Washington: Facing criticism from human rights activists, singer Nicki Minaj has pulled out of her scheduled performance at the Jeddah World Fest in Saudi Arabia.
“After careful reflection, I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,” Entertainment Weekly quoted Minaj in a statement released on Tuesday.
The statement further reads, “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’s move comes after Thir Halvorssen, Human Rights Foundation President, penned a letter to the rapper on Friday where he requested her to pay attention to the middle-eastern country’s lack of civil rights for women and members of LGBTQ community before going ahead with her scheduled show.
“Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the individual who authorized and is financing your seven-figure performance at the event. I am writing to urgently inform you of the human rights crises in Saudi Arabia,” Halvorssen wrote in the letter.
The upcoming concert was been planned while keeping in mind the laws of the country which prohibits alcohol, drugs and will only welcome people above 16 years of age.
However, soon after the announcement of Minaj performing at the event was made, there were mixed reactions.
A Saudi woman posted a video on Twitter accusing the government of being a hypocrite after they invited Minaj to perform at the event.
“All her songs are indecent and then you tell me to wear the abaya, What the hell?” the woman is heard saying in the video.
Other singers who will perform at the event are British artist Liam Payne and American DJ Steve Aoki.