American Rapper Nicki Minaj has revealed that she opted out of performing at the Saudi Arabia concert which she was earlier slated to headline because she realized she could go to prison if she violates any of their women laws.
Minaj was initially booked to headline the concert on July 18, but backed out to support the human rights struggle in the middle east country, where gender segregation is still enforced in many restaurants and institutions.
The 36-year-old hip-hop star announced her withdrawal a week after the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) urged her and other performers — scheduled to grace a cultural festival in Jeddah — to pull out.
She wrote in a press statement issued to the media. “After careful reflection, I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,”
“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 talented rapper also took to her social media page to reveal some of her reasons for pulling out.
She narrated how she was nearly sent to prison during a show in Jamaica because she forgot to censor some swear words in her songs.
“I performed in Jamaica before & when i got off the stage I was surrounded by police with guns drawn. They were ready 2 take me to jail b/c they said I forgot to bleep a couple curses…. I could make one mistake & go to jail in a diff country where women have no rights,” Minaj wrote.
Following the cancellation, the HRF commended Minaj for her “inspiring and thoughtful decision” while urging other entertainers still subscribed to the show to follow her lead.
“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,” said Thor Halvorssen, president of the HR.
Others slated to perform at the show include Liam Payne, British musician, and Steve Aoki, American DJ.
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