Nicki Minaj pulls out of Saudi Arabia concert after backlash
“After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest. While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression,” Minaj said in a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press.
Minaj was originally scheduled to headline the concert on July 18.
The New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) last week urged Minaj to cancel her performance, saying it would be inappropriate because of the rapper’s participation in festivities in New York marking Gay Pride month in June.
Homosexuality is banned in Saudi Arabia.
When the concert was announced last week, some Saudis expressed excitement about Minaj performing along with other Western artists, including Mariah Carey, DJ Tiesto and the Black Eyed Peas.
However others were not very pleased with Minaj’s revealing stage outfits. Saudi women are to strictly follow an extremely conservative dress code.
On Tuesday, HRF Chief Executive Thor Halvorssen lauded Minaj for changing her decision, “inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regime’s transparent attempt at using her for a public relations stunt.”
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