- While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia.
- Minaj, known for her profanity-laced lyrics and raunchy music videos
LOS ANGELES: Nicki Minaj has canceled a performance in Saudi Arabia , the US rapper said Tuesday.
Minaj´s scheduled appearance in the western city of Jeddah next week as part of a cultural festival had triggered a social media backlash.
“After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,” Minaj said in a statement sent to AFP by her publicist.
“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.”
Minaj, known for her profanity-laced lyrics and raunchy music videos, was due to perform as headline act of the festival as the kingdom loosens its decades-old restrictions on entertainment
Others scheduled to perform include British musician Liam Payne and American DJ Steve Aoki.
The New York-based Human Rights Foundation on Friday wrote Minaj an open letter urging her to withdraw from the festival.
Saudi Arabia is also moving to boost domestic spending on entertainment and tourism, as the kingdom has reeled from low oil prices.