U.S. songstress Mariah Carey was reportedly paid around $1.5 million to perform at a private celebration in London for the son of the Sultan of Brunei on New Year's Eve, Britain’s Daily Mail reported on Friday.
Invited to appear by Prince Azim, Carey is believed to have performed three songs, including Always Be My Baby, and lead a chorus of traditional New Year’s hit Auld Lang Syne.
“Prince Azim is known for his lavish star-studded parties, and his 30th birthday in 2012 was attended by the likes of Elizabeth Jagger, Raquel Welch and Pamela Anderson,” the newspaper reported, adding that the party hosting Carey took place at the five-star Dorchester Hotel.
Carey and the billionaire prince are believed to have been “friends for a number of years,” the newspaper stated.
“Mariah has known Prince Azim for many years … They are friends and have done a lot of charity work together,” a representative for Carey told the newspaper, although they would not discuss how much Carey was paid.
The pop diva performed alongside veteran star Diana Ross at the event, which hosted high profile guests including actresses Sophia Loren and Faye Dunaway.
But Carey’s New Year’s performance came after she stirred controversy when she was paid an estimated $1m to perform for Angolan President Josè Eduardo Dos Santos last week.
The performance prompted human rights campaigners to express their outrage at the news, claiming the leader had murdered and exploited the African country’s people for his own gain.
But Carey is not the only pop star to recently come under fire for controversial performances.
In July 2013, Jennifer Lopez apologized for singing “Happy Birthday to You” to the president of Turkmenistan.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) had criticized the performance in a strongly worded statement, prompting the apology. According to the nonprofit, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has “ruled the country with an iron fist since 2006.”
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