We all know it can be hard to make friends.
Your schedules never match up, one of you wants sushi and the other wants ramen and you can never agree, one of you is a horrifying dictator, you know the drill.
Oh, you weren't on board with the dictator part? Weird.
These celebrities didn't let the fact that their new best bud was a murderous tyrant ruling over an entire nation stop them from having a great time together. No friendship is perfect, after all!
Nicki Minaj visited Angola to hang with dictator José Eduardo dos Santo against pretty much everyone's advice.
via: Getty ImagesIn 2014 Nicki Minaj was invited to perform for the communications company Unitel in Luanda, Angola. A company which unfortunately happened to be controlled by José Eduardo dos Santo, the three-decade long president/dictator of Angola. She was reportedly to be paid two million dollars for the performance.
At first, everyone gave Nicki the benefit of the doubt.
Nicki even posted an Instagram photo of herself draped in the flag of Angola and another with the daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos.
Dennis Rodman struck up a friendship with one of the world's worst dictators and felt absolutely no shame about it.
via: PinterestWe all knew Dennis Rodman was kind of weird. From his crazy hair to his outrageous wardrobe, the basketball player was always known for being a bit eccentric. But things got really weird when he became BFF with none other than North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Dennis Rodman first visited North Korea in 2011 with Vice media to host basketball exhibitions.
via: Getty ImagesWhile there, he struck up a friendship with dictator Kim Jong-un, calling him a "friend for life", a "basketball fan", and a "great dad". He's also a dictator whose been known to have his own family members assassinated, but that didn't seem to matter much to Rodman who said that he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for forging a friendship with Kim Jong-un in an attempt to bring the USA and North Korea together.
Rodman has visited North Korea several times.
Mariah Carey played a concert for the Gaddafi family of Libya.
via: Getty ImagesOn New Years Eve of 2009, Mariah Carey performed at a party hosted by the Gaddafi family in St. Bart's, the family that had control of Libya and was holding it under a fierce dictatorship.
Mariah claimed she had no idea who she was performing for when she booked the gig.
To be fair, Mariah Carey wasn't the only pop star to perform for the Gaddafi family.
Hilary Swank appeared at an event hosted by Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechen leader who may or may not have imprisoned and executed all the gay men in Chechnya, but probably did.
via: Getty ImagesHilary Swank was warned before she attended the event that Kadyrov had been accused of crimes against humanity, and her manager was like, "Oh yeah, she's definitely not going." But then she didn't not go. She, in fact, went.
After the event, Hilary went on damage control and fired several of her staff who she claimed didn't tell her the seriousness of Kadyrov's crimes.
via: Getty ImagesShe also said she would donate the money she had earned from the appearance to charity. If she really did, we'll never know. But she hasn't appeared at a dictator's soiree since, at least.
Michael Jackson befriended Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Khalifa of Bahrain, the heir to an oppressive regime.
via: Getty ImagesAfter being accused and then acquitted of child molestation, Michael Jackson fled from the US and took refuge in Bahrain. There he met Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Khalifa and promised that he would record an album for him in exchange for some cold, hard cash to pay off his legal fees.
The Middle Eastern prince ended up suing the Prince of Pop when he didn't deliver the promised album.
J. Lo performed at Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's birthday party.
via: Getty ImagesBerdymukhamedov leads one of the most oppressive and closed regimes in the world and also, was lucky enough to have a performance by J. Lo at his birthday party. J. Lo claims she knew nothing about claims that he was a murderous dictator, or that he controlled a country where satellites and internet are not allowed.
This may actually be true.
J. Lo made $1.5 million dollars for the performance.
Kanye West performed at the wedding of the grandson of Kazakhstan's autocratic President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
via: Getty ImagesNursultan Nazarbayev has been the president of Kazakhstan since 1990, the result of rigged elections, and has been accused of multiple crimes against humanity. West was reportedly paid $3 million dollars for the wedding performance.
In maybe the strangest celebrity-dictator relationship of all, Sting performed for Uzbekistan ruler Islam Karimov, completely aware that he was a horrific dictator.
via: Getty ImagesSting was asked to perform for the dictator's daughter for an arts festival. Karimov is a special kind of terrible: he regularly murders his own citizens for protesting, draining the largest lake in Uzbekistan to water his own crops, and reportedly is a fan of killing his enemies by boiling them alive. And he loves Sting!
The weirdest part? Sting claimed him not accepting $1 million to do the performance wouldn't even make a difference.
via: Getty ImagesAccording to Sting, the reason he took the job was because, even though he knew about the whole boiling people alive thing, protesting dictators doesn't really work. I mean if you can't beat them, join them, right? Or at least perform for their family and turn a blind eye to the human rights violations.