Nicki Minaj cancels Saudi Arabia concert over women’s rights
Nicki Minaj’s scheduled appearance in the city of Jeddah next week has been cancelled.
When Minaj announced that she would be headlining the Saudi Arabian music festival, it triggered a social media backlash over human rights in the country.
"After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest," Minaj said in a statement by her publicist.
"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”.
Minaj is known for her provocative music and raunchy stage presence, and was due to perform as headline act. Jeddah World Fest was to be televised globally on MTV.
Others scheduled to perform include British musician Liam Payne, and American DJ Steve Aoki.
Last week, the New York-based Human Rights Foundation wrote an open letter to Minaj, urging her to withdraw from the festival and “refuse the regime’s money”.
The festival is one of the first in Saudi Arabia, and comes as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues his sweeping liberalization drive that has led to the introduction of cinemas, concerts and sports entertainment.