Cancellation of Minaj Saudi concert stirs online anger

Lula Sharp
July 11, 2019

USA 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.

Others scheduled to perform include Liam Payne, British musician, and Steve Aoki, American DJ. In the post, the singer described her changes in the schedule of concerts and apologized to her fans from Saudi Arabia.

Nicki, in a statement on Tuesday, confirmed that she canceled the scheduled performance in Saudi Arabia next week in view of her support for the rights of women and the LGBT community.

The Queen rapper was scheduled to headline Jeddah World Fest on July 18.

After sharing her announcement on social media, she took to Instagram and created an open dialogue.

The Human Rights Foundation issued a statement last week begging the "Bang Bang" hitmaker to withdraw from the festival as they couldn't understand why she would celebrate Gay Pride one week and then support Saudi Arabia another.

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In addition, the group sent Payne a letter urging him to reconsider performing in Saudi Arabia. "Human rights advocates should be grateful for her inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regime's transparent attempt to use her for a public relations stunt and for standing up for LGBTQ+ and women's rights". "We hope that he follows Nicki Minaj's lead".

"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".

The post amassed more than 15,000 comments within the first hour, as fans pleaded with the rapper to reconsider her decision.

It is noteworthy that in recent times, Saudi Arabia has been trying to ease restrictions on entertainment and to encourage growth in its arts sector.

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.

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