while the majority of Angola lives on less than $2 a day.”

Halvorseen claims Dupri told him that Carey isn't "involved in human rights matters" when questioned about her performance choices, which he denies. "That guy's trying to twist my words and make it seem like I don’t give a f--k about nothing," Dupri assured. "I didn't say anything about that."

The HRF leader fired back at the music veteran accusing him of exemplifying "the hypocrisy, the greed, and the willful ignorance of managers and performers who pose for photos at human rights events one day, and accept copious amounts of blood diamond money on the next day."

Carey was paid $1 million to sing for the country's Red Cross event, which is run by the leader's billionaire daughter, Isabel dos Santos. is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.

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(Photos from left: Jason Merritt/Getty Images For BET, FayesVision/

Written by Latifah Muhammad


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