Nicki Minaj in a statement on Tuesday, confirmed that she cancelled a scheduled performance in Saudi Arabia next week, citing her support for the rights of women and the LGBT community.
This came after the US Human Rights Foundation called for Minaj and other musicians, One Direction’s Liam Payne, Steve Aoki and others scheduled to play at the Jeddah World Fest on July 18 to pull out of the festival, over the country’s record of human rights violations.
“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 to the Associated Press.
Though Saudi Arabia has been trying to ease restrictions on entertainment and to encourage growth in its arts sector, however prior to pulling out of the concert, Nicki Minaj suffered a torrent of backlash as critics questioned how her revealing outfits and explicit lyrics would go over in the ultra-conservative kingdom.