Rapper Nicki Minaj announced she would not be performing at a music festival in Saudi Arabia.
NEW YORK (AP) – Nicki Minaj is pulling out of a concert in Saudi Arabia because she says she wants to show support for women’s rights, gay rights and freedom of expression.
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) July 9, 2019
“After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,” Minaj said in a statement to the Associated Press. “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.” (RELATED: Nicki Minaj Allows Sex Offender Boyfriend To Star In Music Video)
The move by Minaj comes a week after the Human Rights Foundation called for performers, including Minaj, to pull out of the show. Although some rules against women have changed, gender segregation still exists in the country, according to the AP.
The Human Rights Foundation praised Minaj’s decision to pull out of the concert Tuesday and encouraged other artists still set to perform, such as Liam Payne and Steve Aoki, to follow her lead.
“This is what leadership looks like,” Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation, said. “We are grateful to Nicki Minaj for her inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regime’s transparent attempt at using her for a public relations stunt.”