Nicki Minaj Drops Out of Headlining Saudi Arabia Concert After Backlash

10 Juillet, 2019, 02:50 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Nicki Minaj pulls out of Saudi Arabia concert

US rapper Nicki Minaj said on Tuesday that she was pulling out of a planned concert in Saudi Arabia next week, citing her support for the rights of women and the LGBTQ community.

"After careful reflection I have made a decision to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest".

Now, after facing heated criticism from human rights groups, Minaj has pulled out of the July 18 event, citing her commitment to women's rights, the LGBTQ community, and freedom of expression. Same sex relations are also outlawed there. Other performers still scheduled to appear include DJ Steve Aoki and ex-One Direction member Liam Payne.

"This is what leadership looks like!"

The rapper, who was raised in Queens, New York, provoked an online storm when she agreed to perform at Jeddah World Fest, prompting supporters to call for her to renounce the country over its treatment of women, gay and minority individuals. Minaj's moral stance differs from celebrity performers like J-Lo and Mariah Carey who in the past have chosen to line their pockets with millions of dollars and stand with dictatorial governments as opposed to with oppressed communities and imprisoned human rights activists.

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The announcement of Minaj's performance at a music festival in the ultraconservative Gulf country left several observers bewildered last week because of the rapper's provocative lyrics and stage appearances.

So why would Saudi Arabia invite an artist as unapologetically explicit and sexual as Nicki Minaj to headline a festival in its second-largest city? The kingdom is also promising quick electronic visas for worldwide visitors who want to attend.

Although Saudi Arabia is progressing under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, it continues to be ultraconservative. The spectacle would have been unthinkable until recently in the ultra-conservative kingdom where religious police used to enforce strict gender segregation and scolded women for not covering their hair.

Around a dozen Saudi women activists have been detained for the past year on charges related to human rights work and contacts with foreign journalists and diplomats in a case that has drawn global attention after last year's murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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