Nicki Minaj Pulls Out of Saudi Festival in Support of Women, LGBTQ People
CHANGE OF HEART
Saudi fans of Nicki Minaj will have to travel elsewhere to catch the superstar in concert. Minaj announced on Tuesday she is backing out of a performance in Saudi Arabia to show support for women, the LGBTQ community, and freedom of expression, the Associated Press reports. Minaj was originally slated to headline the Jeddah World Fest on July 18, along with performers Liam Payne and Steve Aoki. In a statement to the AP, Minaj said: “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.” The Human Rights Foundation issued a five-page letter last week asking Minaj to pull out of the music festival, requesting she show solidarity with the “ongoing suffering of the Saudi people” amid a crackdown on human rights from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Several superstars have performed in the Kingdom in recent months, including Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, and the Black Eyed Peas.