Culture

Nicki Minaj Drops Out of Headlining Saudi Arabia Concert After Backlash

Nicki Minaj Drops Out of Headlining Saudi Arabia Concert After Backlash”

Just one week after her performance at the Jeddah World Fest was announced, Minaj said in a statement that "after careful consideration" she could no longer participate.

She told the Associated Press she pulled out of her show after "educating" herself on the many "issues" women, the LGBTQ community and other minority groups face in the country.

The New York-based Human Rights Foundation on Friday wrote Minaj an open letter urging her to withdraw from the festival, calling on her to "refuse the regime's money" and use her global influence to demand the release of jailed Saudi women activists.

The singer was due to headline the alcohol-free, state-sponsored music festival Jeddah World Fest on July 18. Neither artist has commented yet on their own participation in the concert.

Women were only recently allowed to drive and attend sporting events in stadiums, but gender segregation is still a thing in Saudi Arabia. After careful consideration, Nicki Minaj heard everyone's concerns and made a decision to pull out from the upcoming concert.

Minaj's scheduled appearance in the western city of Jeddah next week as part of a cultural festival had triggered a social media backlash over human rights in the country.

"This is what leadership looks like". Liam Payne and Steve Aoki are now still on the bill.

Over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by the Black Eyed Peas, Mariah Carey, Sean Paul and others. The kingdom is also promising quick electronic visas for worldwide visitors who want to attend.

Saudi Arabia saw profound change past year as a result of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's top-down reform efforts, including the opening of the first movie theater and the lifting of the world's only ban on women driving.

Others questioned how her revealing outfits and explicit lyrics would go over in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

In March, the kingdom drew further criticism when it put 10 women's rights activist on trial.

The 33-year-old crown prince, backed by his father King Salman, presides over a nation where he alone defines the pace and scope of change.



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