NEW YORK   -  Jennifer Lopez has apologised for singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to a controversial political leader.Jennifer Lopez sang Happy Birthday to Turkmenistan leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in a lavish celebration on Saturday night in the Caspian Sea resort of Turkmenbashi that had raised some eyebrows, according reports in the US news media.Lopez’s representative has since released a statement over the performance, saying: “Had there been knowledge of human rights issues any kind, Jennifer would not have attended.”The New York Daily News said in a dispatch, “in a clinging outfit, Lopez sang and danced with scantily-dressed backup dancers in a rare performance for the Muslim country, watched by ministers, ambassadors and chief executives of state-owned companies.”.“Lopez later changed into a traditional Turkmen dress to sing “Happy birthday, Mr President” to 56-year-old Berdymukhamedov along with celebrities from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and China,” the report said.Backlash against the singer’s appearance in the country - cited for human rights abuses and authoritarian rule - began immediately after Lopez’s crew began tweeting about the event. But her representative in New York said she wouldn’t have performed there at all if she had known there were human rights issues in the country. A statement released Sunday by her publicist said the event was hosted by the China National Petroleum Corp. and wasn’t a political event.Human Rights Watch has described Turkmenistan as “among the most repressive in the world.”After a visit last month, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said the country had made progress in the area of human rights, but “a lot more work is needed to complete this process and to ensure practice is in line with international standards.”Lopez’s publicist says the event was vetted by Lopez’s staff: “Had there been knowledge of human rights issues any kind, Jennifer would not have attended.”