By Aishat Salihu
Grammy-nominated and award-winning rapper Nicki Minaj has announced she will no longer take part in an upcoming performance in Saudi Arabia after facing a furious online backlash.
Minaj was scheduled to perform at the Jeddah World Fest in Jeddah on July 18, along with DJ Steve Aoki and former One Direction band member Liam Payne.
Ahead of her announcement, the Human Rights Foundation sent a letter to Minaj requesting she cancels her appearance as a “symbol of solidarity with the ongoing suffering of the Saudi people”.
The letter labelled Saudi Arabia as one of the “most repressive regimes on earth” and said if Minaj continued with the performance, she would be “in a league with the people who respond to freedom of expression and thought with murder.”
She, however, on Tuesday, told the Press that careful reflection prompted her to not move forward with the performance at the musical festival.
“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,” she said.
Reportedly, the rapper’s supposed musical concert initially had social media users raising eye brows with a lot of Twitter Memes, banters and hashtags, looking forward to her performance while others questioned how her revealing outfits and explicit lyrics would go over in the ultra-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia.