Lionel Richie performs with an unidentified man during a concert held in front of the house of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi in Tripoli on April 14, 2006.
Khaled Desouki—AFP/Getty Images
By Andrew Katz
December 20, 2015

Nicki Minaj performed at a holiday concert in Angola on Dec. 19, despite pleas from human rights activists that she back out of the event.

Her set was part of a Christmas festival sponsored by Unitel, a communications company that’s partly controlled by the dictatorship of President José Eduardo dos Santos, according to the Human Rights Foundation. Dos Santos has been in power of the oil-rich African nation since 1979.

Any inkling that she might back out of the Saturday night show seemed erased when an image appeared on her Instagram account, showing herself walking off a private plane, with the caption “See u at the show tonight, Angola!!!!!!!!” followed by a whole lot of emojis.

Minaj’s performance — perhaps for a multimillion-dollar paycheck, as has been the case in past instances — places her on a growing list of celebrities who have entertained despots and their families in recent years.

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