J-Lo Got $1.5M to Sing at Dictator's Birthday: Source

She's still, she's still Jenny from the Bloc

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 30, 2013 3:17 PM CDT | Updated Jul 1, 2013 12:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – Jennifer Lopez got at least $1.5 million to sing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" Saturday night at a 56th birthday party for Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, leader of the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan—a man whose regime is described as "among the most repressive in the world" by Human Rights Watch, the AP and AFP report. The $1.5 million figure comes courtesy of a Radar source, who says the actual fee could have been more: The $1.5 million is "non-negotiable," and then there's the private jet and rooms for her and her entourage. With expenses, "this gig could have run closer to $2 million," the source says.

Her publicist issued a statement yesterday claiming the event wasn't political, but rather hosted by the China National Petroleum Corp., and, "Had there been knowledge of human rights issues any kind, Jennifer would not have attended." J-Lo is believed to be the first big Western star to perform in the Muslim country. According to the AFP report, politicians and leaders of state-owned businesses "applauded enthusiastically" as she and a cohort of "half-naked" dancers gyrated on stage.

Jennifer Lopez performs during a concert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Jennifer Lopez performs during a concert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.   (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin, File)
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