1. When news came out that Jennifer Lopez sang for Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the popular singer received more than a little pushback.
Berdymukhamedov just happens to be a brutal tyrant, ruling what Human Rights Watch calls “a country marked by extraordinary levels of repression.”
2. Seen performing in Turkmenistan, below, Lopez said, “We wish you the very, very, happiest birthday.”
She performed in a very J.Lo outfit before changing into a traditional Turkmen white gown to sing Happy Birthday to him
3. Human Rights Foundation blasted Lopez in a statement:
“Lopez obviously has the right to earn a living performing for the dictator of her choice and his circle of cronies, but her actions utterly destroy the carefully-crafted message she has cultivated with her prior involvement with Amnesty International’s programs in Mexico aimed at curbing violence against women,” said Human Rights Foundation (HRF) president Thor Halvorssen. “What is the next stop on her tour, Syria? The dictator of Kazakhstan’s birthday is July 6, maybe she will also pay him a visit?” Halvorssen asked.
4. Lopez’s reps did not know Berdymukhamedov, who loves horses and hosts horse beauty contests, was the leader of a brutal regime.
“Had there been knowledge of human right issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended,” Lopez spokesperson Mark Young told CNN. She “and several other artists were invited and performed at a private corporate event for the China National Petroleum Corporation that was presented to their local executives in Turkmenistan.” The birthday song request was reportedly not part of her contract but she obliged anyway.