Nicki Minaj cancels concert in Saudi Arabia following social media backlash | Featured - Music Crowns

Nicki Minaj cancels concert in Saudi Arabia following social media backlash

It turns out that the world-famous rapper, Nicki Minaj won’t be performing in Saudi Arabia after all, following heavy criticism from fans.

Minaj has pulled out of performing at a Saudi Arabian music festival, citing her support for women’s rights and the LGBTQ+ community.

The rapper’s headline festival slot in Jeddah caused considerable controversy, with criticism focusing on the country’s human rights history.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights record has been the target of much criticism by liberal and groups for its oppressive laws on women and homosexuality.

Other critics also questioned how the artist’s often revealing and sexually provocative outfits would be received in the largely conservative kingdom.

In a statement issued regarding the controversy, the rapper said: “After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest.”

She continued. “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.”

Some criticised the singer’s decision to perform in Jeddah as hypocritical, largely contradicting her appearances at Pride events last week. Homosexuality is still banned in Saudi Arabia.

On Friday, Minaj was approached by the Human Rights Foundation and in an open letter, the group urged the singer to withdrawal from the festival, instead, using her influence to demand the release of 10 detained female activists put on trial in March.

This is not the first time an artist has come under fire for performing in the country. Earlier this year, Mariah Carey defied similar requests to withdrawal from her performance, and the rapper Nelly also sparked controversy for performing at a men-only concert.

Jeddah World Fest’s controversial booking has been linked to Saudi Arabia’s recent push to ease its restrictions on entertainment, encouraging growth in its arts and culture sector.

Maya Rose Radcliffe

Editor of Music Crowns, Maya, has been working in music since the age of sixteen. She’s written for a series of different publications both in print and online including Clash, DIY, The Line of Best Fit, Spindle, New York-based Impose Magazine and The Playground, which she also used to edit. @mayarrad.

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