MUSIC- American hip hop star Nicki Minaj has pulled out of Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah World Fest citing support for women rights and LGBT community.
Known for her provocative and highly sexualized performances, Minaj was due to headline the Fest on July 18.
She decided to skip the event after facing severe backlash online. Saudi human rights activists criticized the government’s decision to invite Minaj, questioning her revealing outfits and explicit lyrics.
On Friday, Minaj received an open letter from US-based Human Rights Foundation asking her to withdraw from the Fest and instead use her influence to demand the release of the detained women activists.
Heeding to the request, Nicki said in a statement, “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."
Saudi Arabia in the last one year has eased restrictions on entertainment to encourage growth in its arts sector.