Nicki Minaj Drops Out Of Saudi Arabia Concert, Bowing To Pressure

Nicki Minaj at the Met Gala
Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

After Nicki Minaj announced recently that she would be performing at a festival in Saudi Arabia, the decision was rebuked by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF).

Per The Inquisitr, HRF described Saudi Arabia as “one of the world’s worst human rights violators,” and pleaded with the rapper to drop out of her scheduled performance on July 18 at the Jeddah World Fest. In addition, the planned concert drew controversy from the other direction due to Minaj’s often revealing costumes.

Now, Minaj won’t be making the trip after all.

Per Variety, the rapper has dropped out of the scheduled performance.

“After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,” Minaj announced in a statement to that website. “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 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in recent years, has reached out to the Western world, with Crown Prince and de facto ruler Muhammad bin Salman visiting the United States in early 2018 and meeting with a long list of business leaders and even Hollywood celebrities such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Saudi regime also entered into an agreement with World Wrestling Entertainment to host a series of major wrestling events in the kingdom.

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However, the Saudi regime has faced a major backlash since last year, when journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who lived in the United States and wrote for The Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi embassy in Turkey, a crime that U.S. intelligence, per The Inquisitr, was planned and carried out by the Saudi regime.

The Saudi government has also been frequently criticized for its war in Yemen, for which the U.S. has sold weapons. The House of Representatives voted in April to stop U.S. funding of the war, per The Inquistir.

This is not the first controversy involving Nicki Minaj performing in a foreign country with a bad human rights record. Per Jezebel, Minaj performed a concert in 2015 for a company controlled by José Eduardo dos Santos, the dictator of Angola, and was reportedly paid $2 million for the gig. Minaj also posed for an Instagram photo with the dictator’s daughter, Isabel dos Santos, who she described as “the 8th richest woman in the world,” and proclaimed “GIRL POWER!!!!!”