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Nicki Minaj decided to cancel a scheduled performance in Saudi Arabia next week, in support for the rights of women and the LGBT community.

Stating her performance at the festival in Jeddah was a catalyst to some strong criticism of the country’s human rights record.

Questions were also raised as to how her revealing outfits and explicit lyrics would go down in the region!

Minaj Issued Statement

“After careful reflection, I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,” Minaj 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.”

The US-based Human Rights Foundation reportedly wrote an open letter to Minaj asking her to withdraw from the festival which takes place on July 18.

The request asked her to “refuse the regime’s money” and instead use her influence to demand the release of the detained women activists.

Social Media Expressed Concern

On social media, many described Minaj’s decision to perform in Jeddah as hypocritical, comparing her appearances at gay pride events with Saudi Arabia’s stance on gay rights.  

Minaj isn’t the only performer to cause some controversy by accepting an invitation to perform in Saudi Arabia.

Mariah Carey defied calls from human rights activists to cancel her performance in the kingdom earlier this year. Rapper Nelly also came under fire for performing a “men only” concert last year.