Nicki Minaj and 7 stars who sang for dictators

Minaj performed in Angola Saturday

By Will Heilpern for CNN
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Rapper Nicki Minaj has joined a list of pop stars to court controversy by performing for leaders accused of human rights abuses.

The American singer took to the stage in Angola Saturday for Unitel -- a company partially owned by the family of Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos -- despite allegations of corruption and human rights abuses in the country.

Minaj, 33, was reportedly paid $2 million for her performance, which was financed by the mobile phone company.

The Human Rights Foundation had urged Minaj to cancel the show, accusing dos Santos of exploiting "Angola's diamond and oil wealth to amass an illegitimate fortune while maintaining control over all branches of the government, the military, and civil society."

"Dos Santos has made it his policy to harass, imprison, or kill politicians, journalists, and activists who protest his rule," the Human Rights Foundation said in an open letter to Minaj.

Unmoved by the appeal, Minaj not only performed as planned, but took the opportunity to post photos to Instagram to show her excitement, draped in the Angolan flag.

Minaj even described billionaire Isabel dos Santos -- the president's daughter, and part owner of Unitel -- as an inspiration and an example of "Girl Power."

The Human Rights Foundation said the rapper's actions in the face of corruption were "jarring" when contrasted with her work to encourage social justice.

She is involved with a number of charities, including the Get Schooled Foundation, which helps motivate young people to finish their education.

Angola ranked 161st out of 175 countries in the 2014 Transparency International corruption index. Dos Santos has been in power there for 36 years.

The singer responded to criticism on Twitter: "Every tongue that rises up against me in judgment shall be condemned."

Minaj is not the first star to take flak for performing for controversial figures. She joins an elite club that includes Beyonce, Kanye West, Usher, Jennifer Lopez, Sting, Mariah Carey and Nelly Furtado.

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