Janet Jackson, Chris Brown, 50 Cent, Future and Tyga have been added to the lineup for the Jeddah World Fest, the concert in Saudi Arabia that Nicki Minaj was scheduled to perform at but pulled out of due to human rights issues.
What We Know:
- After accepting the invitation to headline the concert, Minaj canceled her performance in the ultra-conservative kingdom. This decision came after fans urged her to look at the country’s human rights record, according to BBC News. It seems that Jackson, Brown, 50 Cent, Future and Tyga will take her place.
- The Human Rights Foundation and other organizations have asked many artists not to perform in Saudi Arabia because gender segregation between single men and women is enforced in restaurants, coffee shops, public schools and universities.
- The organization wrote an open letter to Nicki in hopes she would reconsider. Thor Halvorssen, the founder and CEO of the Human Rights Foundation wrote, “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.”
- Minaj later announced that she would no longer be performing at the concert. “After careful reflection, I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,” the rapper 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,” she added.
- Halvorssen criticized the entertainers performing at the concert in a statement Thursday to The Associated Press and claims they chose money over morals. “These individuals constantly make public statements of support for LGBT rights and women’s rights, except, apparently, when a seven-figure check is attached. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Principal apparently matters to them far more than principles,” Halvorssen said.
Over the past months, the kingdom has seen performances by Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul and David Guetta. While the kingdom saw change last year thanks to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reform efforts, including lifting the world’s only ban on women driving, there are still limits on the reforms.
I’m tired of my fans sending me DM’s saying they want to commit suicide. You guys will never know the things my fans express to me privately. It would break me if even one of my fans were arrested, or BEATEN for expressing themselves. God is LOVE. NO disrespect to the Saudi govt
— MEGATRON (@NICKIMINAJ) July 9, 2019