As The Associated Press reveals Nicki Minaj will no longer be performing at the Jeddah World Fest in Saudi Arabia, citing human rights concerns. In her place, Steve Aoki will perform as one of the headlining acts.
“After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,” Minaj explains in an official media statement sent to The Associated Press. “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.”
“This is what leadership looks like. We are grateful to Nicki Minaj for her inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regime’s transparent attempt at using her for a public relations stunt,” Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation, shares via an official statement. “The July 18 festival in Saudi Arabia still shows Liam Payne as a performer. 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.”
Saudi Arabia has recently received a great deal of negative press for their treatment of journalists, members of the LGBTQ community and others; various human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, have conducted extensive reporting when investigating the country’s abuses and oppressive socio-political climate. We’ll keep you updated as this story develops.
During a recent late-night interview with Jimmy Fallon, Nicki Minaj also confirmed that her new studio album was on its way.