Published Jul 09, 2019Nicki Minaj has cancelled an upcoming performance in Saudi Arabia following a wave of backlash over the concert.
Last week, it was revealed that the rapper had accepted an invite to perform at the Jeddah World Fest at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in Jeddah on July 18.
That decision caused heavy backlash, with many criticizing Minaj for supporting Saudi Arabia's oppressive regime, which is widely known for restricting the rights of women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and journalists.
Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen published an open letter, urging Minaj not to perform in the country.
"Ms. Minaj, as you can see, you are scheduled to perform at a state-sponsored event in one of the most repressive regimes on earth — a country whose leader has also led a relentless campaign to silence women's rights activists," he wrote.
Later in the letter, he posits, "What is Nicki Minaj thinking? How does she participate at World Pride one week and then hop on a jet to collect millions from a regime that beheaded five gay men this past April?"
The five-page letter seems to have resonated with the "Megatron" rapper, who has now pulled out of the Jeddah World Fest performance.
Today, she released a statement, which reads: "After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest."
She added, "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."
Other artists that remain scheduled to perform at the event include Liam Payne and Steve Aoki.