Nicki Minaj Pulls Out of Saudi Arabia Concert

Nicki Minaj Drops Out Of Saudi Arabia Concert After Facing Backlash

Nicki Minaj Drops Out Of Saudi Arabia Concert After Facing Backlash

But for a good reason. By cancelling her concert, she said she wants to "make clear" of where she stands.

Minaj's statement found her saying, "After careful reflection, I have made a decision to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest".

Minaj gave a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday explaining why she had withdrawn from the festival.

One Direction alum Liam Payne and DJ Steve Aoki are still scheduled to perform at the July 18 music festival, which will be drug and alcohol-free in keeping with the country's laws.

After it was announced that she was going to perform, the New York-based organization Human Rights Foundation issued an open letter asking the rap superstar to pull out of the show, citing rights violations and unfair treatment of the LGBTQ+ community by the kingdom's "absolute monarchy".

Nicki won't be headlining Saudi Arabia's Jeddah World Fest anymore in support of women's rights and gay rights.

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Though some rules have been loosened, which now allow women to drive and attend events in sports stadiums, gender segregation between single men and women is still practiced and enforced in many places in Saudi Arabia.

Over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul, David Guetta and Tiesto.

Ariel Gold, co-director of Codepink, an anti-war feminist group that has led a campaign calling for a boycott of Saudi Arabia, told Middle East Eye last week that Saudi Arabia is using celebrities like Minaj to whitewash its crimes against women.

Saudi Arabia saw profound change a year ago as a result of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's top-down reform efforts, including the opening of the first movie theater and the lifting of the world's only ban on women driving.

Around a dozen Saudi women activists have been detained for the past year on charges related to human rights work and contacts with foreign journalists and diplomats in a case that has drawn global attention after last year's murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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