Nicki Minaj, Trinidad-born rapper, has cancelled her Saudi Arabia concert - a move she said represents her way of showing solidarity for women's rights, gay rights and freedom of expression.
Considering Saudi Arabia's traditional cultural treatment of women, and Minaj's then-secret encounter with Jamaican police, it's obvious Minaj didn't want to risk a similar encounter in at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in Jeddah during the Jeddah World Fest.
Nicki Minaj was earlier scheduled to headline the concert on July 18.
Saudi Arabia is known for its regressive and misogynistic treatment of women and girls.
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Saudi officials last week said the Jeddah World Fest would be the region's biggest ever live musical event. Others scheduled to perform include British musician Liam Payne and American DJ Steve Aoki. The Human Rights Foundation issued a statement last week calling for Minaj and other performers to pull out of the show.
Additionally, the New York City native further explained her decision on social media. "This is what leadership looks like". The human rights organization is fighting a regime in this country that insists on the separation of the sexes and the oppression of women's rights. "We hope he and his managers choose morals over money".
Do you believe Nicki Minaj made the right choice dropping out of the performance? That's a stark change from when Saudi morality police would raid establishments that played loud music. The kingdom is also promising quick electronic visas for global visitors who want to attend.
It is noteworthy that in recent times, Saudi Arabia has been trying to ease restrictions on entertainment and to encourage growth in its arts sector. In December 2018, women - some without headscarves - drove themselves to a Formula-E auto race where thousands of young Saudis and hundreds of worldwide visitors partied into the night at concerts. Saudi women are bound to an extremely conservative dress code.
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